It’s hard for me to believe that the state volleyball tournaments are just a little more than two weeks away.
The season is flying by and the post-season tournaments begin this week. I’ll try to keep you as up to date as possible.
Be sure to check back here Wednesday for more playoff info and thoughts in my volleyball notebook, The Right Stuff.
Before I jump into the rankings, I want to bring you up to speed on the two tournaments of note last Saturday, if you missed them.
As noted earlier, Tumwater was impressive in winning the Capital City Invitational in Olympia. But West Valley of Yakima and Colville have been impressive all season as well, so they remain 1-2 in this week’s 2A poll with Tumwater at No. 3. I think any of those teams could win the state title, and No. 4 Anacortes shouldn’t be ruled out either.
Burlington-Edison, the defending champion, is gearing up for a late-season run and had a nice tourney in Olympia. After losing to Puyallup (No. 9 in 4A), the Tigers beat two other ranked teams (Selah and TImberline) to take fifth place. So I’ve moved them up to No. 5 this week with Selah falling from fourth to sixth.
I’ve struggled a little trying to find a solid team to put at No. 10. Last week, it was Sequim. But the Wolves didn’t wow many people at the Capital City tourney. One coach told me she that Mark Morris was definitely a better team that Sequim. And with that, I decided to go with Ridgefield — which wasn’t at the tournament but beat Mark Morris earlier this season.
I wasn’t surprised to see Olympia do well in the tournament. The Bears are the defending 4A state champions and I had them ranked No. 4 to start the season, much to coach Laurie Creighton’s chagrin since they lost so much to graduation.
Sure enough, they struggled early and some key injuries didn’t help. But Creighton told me a little over a week ago that the team was getting healthy and was hopeful of a late resurgance.
At the tournament, Olympia beat a good 2A Capital team in the opening round of bracket play, then knocked off Gig Harbor, ranked No. 7 in 4A at the team.
So, the Bears return to the top-10 at No. 8 and Gig Harbord drops out, for now.
In 3A, Mercer Island strengthened its hold on No. 1 with that 3-2 win over No. 3 Mount Si last week (although I also really like No. 2 Prairie). Mount Si rebounded to win the Mount Baker tournament, which didn’t have as strong of a field as the Olympia event. Still, a nice way for the Wildcats to bounce back. And they obviously are very close to Mercer Island, with both losses to the Islanders going five sets.
Bainbridge moves up to No. 5 this week and I’ve got Seattle Prep back in the rankings at No. 10, replacing Lakeside (which lost twice last week). I looked at Shorewood again and will be interested in how the team does tonight (Monday) against Meadowdale.
But traditionally the Metro League Mountain Division is so tough, I had to keep a second team in there.
So, here’s my best shot this week:
1. Mead (Spokane)
2. Jackson (Mill Creek)
3. Curtis (University Place)
4. Bellarmine Prep (Tacoma)
6. Newport (Bellevue)
10. Auburn Riverside
1. Mercer Island
2. Prairie (Brush Prairie)
3. Mount Si (Snoaqualmie)
4. Kamiakin (Kennewick)
6. University (Spokane)
7. Timberline (Lacey)
9. Mount Spokane
10. Seattle Prep
1. West Valley (Yakima)
7. Capital (Olympia)
9. East Valley (Spokane)