Corvallis and West Albany proved once again to have two of the best 5A volleyball programs in the state.
They split their two Mid-Willamette Conference matches this fall, each with a sweep for their only conference defeats. West won at Corvallis, while the Spartans beat the Bulldogs at a three-way conference tournament in Dallas. Dominant blocking was a major factor in both matches.
Will there be a third meeting? That will be determined as the OSAA 5A state tournament is played out Friday and Saturday at Liberty High School in Hillsboro.
Fourth-seeded and defending Corvallis opens its tournament run with a 1:15 p.m. Friday quarterfinal against fifth-seeded Crook County, while third-seeded West Albany plays North Eugene at 3:15 p.m. The semifinals will be held at 8:30 p.m. Friday and the championship match at 6 p.m. Saturday.
Ridgeview is the top seed in the bracket and on the same half as Corvallis. Wilsonville is the second seed and on the bottom half of the bracket with West Albany.
Sweet Home will try to improve on last year’s semifinal run when the third-seeded Huskies begin tournament play against sixth-seeded Hidden Valley in a quarterfinal at 10 a.m. Friday at Forest Grove High School.
All three of the Oregon West Conference teams ended up on the same side of the bracket, as 10 seed Philomath and 2 seed Sisters face off in another quarterfinal, also at 10 a.m. Friday.
The winners meet in a semifinal at 6:30 p.m. Friday, with the championship match played at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.
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Top-seeded Valley Catholic is on the top of the bracket, on the opposite side of the Oregon West schools, which all swept their round-of-16 matches to reach the tournament.
Santiam Christian will put its undefeated record to the test against the classification’s best, starting with a 1:15 p.m. Friday quarterfinal against 9 seed Sutherlin.
The top-seeded and top-ranked Eagles (24-0) have lost just seven sets all season.
Second-seeded Salem Academy and third-seeded Creswell, both on the opposite side of the bracket, pushed Santiam Christian to five sets earlier this season.
With a win against Sutherlin, the Eagles would play 5 seed South Umpqua or 13 seed Vale in an 8:30 p.m. Friday semifinal. The championship match is at 6 p.m. Saturday.
Central Linn, the second seed in the bracket, will travel to Redmond’s Ridgeview High School to face 10th-seeded Weston-McEwen in a quarterfinal at 6 p.m. Friday, with the semifinals later Friday night and the title match at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.
With a win, the Cobras will play 3 seed Union or 6 seed Vernonia.
Waiting on the other side of the bracket is top-seeded and top-ranked Kennedy and fourth-seeded and second-ranked Portland Christian.