4A Volleyball Playoff Preview

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As we approach the Tuesday Night Play-ins only four teams are guaranteed their playoff berth or seeding. The Cowapa League Champions, #1 Valley Catholic (22-3), The Oregon West Co-Champions, #2 Sisters (23-2), The Oregon West Co-Champions, #3 Sweet Home (18-2) and Sky-Em League Champions, #4 Junction City (18-4). While these four teams have clinched their seeds, there are three other conference champions that will wait for the conclusion of tonight’s play-in games to see where they will be seeded. These teams include Tri-Valley Conference Champion, Corbett (17-4), Skyline Conference Champion, Hidden Valley (17-3) and the Greater Oregon League Champion, La Grande (19-5). These conference champions have had extremely successful seasons, and all are in the mix to chase the state championship. Out of these seven teams, two standout above the rest, Valley Catholic and Sisters. These two squads have rich history in 4A volleyball and both share recent success. Valley Catholic, the defending state champions, have only lost one game to a 4A opponent this year, Philomath, in the Sisters tournament on September 21st. Sisters have also only lost one 4A contest on the year, to co-champs Sweet Home on September 26th.

But the similarities don’t stop there, the rich history of Sisters and Valley Catholic is something thats been going on for a decade.

2010: Sisters lose in 4A quarters, finish: 4th place.

VC lose in 3A quarters, finish: 4th place.

2011: Sisters reach the 4A semis, finish: 5th place.

VC: lose in 3A quarters, finish: 6th place.

2012: Sisters lose in the 4A quarters, finish: 4th place.

VC lose in 3A semis, finish: 5th place.

2013: Sisters lose in 4A semis to Cascade, finish: 3rd, 21-6.

VC reach 3A state championship, lose to Santiam Christian, finish: 2nd, 23-7.

2014: Sisters win 4A state championship and finish with a record of 26-2

VC lose in 3A state quarterfinals to Marshfield, finish: 21-8.

2015: Sisters reach the 4A state championship again, lose to Banks, finish: 2nd, 27-2.

VC lose in 4A semis to Crook County, finish: 4th, 17-8.

2016: Sisters make it to the 4A state title game for the third straight year, beats Crook County and finishes 26-3.

VC lose in 4A semis  to Crook County, finish: 3rd, 22-5.

2017: Sisters beats VC in the state title game, Sisters finishes 24-3, VC 24-4.

2018: Sisters loses to VC in the semifinals, finish 19-8.

VC win the state championship, finish 19-6.

The only word to encapsulate the dominance of these two programs over the last decade is legacy. For the last nine years, across 3A and 4A, you could guarantee these two programs to be in the mix each season. 

Play-In Matches/Predictions: 

Cottage Grove (10-11): 1

STAYTON (10-7): 3

Stayton have the advantage over CG in this one. Stayton’s 6 losses in 4A play come to Sweet Home (2), Sisters (2) and Philomath (2). These are all teams in the mix to make a run this postseason and have strong records. Stayton has yet to lose a team one would say they “should’ve” beat. They should take advantage of this home game, and advance to the 1st Round.

Seaside (8-14): 0

PHILOMATH (13-10): 3

Seaside went winless in the Cowapa League, which surprises us how they snuck into this play-in position. Philomath only has 4 losses to 4A opponents, Sweet Home (2) and Sisters (2). One of these matches, played a week ago, they led Sisters 2-0, before Sisters stormed back to win 3-2. Philomath is also the only 4A school to have beat Valley Catholic this season. Lots of potential, should get this game done.

Siuslaw (10-11): 0

ASTORIA (16-6): 3

Astoria has only lost 4 matches to 4A opponents, Banks (2), and Valley Catholic (2). They’ve gotten the job done against everyone else and should replicate that effort over a Siuslaw side who have lost 5 of their last 7. 

Molalla (10-9): 3

TILLAMOOK (9-9): 2

These two met at the same venue they’ll meet at tonight (Tillamook HS) on September 12th, where Molalla won 3-0. Both teams play in very competitive leagues, where the top 2 are both ranked in the top 10. Recently Tillamook beat 7th-ranked Banks at home 3-1. They’ve played better as of late, but Molalla proved they can come to town and sweep. They should be able replicate that victory tonight, but by a closer margain.

Banks: 16-7, 2nd place finishers in the Cowapa League behind VC.

