Vc Volleyball 2022 02

Valiant volleyball has grown to become a perennial powerhouse in the last decade, with nine consecutive state tournament appearances and two 4A state titles (2018, 2019). The back-to-back titles were the first in the program’s history. 

Now the decade of dominance continues. The 2022 squad, competing closer to pre-pandemic normalcy, is building on its tradition of excellence. Valley Catholic Athletics moved to the 3A ranks this fall and Valiant Volleyball took its new league and rivalries by storm – securing its third Oregon School Activities Association Volleyball State Championship title! 

On top of their amazing accolades on the court, this Valiants team has developed a unique superpower and mindset about the game — being unselfish.

“Our team’s superpower is each other. We rely on each other instead of our individual strength both on and off the court. This has been an intentional mission of our team led by Coach Kemper. We are not the tallest or quickest players, but we play every point as a team,” said Abigail Berndt, a senior at Valley Catholic and starting outside hitter for Valiant Volleyball. “There is no room for “I” players on the team; instead our unique talents are praised when we come together for a victory. This superpower has led to successes this year and historically.”

Berndt also points out that joining such a successful team can be intimidating, but the junior and senior players and coaches are very welcoming and encouraging. Reflecting on her time as a Valiant Volleyball player she says, “I cannot imagine my life without these teammates, coaches, and memories.”

Having coached for more than 29 years, it is obvious Valley Catholic Head Volleyball Coach Becky Kemper has a formula to maintain the program’s winning culture. Kemper has found success through team bonding and relationship building with parents. Each season is kicked off with a family social event and all families take turns providing meals to all the players on home match days. To spend more quality time with each other off the court, the team frequently participates in activities such as Guy Enrique’s Team Camp, that includes fun events like obstacle courses and scavenger hunts.

“I hope my legacy will be that my players leave here with an even greater love for the game of volleyball, and that the memories associated with their seasons were not only from the league championships, state championships, and individual honors, but from the time spent together with their teammates and coaches,“ said Kemper. 

The Valiants closed out the regular season with a league record of 11-1 and 17-6 overall. They won the 3A Lewis & Clark League championship tournament by defeating new league rival, Horizon Christian of Tualatin. Valley Catholic traveled to Springfield to compete in the state tournament on Nov. 4 and 5. By working together and relying on each other, the team went on to defeat Horizon Christian, #1 ranked Sisters, and Burns – losing only one set – on their path to winning the team’s third state title in five seasons.

Becky Kemper

“We had the toughest path to get to the finals but if you would have told me that we would only lose 1 set the whole tournament and sweep both Sisters and Burns, I wouldn’t have believed you,” said Kemper. “This team was laser focused the last two weeks of practice, and they took every piece of prep work seriously. The competitiveness, energy, and pure joy that they played with in the finals was inspiring and makes me so proud. They truly played for each other.”

“We had the toughest path to get to the finals, but this team was laser focused the last two weeks of practice,” said Kemper. “The competitiveness, energy, and pure joy that they played with in the finals was inspiring and makes me so proud. They truly played for each other.”

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