It would be easy to pencil No. 1 Bellarmine Prep and No. 2 Emerald Ridge into the championship match of the 4A state volleyball tournament.
And if someone twisted my arm to fill out the bracket, that’s probably what I’d do – why else would I have them ranked 1-2?
But, wow, there are some awfully good teams in that field!
Check out the full bracket here.
Bellarmine is the two-time defending champion and the team is playing with a lot of confidence after handing Emerald Ridge its first loss of the season Saturday in the title match of the West Central District tourney.
But I don’t think ER’s confidence is shaken. The Jags were without one of their starting hitters, Jessica Davis, who sat out after taking a ball in the face earlier in the day.
I think the bottom half of that bracket looks a little tougher than the top.
The Lions open against No. 10 West Valley of Yakima, a team they beat over in Yakima earlier in the season. The Rams lost a key player to injury last month, but are still a worthy opponent.
The toughest first-round math of the day, in my opinion, pairs No. 3 Central Valley of Spokane against No. 5 Battle Ground. That’s brutal! Both of those teams are outstanding and capable of winning it all when on top of their games.
The survivor would get the winner of the match between No. 8 Snohomish and Tahoma.
No. 8 Skyline plays always-tough Olympia in the other quarter-bracket in the bottom half, and that winner gets either Bellarmine or West Valley.
ER starts against Newport of Bellevue, which worked through the loser’s bracket of the KingCo tournament to get here. Next up likely would be No. 4 Camas, and again that would be a block-buster bout.
No. 7 Eisenhower of Yakima faces Curtis and No. 6 University of Spokane takes on Kamiak in the other first-round games, with the winners meeting in the quarterfinals.
There should be some great matches both days, with lots of cheers and tears. Be sure to follow along!