Dealt with adversity for the first time this season, the Ridgefield volleyball team responded in the best way imaginable — a state championship.
“The whole time, I just had this gut feeling in me. I believed in this team,” said senior co-captain Kamryn Reynolds. “We all wanted to do so good and we have so much pride for our school and our community. I just somehow knew that we’d end up on top.”
After suffering one of its only losses of the season to Columbia River in the semifinals of the district tournament, Ridgefield fought back to place third and qualify for state.
It wouldn’t get any easier for the Spudders at state. They had to go five sets with Pullman in the first round and then turned around and defeated Burlington-Edison in four to advance to the semifinals. The next morning, they battled Columbia River again in a five-set match for the ages.
The Chieftains took the first two games and led 21-15 late in the third, but the Spudders refused to lose. They rallied to claim the third set, then the fourth and won the match in the fifth.
“That was like the championship game,” said sophomore co-captain Kohana Fukuchi. “That was the best feeling ever. I’ve never been more proud of a team that I’ve ever been on. It was just incredible.”
Ridgefield and Lynden spilt the first two sets in the state championship match. As the Spudders fell behind in the third game, and after another exhausting day of volleyball, they had to wonder if they had anything left to get over this final hurdle.
Ridgefield outlasted Lynden 31-29 in the third set and then won it all in the fourth.
“The whole state tournament, I was amazed by what we did,” said junior co-captain Delaney Nicoll. “We never gave up. There were so many moments where we could have just given up, not won one of our rounds and not made it to the state championship. But once we got to the state championship, we were like ‘Alright. We made it here for a reason. We’re doing this. We’re winning state.’ It was really amazing.”
Reynolds couldn’t have dreamed of a better finish to her high school career.
“I remember going home after and saying ‘I’m going to sleep good tonight,’ and I could not sleep because I was playing that win through my mind and every single point,” she said. “I’m so proud of the girls. We worked so hard. Even when it was tough … we just pushed through. I think that made that victory even sweeter.”
This Ridgefield team has started a legacy. The Spudders placed third at state in 2017 and they just captured their first state volleyball championship in 28 years. Many of these girls should be back next year for another shot at glory, but a team like this only comes around once in a lifetime.
“The team that took third at districts when we should have gotten first; but came back at state playing the team we lost to at districts and somehow pulling off that win. And then coming back stronger than ever and winning it all,” Fukuchi said. “That’s how we want to be remembered.”