With two weeks remaining, the fight to join the playoff picture in volleyball went from sizzling to blazing hot. There are many spots that will be decided over the next two weeks, while many have also all but secured a bid into the playoffs this season. Let’s examine each playoff field and where it stands up to this point….
Locks: Grant, Wells, Lincoln, Jesuit, Westview, Mountainside, Sherwood, Newberg, Central Catholic, Nelson, Clackamas, West Linn, Oregon City, Bend, South Salem, West Salem, Sheldon, North Medford
In But Not Secure: Sprague, McNary, Century, Lakeridge, Lake Oswego, Summit, Roseburg
Bubble: Glencoe, Tualatin, Sunset, South Medford, David Douglas, Gresham, St. Mary’s Academy
Outside Looking In: Cleveland, Liberty, Mountain View, South Eugene, Forest Grove
With 11 at-large bids, this is going to be pure chaos up until the last scores are input and the rankings officially frozen. Sprague and McNary hog two of those, the TRL rivals LO and Lakeridge likely have two of them, Summit and Century are both in good positions to get one as well. This leaves five out of 11 at-large bids, and with NO party crashers from outside the Top 32, it’ll literally come down to that cutoff position which St. Mary’s Academy currently holds as of this writing.
Cleveland and Liberty are in immediate striking distance, with Mountain View, South Eugene, and Forest Grove in a decent position. If any of these outside teams get hot, then they’ll be right in position to take a playoff spot away from a bubble team, making the drama all the more surreal down the stretch. Its too close to call to make a prediction at this point, but by next Friday we should have a clearer scope of who is realistically in contention for the cutoff line.
Locks: Wilsonville, La Salle Prep, Churchill, North Bend, Thurston, West Albany, Crescent Valley, Silverton, Ridgeview, Crook County, Redmond, St. Helens, Dallas,
In But Not Secure: Hillsboro, Crater, South Albany
Bubble: Putnam, Scappoose, Parkrose, Ashland, North Eugene
Outside Looking In: The Dalles, Pendleton, Central, North Salem
Let’s be clear on something: Every bubble team listed is in contention for the last auto bid in their conference, with Ashland being the only one possibly in the running for the lone at-large bid, which currently belongs to South Albany. The Dalles and Pendleton are in striking distance, sitting only two and three positions back respectively. If Crater loses out to Ashland or North Eugene for the last Midwest League auto bid, then they’d be the closest team to South Albany as of the moment. The only at-large bid in 5A is the Redhawks to lose right now, especially with Dallas and Crescent Valley still to come before closing out with North Salem. Looking forward to seeing the entire picture come this time next week!
Locks: Valley Catholic, Tillamook, Molalla, North Marion, Cascade, Sisters, Sweet Home, Philomath, Cottage Grove, Siuslaw, Junction City, Marshfield, Mazama, Henley, Baker, La Grande, Banks, Hidden Valley, McLoughlin
In But Not Secure: Stayton, Marist, Phoenix
Bubble: Corbett, Gladstone
Outside Looking In: Klamath Union, Newport, Estacada
With six auto bids to the play-in bracket, things are going to get tight coming down the stretch for Klamath Union and Newport, both of whom sit a decent chunk back of the cut off line. Corbett and Gladstone are vying for the final auto bid in the Tri-Valley Conference, with Estacada quietly sitting in the thick of things for the final Tri-Valley bid. Not much drama is expected to happen, but if Estacada crashes the party, then it’ll send someone out who isn’t expecting it.
Locks: Catlin Gabel, Horizon Christian, OES, Scio, Yamhill-Carlton, Warrenton, Willamina, Creswell, Santiam Christian, Sutherlin, Cascade Christian, Burns, Vale
In But Not Safe: Harrisburg, Amity
Bubble: La Pine
Outside Looking In: Pleasant Hill, Nyssa
This field looks pretty locked, but it could be a last minute duel between La Pine and Pleasant Hill for the final bid, as Amity, Harrisburg, and OES look pretty comfortable in their at-large positions right now. Seeding will be the most interesting thing to see in 3A the last couple of weeks!
Locks: Gaston, Portland Christian, Salem Academy, Sheridan, Monroe, Lowell, Reedsport, Coquille, Bonanza, Stanfield, Grant Union
In But Not Safe: Vernonia, Lakeview
Bubble: Union, Weston-McEwen
Outside Looking In: Oakridge, Central Linn, Knappa, Glide
A couple of interesting notes to watch: The at-large bids and the Southern Cascade League second auto bid. Its a shootout between Lakeview and Glide for the final bid from the SCL, while there’s virtually no separation at the cut-off line between the bubble teams and the ones on the outside looking in. Look for much action to take place down the stretch of the season!
Locks: Damascus Christian, North Clackamas Christian, St. Paul, Perrydale, Mohawk, Eddyville, Crow, North Douglas, Echo, South Wasco County, Crane
In But Not Safe: Perrydale, Days Creek, Umpqua Valley Christian, Central Christian, Trinity Lutheran, North Lake, Imbler, Powder Valley, Adrian, Jordan Valley
Bubble: Country Christian, Willamette Valley Christian, Rogue Valley Adventist Academy, Ione / Arlington
Outside Looking In: Open Door Christian Academy, Jewell, Powers, Condon, Cove, Prairie City / Burnt River
It’s all about obtaining those auto-bids, there are no at-large bids in this classification. Take a look at the outside looking in category, that’s all you need to know about who is gunning for the last bid in their conference. There isn’t much to really breakdown for right now, so its just about how the conference tournaments play out and if someone decides to snipe a bid by winning their tourney.