Key Wins:

  •  3-0 W over Tri-Valley runners-up: North Marion on September 10th at NM.
  • 3-0 W over Sky-Em runners-up Marshfield on September 14th at Marsh.
  • 3-2 W over Astoria on September 26th at Banks.
  • 2-0 W over 3A #4 Catlin Gabel on October 12th at Seaside.
  • 3-0 W over Astoria on October 15th at Astoria.

Key Losses:

  • 0-3 L to Skyline Conference Champions: Hidden Valley on Sept. 14 at Marsh.
  • 1-3 L at Tillamook on October 10th
  • 1-2 L at Tri-Valley Champions: Corbett, on October 19th.

Corbett: 17-4, Tri-Valley Conference Champions.

Key Wins:

  • 3-1 W over NM on October 7th, at Corbett.
  • 2-1 W over Greater Oregon League Champions, La Grande, on Oct. 12 at Seaside.
  • 2-0 W over 3A #4 Catlin Gabel on Oct. 19 at Corbett
  • 2-1 W over Banks on Oct.19 at Corbett
  • 3-2 W, to win league over NM, on October 23rd.

Key Losses: 

  • 0-3 L at Valley Catholic on September 3rd.
  • 0-2 L to Cottage Grove on September 7th at Cascade.
  • 1-2 L to Astoria on October 12th at Seaside.

North Marion: 17-6, Tri-Valley Conference Runners-Up

Key Wins:

  • 2-0 W over Greater Oregon Champions, La Grande on October 5th at NM.

Key Losses:

  • 1-2 L to 2A #8 Vernonia on October 5th at NM.
  • 1-3 L to Corbett on October 7th at Corbett.
  • 1-2 L to 3A #4 Catlin Gabel on October 12th in Seaside
  • 2-3 L to Corbett in League Championship at NM on October 23rd.

Sweet Home: 18-2, Oregon West Conference Co-Champions

Key Wins:

  • 2-0 W over Sky-Em Conference Champs: Junction City on Sept. 7, at Cascade.
  • 2-0 W over 2A #1 Kennedy (their only L) on Sept. 7, at Cascade.
  • 3-0 W over Sisters on Sept. 26, at Sweet Home.
  • 2-0 W over Junction City on October 5th, at Junction City.

Key Losses:

  • 1-2 L to VC on September 21st, at Sisters.
  • 2-3 L to Sisters on October 21st, at Sisters 

Junction City: 18-4, Sky-Em League Champions

Key Wins: 

  • 2-1 W over Skyline Conference Champions, Hidden Valley, on Oct.19, at Marshfield.

Key Losses:

  • 0-2 L to Asroria on Oct.19, at Marshfield.

Marshfield: 15-9, Sky-Em Conference Runners-UP

Key Wins: 

  • 3-1 W over 3A #3 Creswell on Sept. 10 at Coquille.
  • 3-2 W over Cottage Grove, in league playoffs on Oct.23, at Siuslaw.

Key Losses:

  • 1-2 L to Seaside on Sept. 7 at Cascade.
  • 2-3 L at Marist Catholic on October 1st

Hidden Valley: 17-3, Skyline Conference Champions

Key Wins:

  • 3-1 over 3A #5 South Umpqua on Sept. 3, at South Umpqua.
  • 3-0 W over Banks on Sept. 14 at Marshfield.

Key Losses:

  • 0-2 L to Sisters on Sept. 21 at Sisters
  • 1-2 L to Junction City on Oct. 19 at Marshfield

North Valley: 8-10, Skyline Conference Runners-Up

Key Wins: 

  • 3-2 W at Klamath Union on Oct. 10 to clinch playoff berth

Key Losses:

  • 0-2 L at home to Klamath Union on Sept. 14
  • 0-3 L at Henley on Oct. 17

La Grande: 19-5, Greater Oregon League Champions

Key Wins: 

  • 2-0 W over 1A #1 Powder Valley (their only loss) on Aug. 28 at La Grande.
  • 2-1 W over 2A #3 Union on Aug. 28 at La Grande.
  • 3-1 W over Baker to win league on Sept. 24 at La Grande.

Key Losses:

  • 0-2 L to Tillamook on Oct. 5 at North Marion
  • 0-2 L at North Marion on Oct. 5

Baker: 8-11, Greater Oregon League Runners-Up

Key Wins:

  • 2-1 W over Stayton on Sept. 21 at Sisters

Key Losses:

  • 1-3 L at La Grande on Sept. 24 in league championship

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