The Kent Classic Volleyball Tournament this Saturday should be just that – a classic.
The 30-team field not only includes the two teams ranked 1-2 in Class 4A, Emerald Ridge and Bellarmine Prep, but No. 4 Camas and No. 8 Skyline as well.
Always-tough Mead of Spokane is entered as well.
Some high-caliber 3A squads will be there, too, led by No. 3 Columbia River, No. 6 Lakeside and No. 9 Capital. And I’d be remiss not to mention Burlington-Edison, the defending 2A state champion currently ranked No. 2. Anacortes, Rated No. 8 in 2A, is in what should be a tough Pool A with Bellarmine and Capital.
Bellarmine won this tournament last year en route to a second straight 4A state title.
I e-mailed coach Jody DeGroot for her thoughts on this year’s tournament, and here’s what she said.
“We are looking forward to testing our team at the tournament and we excited that so many good teams are competing there.
“This is the time of the season to test the team’s depth and endurance and it couldn’t come at a more appropriate time. Each time we play, we determine the areas that need to be attended to, and defined. The players are working hard to get better.”
I also checked in with ER coach Bobby McGivern and he sent some comments, too.
“It’ll be a good tournament. I’m excited at the caliber of teams entered this weekend.
“Good to see the State champs in the pool next to us. I’ll be keeping an eye on them for sure (filming). I’m glad Mead, Camas, Skyview and a host of others are there so I can scout them for a possible match down the road.
“As far as expectations for ER, we just want to be able to compete against these top level teams.
“It’ll be a gauge of where were at currently as a team and what we need to work on for the rest of the season.
“I hope it works out that we get a chance to play Mead or Bellarmine but I’m more concerned with getting out of the 1st round pool. Can’t wait to see all these good teams this weekend.”
ER is in Pool B with Bainbridge and Eastlake.
The tournament is split between Kentlake and Kentwood with each hosting five pools for the opening round, which begins at 8 a.m. The second round of pool play starts at noon. The top 15 teams advance to the championship bracket at Kentlake with opening matches set at 3:30. I’ve been told to expect semifinals around 4:30 and finals at approximately 6.
I plan to be there, so you can follow along @SandyRinger1 on Twitter and Instagram.
Better yet, you be there, too!