By Matt Smith
Monday, March 5th, 2012 at 8:27 am in Boys volleyball.
The spring is here, and that means boys volleyball, finally. It should be an interesting season. Let’s take a look…
First of all, most fans know that the most competitive boys volleyball is usually seen at tournaments. That is where all the best teams get together, and a lot of teams see each other multiple times, which sets up interesting matchups for the playoffs. Sometimes you get interesting situations like last year when Deer Valley and De La Salle, clearly the two best teams in the North Coast Section, kept missing each other, setting up a great finale.
Here are the tournaments to keep an eye on. What is most noteworthy is that the Foothill Tournament has been moved up. It’s usually the last thing before the playoffs.
March 10- UC Davis, Best of the West
March 17- Drake, Dos Pueblos, Willow Glen
March 24- Dougherty Valley, Charger Classic
March 31- Deer Valley, NorCal No. 1, Watsonville
April 7- NorCal No. 2
April 14- NorCal No. 3, El Dorado, Chico
April 21- Bellarmine
April 28- Foothill, Vallejo, Sacred Heart Prep, Surf City Invitational
May 4- San Ramon Valley
NCS teams should be involved in most of these tournaments, and a lot of the top teams will be at the local one’s. It’s a great place to see the best teams, and it is also a great help in sorting out the rankings.
Speaking of rankings…
Even with graduation taking some top players, De La Salle still returns enough talent to be considered the team to beat in the East Bay. Deer Valley also graduates a lot, but I still feel they are, and will end up being, a top five team.
A team that was young a year ago, San Ramon Valley, could be Sparty’s top challenger in both the EBAL and in NCS, while the usual suspects in Foothill, Amador Valley and California will be lurking.
There is new blood in the DVAL as College Park and Clayton Valley appear to be the top two teams, while the BCL is represented with two teams in the rankings with Valley Christian and College Prep.
Addressing the omission of St. Patrick-St. Vincent… If I was allowed to rank them, I imagine I’d have them around No. 7 or No. 8.
1. De La Salle
2. San Ramon Valley
5. Deer Valley
6. Amador Valley
8. College Park
9. Valley Christian
10. Clayton Valley
11. College Prep
13. Dougherty Valley
14. Las Lomas