Upsets? Sure, there were a few in the Washington prep volleyball world over the past week. Shockers? Not really, in my book.
There are few sure things in high-school sports as far as I’m concerned.
But probably the biggest eyebrow raiser came in the championship match of the KingCo 3A tournament, where unranked Mount Si knocked off No. 2 Mercer Island, 3-2. The Islanders, whose only other loss of the season came against Newport (now ranked No. 2 in 4A), had beaten the Wildcats twice in league play by 3-0 counts.
But as Mount Si coach Bonnie Foote said when she called to tell me about the upset Saturday night, “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish!”
As you might recall, I had the Wildcats ranked No. 2 to start the season (with MI third), thanks largely to hard-hitting Lindsay Carr, but they struggled early on. The Islanders had been consistent all season, and I’m betting they go into the Sea-King District tournament all fired up. I’m taking a big-picture approach to them in this week’s rankings and only dropping them a few spots to No. 5.
Mount Si remains on the watch list, and watch out! I would have loved to have found a spot for them. Instead, I rewarded Eastside Catholic for the Metro League championship (and second win of the season over previously ranked Seattle Prep). The Crusaders jump in at No. 7.
Auburn Mountainview climbs to No. 6 with the win over Kennedy Catholic in the title match of the SPSL/Seamount 3A sub-district tournament. The Lancers stay in at No. 10.
In 4A, Kentwood takes the No. 3 spot after beating Emerald Ridge for the second time this season, this one coming in the SPSL championship match. And Curtis finally gets a spot after knocking off Auburn Riverside. The Ravens had risen to No. 4 before back-to-back losses to Kentwood and Curtis. But they lost one of their setters to an ankle sprain early in the KW match, and having her back should make a difference in the West Central Bi-District tourney this Friday and Saturday at Kentwood.
That should be a heck of a tournament with nationally-ranked Bellarmine Prep coming in as the favorite. The four ranked SPSL teams will be there, too, along with No. 10 Gig Harbor and a very good Olympia team — which faces Riverside in the opening round. Seven teams advance from that tourney to state.
In 2A, Tumwater tumbled against Capital and sinks from second to fourth, with the Cougars jumping from sixth to third. West Valley, the defending state champ, sits at No. 2 and had a solid 3-0 win last week over Ellensburg, which stays in at No. 6. Selah is No. 7 — sadly, only two of those teams can qualify for state.
Top-ranked Burlington-Edison beat No. 5 Sehome, 3-1, in another key showdown.
I can’t wait to see how all of the district and regional tourneys shake out this week. I’ll have one final set of rankings next Monday, but here’s how I see things for now:
1. Bellarmine Prep (Tacoma)
2. Newport (Bellevue)
3. Kentwood (Covington)
4. Mead (Spokane)
5. Emerald Ridge (Puyallup)
6. Central Valley (Spokane Valley)
8. Curtis (University Place)
9. Auburn Riverside
10. Gig Harbor
1. Southridge (Kennewick)
2. University (Spokane)
3. Shadle Park (Spokane)
4. Kamiakin (Kennewick)
5. Mercer Island
6. Auburn Mountainview
7. Eastside Catholic (Bellevue)
8. Columbia River
9. Mountlake Terrace
10. Kennedy Catholic (Burien)
2. West Valley (Yakima)
3. Capital (Olympia)
5. Sehome (Bellingham)
9. Washington (Tacoma)
10. East Vallley (Spokane)