I was hoping the Northgate Tournament would shake up the volleyball scene, but I didn’t predict this madness.
Talk about crashing a party. So, who were the unexpected guests? The Washington (Fremont) High volleyball team, that’s who. Wait, who? … Yeah, exactly.
It all started when the Huskies beat Las Lomas in pool play.
The prognosticaters had the bracket set up for Las Lomas, the No. 8 seed overall in the tournament, to play No. 1 seed Amador Valley in the quarterfinals.
Instead, the loss to Washington had the Knights facing the Dons in a “crossover” match with the winner moving on to the championship bracket at Northgate. In a perfect world, Las Lomas and Amador Valley wouldn’t have faced each other until the championship bracket, but the Knights took advantage of the opportunity and proceeded to beat the Dons, keeping the No. 1 team in the East Bay Coaches Poll since Week 1 out of the Northgate gym and setting the tone for a wacky tournament.
Of course Washington continued its bracket busting ways by winning it’s crossover game as well, then beating Las Lomas in the quarterfinal in three games. The Huskies are being coached now by Mike Terrell because head coach Ashley Eyre was expecting a baby and gave birth a few days ago. Terrell (who has coached the boys teams at both Clayton Valley and California) took Washington, leaders of the MVAL, to the tournament’s “Final Four” before losing to Bishop O’Dowd. A tip of the cap goes out to the Huskies.
Meanwhile, the parity of this season was on full display.
Albany gave BOD a run in one quarterfinal before losing, while Carondelet’s 21-match win streak was brought to an end by Castro Valley in a tightly contested, tense filled two games that were so close (26-24, 27-25) its hard to come away with any type of conclusions on who’s better, which can be said now for every team out there.
After yesterday, come North Coast Section playoffs, it’s evident that anything is possible.
–Ricardo Sanchez Jr.