This is what us prep volleyball enthusiasts have been waiting for — matches that carry some playoff clout.
Many league and/or subdistrict tournaments are on tap this weekend. Before we get there, though, there’s some unfinished business worth noting.
Off the top of my head, I can think of three big South-end matches tonight that will close out regular-season play. Second-ranked Kentwood, which gave an outsanding accounting of itself in winning the Bearcat Invitational at Monroe Saturday (more on that later), faces Kentlake with the SPSL 4A North Division title on the line. Both are 7-0 in division play. In the SPSL 4A South Division, Puyallup (7-0) takes on Rogers of Puyallup (6-1) and the survivor gets the South’s No. 1 seed into Saturday’s SPSL tournament against the Kentwood/Kentlake winner.
One of the most emotional matches of the season finds Bonney Lake at top-ranked Sumner tonight with the SPSL 3A title on the line. Both are 7-0. Bonney Lake cracks the new top-10 (check back this afternoon to see just where) after topping Auburn Mountainview last week. Mountainview, once ranked No.1 Class 3A, was rated No. 6 at the time, but will drop even further down the ladder.
What makes the Bonney Lake-Sumner match extra special is that it’s senior night for Sumner, where Jocelyn Levig celebrates an outstanding career. Like the other Sumner seniors, she will be honored by teammates and family members. Her mother, Shirley Baker, plans to present Jocelyn with flowers. Afterward, Shirley goes to the opposite bench for the match as she is Bonney Lake’s head coach. Quite a twist, don’t you think?
The two teams could be seeing a lot more of each other in the coming weeks, too. Both will be at Kennedy for part of the West Central 3A sub-district tournament that also features the host Lancers, ranked No. 2 in the state, along with Highline.
Up North, WesCo play continues through next week (when the state tournament was pushed back a week, some leagues stretched out regular season play, while others lengthened the qualifying process). One match of interest tomorrow night finds Shorecrest at Kamiak. Both are ranked in their respective classifications. Kamiak edged Shorecrest 3-2 early in the season.
Getting back to Kentwood’s run in the Monroe tournament, the Conquerors ran the table to successfully defend their title, winning all six of their matches by 2-0 counts. They beat Kamiak in the semifinals and Monroe in the championship match. Monroe topped Issaquah in the semis.
Kentwood tuned up for the tournament by rolling past Rogers of Puyallup in a nonleague match last Thursday, 3-0. It appears the Conquerors are playing well at the right time and hope to make a run at that state title.
But there’s a lot of volleyball to be played between now and then. I’m eager to hear your thoughts on who you expect to heat up in the postseason. And don’t forget to check back this afternoon to see the latest rankings.