We know players and coaches don’t like to get ahead of themselves on the court, but here in the "blogosphere" we don’t play one match at a time. So we’ll go ahead and make some quick predictions. Let’s see what happens. Or you can check out the pairings here, and comeback to make your own predictions.
No offense to Berkeley or James Logan, but we’ll just go ahead and pencil in No. 1-seeded Liberty into the semifinal match on Thursday. Amador Valley and Deer Valley should be a great battle with the winner trying to knockout the Lions in the semi’s. It’s the BVAL vs. EBAL in the top half of the bracket. Everyone at the NCS seeding meeting on Sunday talked about how strong the EBAL was this year. Hey, they’re right. Down two games to Foothill, Amador Valley made a furious comeback to force a game five for the ages. The Dons came very close to being the EBAL champs and this is why I’m picking the Dons over the Wolverines.
Liberty won the BVAL for the first time ever and are battle tested (made it to the Northgate Invitational championship before losing to Campolindo) Plus, does two-time defending NCS champion mean anything to you? Liberty over Amador Valley in the top half of the bracket.
Foothill will take on the winner of Granada and Monte Vista (assuming the Mustangs get past Rancho Cotate) Foothill showed during the regular season they could handle both of those teams. Granada gets passed Monte Vista and plays the Falcons. Wouldn’t it be amazing if the Matadors exorcise their demons by beating the two teams that denied them a league title? Or is it tragically ironic that those two teams could stand between them and a chance to be NCS champs?
Foothill beats Granada to advance to the championship with Liberty completing the three-peat.
Note: From here on out, things get fuzzy, because I’ve seen about five of the reamining teams. Hey, you can’t see everybody.
Despite fizzling in their second meeting with Campolindo this season, the Broncos will reach the semifinals to play Carondelet. The Broncos beat Carondelet at the Wolverine Invitational, but the Cougars are facing a Northgate team that lost their middle blocker Brittany Thomas to a shoulder injury. Still Carondelet can be inconsistent, evident with their two losses to Liberty and Deer Valley in the final week of BVAL play, so a breakdown against Sonoma Valley is possible.
Congratulations to Concord for making NCS for the first time in a "LONG" time. But this bracket will come down to whether or not Carondelet or Northgate can knock off the winner of Maria Carillo and Redwood. Judging by what happened at the Northgate Tournament, I’m going with Maria Carillo.
This ones easy. Acalanes, Albany and Analy will have their moments, but I’m picking Campolindo and that libero Cary Whittaker to play Bishop O’Dowd in the final with Campolindo winning in four.
Natalie Bogan and Tarah Murrey will lead St. Mary’s to its second straight NCS championship appearance. But they’ll most likely face Justin Siena again. We know what happened last year, although Panthers coach Jon Segal said his team is better than last season’s despite losing BSAL MVP Brittney Murrey.