Regional Semi’s Outlook

Round 1 of the Regional Volleyball Tournament is over, and for the first time since 2013, all four home teams held serve and won the opening round match.  Regional semi’s and finals will be hosted by Galena High School.  Semi’s on Thursday and Finals on Saturday.

Now the pressure is on, as this year with State being held in the North, the Region will get to send two teams to the State Tournament and therefore winning the match on Thursday will punch a ticket to the State Tournament at Damonte Ranch next week.

Leading the Final 4 is defending Regional Champion Bishop Manogue who went through the season undefeated at 16-0.  Eleven of the matches ended in 3 sets.  Only 1 went the distance.  So saying the Miners are a heavy favorite isn’t saying much.  But, if anyone who has watched High School Athletics in the past, nothing is a sure thing.

Yes, the Miners will be favored over the Huskies, as they defeated the Huskies earlier in league in 4 sets, who at the time were short-handed.  With that, the Huskies went extra/overtime with the Senators in two of the three sets.  So, the Huskies can play under pressure and seems to be on a roll since getting back their two missing players.  Manogue on the other hand doesn’t beat themselves.  If you are to beat Manogue, you have to keep the Miners from stringing points together.  If the Miners can get a 4 to 5 point lead, the set is usually over.  Reno hasn’t been in the Regional semi’s since 2013, Manogue has been partaking in the semi’s for at least 5 straight years.  So, no surprise here, Bishop Manogue in 4.

The final match of the evening at Galena will be the Tigers of Douglas High School and the Cougars of Spanish Springs.

This match will be a clash of the last two Northern schools who have won State Titles.  Douglas in 2010 and Spanish Springs in 2012.  So, both coaches know what it will take to advance to state next week.

Spanish Springs will be riding the emotion factor as Coach Sandomenico will be stepping down as Volleyball coach at the end of the season.  So, winning the match against Douglas would extend his tenure at least for another week.  A loss would bring his era to a close.

Looking at the match, Spanish Springs had very little problems with the Tigers in league as the Cougars swept the Tigers in 3 at Spanish Springs.  If the Cougars begin this match as they did against Galena on Tuesday, they could make short work of the Tigers.  However, I do think the Tiger block has improved over the season, and the blocking of Galena is not the same as Douglas, so there could be some adjustments needed before the match is over.  One thing that Douglas will have to prepare for is the left handers of Spanish Springs.  Douglas middle blocker will have to be on her game in order to stop the middle attack and be able to get to the outside to help with the double block.  Spanish Springs kept the Griz guessing for most of the night.  I believe this match could be very entertaining, as both teams are capable of pushing the Miners on Saturday.  I’m giving the edge to the Cougars in 5.