With only a handful of games remaining in the regular season, everything that is happening within the volleyball landscape is under an increased microscope. As we enter Week 7, here are the headliners from the latest week of action:
The Cheesemakers, Lions Take Down Cascade And Jesuit
You gotta love tournaments, they bring so many compelling matches that we don’t see in the regular season! At the Bend Clearwater Classic, the biggest game of the day came between #1 Jesuit and #2 West Linn in the gold bracket semifinals. What makes this upset even more notable is that West Linn had to battle from behind in a short match. The Crusaders took the first set 25-20, pinning the Lions down and forcing them to make a two set comeback. The Lions battled to a 25-20 second set dub, becoming the second team to take a set from Jesuit this season (Crescent Valley). In the final duel, West Linn went to overtime and pulled off the upset 20-25, 25-20, 16-14, toppling the Crusaders just to turnaround and play Idaho power Skyview. They would ultimately be swept in the title game, but can raise their heads high with their breakthrough win over Jesuit.
All the way over on the Oregon Coast, the Tillamook Cheesemakers were making some waves of their own. After beating Astoria and North Marion, they got paired with 4A title contender Cascade in the championship. Much to the surprise of many, the Cheesemakers pulled a clean 25-22, 25-20 sweep of the Cougars to take the tournament championship. It was a huge moment for Tillamook, who have quietly sat in the shadows of things this season up in the Cowapa League. What it means on a larger scale is unclear, but definitely an incredible moment for the Cheesemaker program!
The Chaos Continues In The Sky Em
Speaking of 4A chaos, how about that Sky Em mess? Marshfield is the latest team to throw a wrench in things, defeating Cottage Grove with a favorable 3-1 result to position themselves and coastal rival Siuslaw only a lone game behind the Lions in the Sky Em League race. With Junction City and a sporadic Marist squad also around, we could be looking at potentially FIVE teams going to the playoffs out of the Sky Em this season, with lonely Elmira sitting down at the bottom of the league. For Cottage Grove, a straight play the rest of the way will win them the conference, but any miscues will open up the possibility of Marshfield or Siuslaw taking the conference title right from underneath them.
How Bout Them Boomers??
Not quite as famous as Boomer Sooner from Oklahoma, but Toledo is quietly rising up the 2A landscape after emerging as the leader of the Sunset Conference by a half game over Reedsport. The Boomers took a five set classic from Reedsport on September 30th, falling through the cracks behind the shadows of Siuslaw and Churchill’s huge upsets last week. Regardless, they took care of business against Waldport and have the potential to take the conference straight up if they can win out this season. They will have to find a way to defeat Coquille, who swept Toledo in their first meeting back in September, but certainly look like they have the potential to do so after taking out Reedsport to close out September.