The first Cowapa League state champion of the 2019-20 school year was crowned last weekend, as Valley Catholic defeated Sweet Home in the 4A volleyball state title match, last Saturday at Forest Grove High School.

The Valiants, who only lost one set all year in league play (to Astoria), swept all three of their opponents at the state tournament, including a first round sweep over Banks.

Valley Catholic swept Sweet Home in the championship match, 25-23, 25-23, 25-17.

For their perfect league season, the Valiants were rewarded with seven players selected to the Cowapa all-League team, as voted on by the league’s coaches.

Valley Catholic had five players named to the first team and two honorable mentions. Valiant senior Allie Merz was named Player of the Year, and Becky Kemper was selected as Coach of the Year.

Banks had six players (all seniors) named all-league, while Astoria had four players selected to the team.

Fisherman senior Julia Norris and junior Kelsey Fausett made the first team, while senior Kajsa Jackson and junior Taja Tuimato were selected honorable mention.

For Seaside, senior Emma Meyer was named to the first team, and senior teammates Ellisa Blodgett and Emma Brown were honorable mention.

The complete Cowapa all-League squad:

Player of the Year: Allie Merz, Valley Catholic

Coach of the Year: Becky Kemper, Valley Catholic

First Team

Allie Merz, Sr., Valley Catholic

Madeleine Beaupre, Sr., Valley Catholic

Lindsey Beck, Sr., Banks

Kelsey Fausett, Jr., Astoria

Kinley Hoag, Sr., Banks

Nessa Hurliman, Jr., Tillamook

Haylee Jackson, Sr., Banks

Gretchen Kibbe, Jr., Valley Catholic

Maddie Klopcic, Jr., Valley Catholic

Emma Meyer, Sr., Seaside

Julia Norris, Sr., Astoria

Zoey VanVleet, Sr., Valley Catholic

Emma White, Sr., Banks

Honorable Mention

Ellisa Blodgett, Sr., Seaside

Emma Brown, Sr., Seaside

Natilee Dentel, Sr., Tillamook

Noel Herb, Sr., Banks

Kajsa Jackson, Sr., Astoria

Kylee King, So., Valley Catholic

Caitlin O’Keif, Sr., Valley Catholic

Taja Tuimato, Jr., Astoria

Halle Vandomelen, Sr., Banks

Sage Veek-Petersen, Jr., Tillamook

Gary Henley is a sports reporter for The Astorian. Contact him at 503-861-8493 or

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