JAY DAVIS:Top seeds at state volleyball have some impressive records
The top seeds in the state volleyball tournaments have put up some lofty records this season.
Starting with the Class B tournament in Huron, the top four seeds have a combined record of 117-6. Defending state champ Warner is 30-1 with their loss to Class AA number one seed Sioux Falls O’Gorman. Arlington is 31-1 with its lone loss to Warner. Chester Area at three is 26-2 and four seed Alcester-Hudson is 30-2. A little more perspective? The six losses come to teams with a combined record of 156-12.
While Warner is the odds-on favorite to win its second straight title, the other three teams (unless there is a first-round upset) are going to have a lot to say about who the state champ will be. Friday night’s semifinals could be a dogfight. Arlington’s last two losses were to Warner, once this season and in last fall’s championship match. Arlington won state in 2010 and has taken second two years in a row. That kind of experience will be enough to get them through to play Warner for the title. But the Monarchs will prevail for the second straight year.
In Class A, defending state champ Sioux Falls Christian is 23-2 and that is just good enough to nab the number three seed. Thanks to a schedule with eight AA teams, Belle Fourche is seeded first at 29-3. Dakota Valley is 23-2 and seeded second. Winner is 25-3 and seeded fourth. The bottom four seeds (Wagner, Pine Ridge, Sisseton, Sioux Valley) are all solid clubs. Sioux Valley is just 19-11 and not playing like an eight seed right now, so this could be a topsy-turvy tournament. The bottom bracket could very well produce the state champ with whichever team wins the semifinal match between Sioux Falls Christian and Dakota Valley, in a rematch from last year’s state title match. Gut feelings give Dakota Valley the edge in the semis.
Winner and Wagner play in the first round in the top bracket, in what I think will be the key match. Winner beat Wagner 3-0 and 3-1 this season, but Wagner is playing in its sixth straight state tourney with two titles, a second, a third and a consolation title, while Winner is there for the first time since 2008 and only its second time ever. I’ll give the edge to Wagner. The Red Raiders will keep winning on Friday and make it to the state title match. They’ll make it close, but Dakota Valley will come away with its first state title.
In Class AA, I’ll take O’Gorman based on the fact that they beat Warner and I know absolutely nothing else about AA volleyball. When in doubt, take the favorite.
Before I call it a column, I would be remiss to not mention the state football championships over the weekend.
I don’t want to act like a big old braggadocio, but there were seven state championship football games played at the Dakota Dome in Vermillion over the weekend, and I maybe had pretty good luck at picking the winners. Is seven out of seven pretty good?
I think so too. The “man, I’m good at this” feeling should be completely evaporated by Saturday night when I found out I was all wrong with the state volleyball tournaments.