It won’t be long now.
The volleyball playoffs are just around the corner — next week in some leagues, like Metro and KingCo 3A, among others.
That’s when I think the state rankings get a little easier. Sure, there still will be upsets, but at least you’re down to a manageable amount of teams.
All season, I’ve had trouble getting a real handle on Class 3A — thanks in part to the jumbled Metro League Mountain Division. All six of those teams seem fairly comparable. I’ll be writing more about that Wednesday in the first installment of my new weekly volleyball notebook, which I’ve dubbed The Right Stuff.
As a prep staff, we’ve decided the notebook will serve area teams and fans better than me blogging highlights each morning. That’s why you haven’t seen the highlights package lately.
Also, I’ve written a fairly extensive state-wide piece for PrepVolleyball.com that includes information on several local teams, and that should be posted sometime today. You should check it out, although it is a pay site.
But back to this week’s rankings.
I’ll start with 3A, since I made the earlier reference to the Metro. Seattle Prep lost twice last week, to Bainbridge and Lakeside, so I’ve dropped the Panthers out for now. Timberline and Kamiakin move up to Nos. 4 and 5, respectively, with Bainbridge inching to No. 6.
I’m rolling the dice on Lakeside at No. 10 this week with Glacier Peak (last week’s No. 10) out. The Grizzlies also lost twice last week. I debated about putting another WesCo 3A team in the poll, but which one? Meadowdale is No. 9 in the Coaches Association, rankings, but fell last week to Shorewood — which lost 3-0 to Glacier Peak not too long ago.
Stanwood? I’m not quite convinced yet.
I’ve heard that University might be the second-best team over in the Greater Spokane League behind Mead — 4A or 3A. So the Titans return to the 3A rankings at No. 7 and Mount Spokane stays in at No. 9.
I’ve been going with Kennewick over Southridge — based on the Lions’ win when the two went head to head last month. We’ll find out more this Tuesday, when the rematch is set.
The only real hiccup in Class 4A was Newport’s loss to Roosevelt last week. The Knights had been very steady, rising to No. 4 in my poll. But they were sluggish against the Roughriders, who are talented yet have been a bit up and down.
I still think Newport is the cream of KingCo 4A and are leaving the team in the top-10 at No. 6. I’m not sure who is second-best in KingCo. Some say Skyline, which beat Roosevelt 3-0 less than three weeks ago. Skyline, in fact, is ranked No. 7 in the Coaches Association poll, with Newport at No. 8 — even though the Knights beat them 3-0 last month.
For now, I’m going with only one KingCo team in the 4A rankings, and that’s Newport.
In 2A, West Valley of Yakima remains No. 1, but I’ve heard so many good things about Colville I’ve moved the Bulldogs to No. 2 ahead of Tumwater and Selah. Pullman avenged an earlier loss to East Valley of Spokane, so again they flip-flop in the rankings at Nos. 7-8.
Washington lost last week to Sumner and I’m not sure that the Spartans are quite ready for the top-10. We’ll see how they fare Thursday against Fife, which won 3-0 the first time around. So I’m opting for Sequim, although I also gave Ridgefield a hard look.
So, be sure to check back for The Right Stuff on Wednesday, and have a look at these:
1. Mead (Spokane)
2. Jackson (Mill Creek)
3. Curtis (University Place)
4. Bellarmine Prep (Tacoma)
6. Newport (Bellevue)
7. Gig Harbor
10. Auburn Riverside
1. Mercer Island
2. Prairie (Brush Prairie)
3. Mount Si (Snoqualmie)
4. Timberline (Lacey)
5. Kamiakin (Kennewick)
7. University (Spokane)
9. Mount Spokane
10. Lakeside (Seattle)
1. West Valley (Yakima)
6. Capital (Olympia)
8. East Valley (Spokane)