We’re Really Digging This Volleyball Season


By Ariel Harmon Allie Montgomery, Reporter

BY Ariel Harmon and Allie Montgomery

Cleveland’s varsity volleyball ended their season with a 3-1 loss against McNary on Oct. 28. Although their hopes for a playoff run ended and left the players disappointed from the game, they were all ecstatic from a great season ending with a final record of 13-4.

Cleveland got off to a rough start with only five returning players and two girls who were new to the program completely. It was hard for the team to find their flow amidst the start of the new year and getting used to new coaches. It wasn’t long until they were able to find their place on the court and get to know their teammates’ style.

“It was choppy in the beginning but it definitely got better towards the end,” says Carlin MacMillan, junior and the head setter. WIth the help of a different style of coaching, it helped lead the team to some wins. The coaches provided support, as well as constructive criticism along the way, improving the skill of each player.

This season had some personal achievements as well. “I’m very proud of myself. I was ‘athlete of the week’ for the Portland Tribune and my twin sister (Kylie) and I made first team all conference,” Ella Ristvedt, sophomore, said.

Kylie and Ella Ristvedt were a tag team out on the court. With Ella diving for each ball and Kylie sending a hit down on the other court, the twins proved their skill on the varsity for their second year. Making the first team all league was a big achievement for these sophomores, following their sister, Taylor Ristvedt, who scored her first all league last year.

With a four-year streak of losing during the first round of the playoffs, the team felt strong and prepared, going into the playoffs ranked 22nd in 6A for the state. The first two games were an immediate win to McNary High School, who were ranked 11th in state, with the score of 8-25 in the first and 20-25 in the second. But with an attitude adjustment and a pep talk from the coaches, the team fought hard in the third game, winning 25-20. The fight was still strong until the end, with McNary winning the fourth game 21-25. Cleveland lost the match with a final score of 1-3. This had ended the season for every player, and it was the last high school game for the seniors, Lily Marella and Natalie Lannigan.

Both seniors have been playing with Cleveland for four years. Marella started on JV2, and Natalie Lannigan started on junior varsity, and both of them moving up to varsity their sophomore year. Neither Marella or Lannigan are playing after this year. Their last high school game was the playoff.

Although Cleveland did not win the playoff, it was still a great game as the team started off slow, then picked up their pace and making the game a memorable one.

As for next year, the team is excited to go back and play together. “It’ll be cool to see the improvement and to come back after a year,” MacMillan said.