I love tournament volleyball.
And sometimes hate it, when it comes down to state rankings.
Early on, many coaches approach these invitationals differently. Many of them juggle lineups, looking for the best combinations and/or giving all of the kids playing time. Others go out to win.
And then you have teams from different classifications going at it, and it’s not always easy to judge how those wins and losses should affect the rankings, if at all.
Of course, there’s the fact that the matches are shortened, too — two sets in pool play and best-of-three in bracket play. Sometimes the scoring starts at 5-5 as well.
There were two key tourneys last weekend — the Adidas Puget Sound Invitational at Auburn Mountainview and the SunDome Invitational in Yakima. I was at the Auburn tourney, and very impressed with Tumwater, which won the title moves up to No. 2 in this week’s 2A rankings. Selah, another 2A power, won over in Yakima and jumps into the top spot. The Vikings beat West Valley of Yakima, the preseason No. 1, in the semifinals, then knocked off Richland — a very good 4A team — in the final.
Burlington-Edison, the defending 2A state champion, was up and down at the Adidas tourney and falls in the rankings from No. 6 to No. 9. Capital, which knocked of Olympia (the defending 4A state champ that was ranked No. 4 to start the season, inches up to No. 6 and probably should be even higher.
Oh, and I should mention that Colville, No. 4 in 2A (and last year’s 1A champion), won a pretty good tournament in Idaho over the weekend, too, the Lakeland Invitational.
There’s a new No. 1 in 3A. I was anxious to see Prairie Saturday, and the Falcons impressed at times. But they also showed they still have a lot of work to do. So, I’m dropping them to No. 4 and putting the target on Mount Si. Holy Names and Mercer Island climb to the Nos. 2-3 spots.
Then there’s some more juggling, but the only team that drops out is Glacier Peak, which had a so-so tourney in Yakima, losing two sets to Oak Harbor along the way. The Grizzlies play a full match with Oak Harbor tonight (Monday), and then face two ranked 4A teams — No. 6 Newport on Tuesday and No. 10 Snohomish on Friday.
The new spot in 3A goes to Timberline, which gets a big test tonight at Capital.
In 4A, the top three spots remain the same. Olympia slides to No. 7 and Snohomish falls from No. 5 to No. 10. I nearly dropped the Panthers out — they lost a full match to Roosevelt last week. But I’m giving them another week to sort things out.
Curtis stays in the top-10 despite losing to Tumwater. There’s that 2A-4A thing again! Richland is knocking on the door and is next in line to jump in.
So, please feel free to chime in on the latest rankings:
1. Jackson (Mill Creek)
2. Mead (Spokane)
3. Bellarmine Prep (Tacoma)
4. Central Valley (Spokane)
8. Kentwood (Covington)
9. Curtis (University Place)
1. Mount Si (Snoqualmie)
2. Holy Names (Seattle)
3. Mercer Island
4. Prairie (Brush Prairie)
5. Eastside Catholic (Sammamish)
7. University (Spokane)
8. Seattle Prep
9. Southridge (Kennewick)
10. Timberline (Lacey)
3. West Valley (Yakima)
6. Capital (Olympia)
8. East Valley (Spokane)