I hope you followed the results we had from the big Crossover Classic volleyball tournament in Spokane Saturday. If we would have gotten a local team in the final, we had made arrangements to get a story.
But, kind of what I expected, it was two teams from East of the mountains going at it and Richland (No. 1 in 4A) ultimately beat Mount Spokane (No. 1 in 3A) for the title. For the second week in a row, Mount Spokane beat Mead (defending 4A state champion), this time in the semifinals — another tight match that went three sets. Richland beat Skyview of Vancouver in the other semi, which also went three sets.
What was particularly impressive about Mount Spokane is that the team did so well without two starters, including the setter (resting a shoulder).
Jackson had a solid tournament, losing to Mead in the quarterfinals (3-1).
The biggest change in the 4A rankings has nothing to do with the Crossover tourney, though. Take a look and you’ll see Woodinville — No. 3 last week — has tumbled all of the way out of the top-10 after losses to Issaquah (up from No. 4 to 3 this week) and Newport (making its debut at No. 9).
I have a feeling Woodinville will bounce back and be just fine, bit I think Newport deserves the nod this week along with Snohomish (new at No. 10), which beat Monroe in straight sets last week. Monroe responded by winning its own tournament and I hated to drop them out of the top-10 (they were 10th last week), but again I believe Snohomish is worthy.
There will be those who argue that Skyview should move past Mead in the rankings because the Storm beat the Panthers in consolation play Saturday, but it was just one set and I do not put much stock in those kind of “matches.”
In 3A, I wrestled with what to do with Capital and Timberline. Timberline won the league battle between the two in a five-set marathon, but then didn’t fare as well Saturday in the Capitol City tournament, wich Capital won with a 3-1 victory over Olympia (still ranked No. 8 in 4A). Capital stays at No. 8 and Timberline moves in at No. 9.
Somebody had to drop out, and for this week it’s Bishop Blanchet, which lost to No. 6 Eastside Catholic last week.
There are some key matches this week, starting tonight (Monday) with a couple of big SPSL South showdowns: Emerald Ridge vs. Graham-Kapowsin and Curtis vs. Rogers. Plus in the SPSL North, Tahoma and Auburn Riverside square off.
On Thursday, it’s another Metro clash between Eastside Catholic and Seattle Prep.
The playoffs are nearing, and we’ll really start to find out who the best teams are. These are my best guesses:
2. Mead (Spokane)
4. Jackson (Mill Creek)
5. Skyview (Vancouver)
7. Bellarmine Prep (Tacoma)
9. Newport (Bellevue)
On the bubble — Auburn Riverside, Bellarmine Prep, Bothell, Central Kitsap, Curtis (University Place), Emerald Ridge (Puyallup), Gig Harbor, Kamiak (Mukilteo), Lake Stevens, Kentwood, Marysville-Pilchuck, Monroe, Puyallup, Rogers (Puyallup), Snohomish, Tahoma, Wenatchee, Woodinville.
1. Mount Spokane
2. Kennedy Catholic
3. West Valley (Yakima)
5. Mount Si
6. Eastside Catholic
7. Seattle Prep
8. Capital (Olympia)
9. Timberline (Lacey)
10. Prairie (Brush Prairie)
On the bubble — Auburn Mountainview, Bishop Blanchet, Bonney Lake, Columbia River, Enumclaw, Everett, Kamiakin (Kennewick), Kennewick, Lynnwood, Mercer Island, Southridge (Kennewick).