Julie Dramise has been an anchor in the middle on Green Valley’s girls volleyball team for four years.
The senior middle blocker made her presence known Saturday.
Dramise had nine kills, two blocks and two aces to help the Gators win their first Class 4A state championship since 2001 with a 25-23, 25-13, 27-25 sweep of Reed at Chaparral.
“I knew I just had to go hard, go for every point and hold the middle, and I knew that we could win,” Dramise said. “Be big and be a presence.”
Dramise also made herself known from the service line in the first set, when she stepped up with the score tied at 23 and calmly delivered back-to-back aces to give Green Valley (31-6) the early advantage.
“There was a determination there,” Green Valley coach Erin Hill said. “We had four kids on the court who had been out there for the third time. They wanted it, and they knew what it would take to get it done.
“It really motivated them.”
Nikki Drost had 16 kills, eight digs and four aces for the Gators. Carly Schiess supplied 12 kills, six digs and four aces, and Jenna Swaffer delivered 36 assists, two blocks and two aces.
“I’ve never felt more proud of my team,” said Schiess, whose team was playing in its third straight state final. “I guess the third time’s the charm.
“We always have faith that we can win. No matter what we do, we do it as a team, as a family. We’re going to win as a family.”
Green Valley was forced to rally in the final set after the Raiders (18-10) jumped to a 10-3 lead behind a pair of kills by Moriah Maluotoga, who finished with seven kills and two blocks.
But the Gators responded, taking an 18-17 lead on Drost’s ace, which eventually led to Schiess’ match-winning spike.
“These kids will not quit,” Hill said. “They were determined to do it in three and bring it back to the Gators.”
Sommer King had six kills and two blocks, and Alexa Drost finished with 19 digs for Green Valley.
But Dramise’s presence in the center of the court helped take away much of Reed’s offense, which relied heavily on blocking.
“Being able to run the middle was absolutely key,” Hill said. “Reed has a huge block, so you have to make them be honest in the middle. If not, they can camp on your outside. Julie, and the whole team, played out of their heads tonight. They played as a team. They did everything as a team.”
It was a good way for Dramise to end her high school career.
“It’s the best feeling I’ve ever felt,” Dramise said. “This has been the best season, by far, and I would do it all over again.
“I love this feeling.”
McKinley Chesley and Sierra Hooft each had four kills and two blocks, and Meghan Rader added four kills for Reed.
Taylor Stefan dished out 19 assists for the Raiders, and teammate Kathryn Fitzpatrick had 16 digs.