The 3A state volleyball tournament begins at noon today at the Toyota Center here in Kennewick.
If it’s anything like the first day of the 4A tourney we had yesterday, we should see some hair-raising victories and heart-wrenching defeats.
The 2As join the mix today, too, so we’ll have action in all three classifications throughout the day, with the main event being the 4A championship match at 6:30 p.m.
There should be some dynamite matches in 3A today. I think it’s kind of a shame that Auburn Mountainview (32-5) and third-ranked Bishop Blanchet (24-5) have to square off in the opening round. That’s worthy of at least a quarterfinal. Mountainview, remember, was ranked most of the season, then was upset by White River in the sub-district tournament.
Speaking of ranked teams, a number of those that finished in the 3A top-10 are noticeably absent. Eastside Catholic, which started the season at No. 1, failed to make it out of the SeaKing District tournament after battling a series of injuries.
Kennedy, once rated as high as No. 4, couldn’t recover from the loss of Jennika McPherson, who led them to an unbeaten regular season before undergoing surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in her lung.
After a red-hot run through sub-district, White River failed to make it out of the West Central/Southwest district tournament. Same for North Kitsap. And Mercer Island, which upset Mount Si in the KingCo tournament, didn’t make it here either.
But let’s talk about the teams that are here. No. 2 Seattle Prep (25-3) has been playing its best volleyball of the season. The Panthers face surprising Peninsula in today’s opening round at noon and then could get No. 4 Prairie (23-7) in the quarterfinals.
I’ve heard a lot about top-ranked Mount Spokane (27-4) all season and am looking forward to getting my first real look at them today. We could see a Seattle Prep-Mount Spokane semifinal tomorrow, but some other teams in the top half of that bracket plan to have a say about that.
Another first-round match I’m looking forward to is Lakes (21-10) against Mount Si (23-7) at 2 p.m. Both have been in and out of the rankings this year. Lakes got hot here last year, but Mount Si has been steady all season.
I’ll have updates throughout the day, so keep checking back.