Final Point: Seeds for postseason volleyball tourneys full of projections
     2014-10-30      By The Gering Citizen   
With Election Day set for Tuesday, one of the most popular buzzwords used in this voting season is projections.

In the world of weekly newspapers, sometimes events – in this case, the release of seeds and matchups for Monday and Tuesday’s district and sub-district volleyball tournaments – aren’t always cooperative with the weeklies’ publication deadlines.

On Thursday – which, in matching with the Citizen’s publication date and delivery of most subscribers’ mailed copies, makes that today – the Nebraska School Activities Association will announce the brackets for district and sub-district play.

And in reviewing the five brackets that involve our county-area teams from Scotts Bluff, Banner and Morrill counties, no official seeds – or corresponding schedules, in most of those cases – could be completely predicted to match the official brackets, which will be available online today on nsaahome.org.

The Monday-Tuesday scheduling for the districts and sub-districts also creates the possibility of not having those complete results for next week’s Citizen. If next week’s publication deadline allows, we will burn the midnight oil Tuesday night – along with those other journalists covering the election returns – in order to secure the most and best volleyball results we can.

Each district or sub-district of concern has its issues entering this week. Some teams still had matches to play Monday or Tuesday night, and those results could affect not only the teams playing but also the others because of the NSAA’s wild-card point system.

So without further ado, here are the projected matchups for the Class B district and the Class C1, C2, D1 and D2 sub-districts.

District B-8

Also known as the Gering and Scottsbluff district, B-8 doesn’t even have a site assigned to it until the brackets are announced. A neutral site for the four-team bracket could serve as the host for Tuesday’s semifinals and championship matches. Last year, the district tourney was played at Sidney, the top seed.

All that is assured is the top two teams will be Alliance and Gering, and the bottom two teams are Scottsbluff and Sidney. That would be the order of seeds, except things just might change. Both Alliance and Sidney had matches Tuesday night: Alliance against Chadron and Sidney against Kimball.

Because Alliance and Gering, and Scottsbluff and Sidney, were very close to one another in the wild-card points entering the week, Tuesday’s results might shake up the semifinal matchups.
Heading into Tuesday, Alliance was 18-11 and ranked 10th in Class B with 42.2414 power points and Gering was 18-15 and 11th with 41.9091 points. Scottsbluff (9-20) was 20th in power points at 39.6552, while Sidney (9-20 before Tuesday) was 21st with 39.5862 points.

So not only are the results of Tuesday’s district tournament too close to call, so too are the seedings. Again, by today, we will know via nsaahome.org the status of who plays where and when.
For Scottsbluff, the Bearcats are coming off a three-set, Senior Night loss last Thursday to North Platte and a fifth-place, 1-2 finish in the Alliance Dig Pink Tournament. The Bearcats lost in two sets each to Chadron and Gering before they claimed fifth place with a 2-0 set win over Sidney.

Against North Platte, Scottsbluff senior Kyra Willats had 12 set assists and three digs; junior Chesney Walker had 10 kills and seven digs, junior Kelli Wentz had four kills and eight digs; and junior Aly Camacho had two kills and two digs.

C1-12 at Alliance

Sub-District C1-12 action begins Monday at 4 p.m. with the No. 4 and 5 seeds squaring off for a match against likely No. 1 seed Ogallala (26-5) in Monday night’s second semifinal.

But Chadron, with a win over Alliance, could replace Ogallala as the No. 1 seed. Ogallala entered the week as the No. 3 ranked team in power points with 45.6774, while Chadron (27-3) was fourth with 45.4000 points.

I’m not a whiz on figuring power points, but with as many matches as volleyball teams play, Ogallala was likely to remain the top seed and Chadron the No. 2 seed; the Cardinals would then face No. 3 Chase County (25-2 and 10th with 44.2593 points) in Tuesday’s first semifinal.

The other three teams are pretty safe guesses for their eventual seeds and match schedule. Monday’s first-round match has likely No. 4 Mitchell – the Tigers entered their home triangular Tuesday against Gordon-Rushville and Bridgeport with a 17-10 record and 22nd in power points (42.1111) – facing No. 5 Gordon-Rushville (10-18 and 37th with 39.6429 points entering the Mitchell Triangular).

This we do know: the Sub-District C1-12 championship match is set for Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

C2-12 at Gering

The Sub-District C2-12 bracket, with all three matches Monday at the Gering High School gymnasium, is rather mediocre, as far as records, power points and advancing through districts and state are concerned.
However, it should provide some pretty tough competition in the four teams’ quest to advance into district play later next week.

Bridgeport should be the No. 1 seed, and the Bulldogs had a hot week last week. They won a five-set thriller at Gering and then won the Western Trails Conference Tournament at Mitchell on Saturday.

The Bulldogs enter their Tuesday triangular at Mitchell with a 17-11 record and 24th in C2 power points with 41.7500. Kimball was 14-12 entering its Tuesday match against Sidney at 14-12 and 26th in power points (41.4615).

Barring a switch in the top two seeds, Bridgeport likely will face Bayard (13-17), which should be the No. 4 seed with 39.8667 wild-card points for 34th place, in Monday’s 5:15 p.m. semifinal. Kimball’s semifinal opponent will likely be No. 3 Hemingford (15-15), which is 31st in C2 power points with 40.4000.

The championship match is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Monday, depending on how long the semifinal matches go.

D1-12 at Ogallala

The five-team Sub-District D1-12 bracket at the Ogallala Auditorium has just two teams with winning records, and Creek Valley (19-4) and Potter-Dix (14-12) played Tuesday night. Creek Valley is solid as the sub-district’s No. 1 seed, with the 13th-most power points in D1 at 42.3913. Potter-Dix should be the No. 2 seed, entering the week at 26th in wild-card points with 41.1538.

Morrill (7-20 and 46th with 38.3704 power points) and Sutherland (5-20 and 47th with 38.2800 wild-card points) should meet in the No. 4-5 seed match Monday at 5 p.m. regardless of Sutherland’s Tuesday results in a triangular at Elm Creek. The Morrill-Sutherland winner would then face Creek Valley in Monday’s second semifinal.

That leaves Dundy County-Stratton, which entered a Tuesday triangular at Medicine Valley at 41st in power points with 39.1667, as the No. 3 seed. The Tigers would then take on Potter-Dix in the first semifinal Monday, which follows the 4-5 seed match. Tuesday’s final will be at 6 p.m.

D2-11 at Sidney

Tuesday’s Leyton Quadrangular in Dalton will involve four of the five Sub-District D2-11 teams and will play a role in setting final seedings for sub-district play Monday and Tuesday at the Cabela’s Athletic Facility in Sidney.

Monday’s first-round match will likely match Banner County against Minatare for the second straight year. That match starts at 4 p.m., with the winner likely facing Leyton (19-8 before Tuesday) in Monday’s second semifinal. Leyton should be the No. 1 sub-district seed, ranked 15th in D2 with 43.4444 power points.

Entering the Leyton Quad, Minatare (2-18) held a 2-1 edge over Banner County (1-18), but the Wildcats entered the week as the likely No. 4 sub-district seed as the 54th ranked team in D2 with 35.4737 power points. Minatare is the 57th and last team in D2 with 34.5500 wild-card points.

South Platte (6-14 before the Leyton Quad) and Garden County (3-18 entering a Tuesday match against Hay Springs) are likely the No. 2 and 3 seeds and will play in Monday’s first semifinal. South Platte began the week at 41st in D2 with 38.0500 points, while Garden County was 46th with 37.5714 points.

The championship match will be Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

In all cases, may the best teams – and the election’s candidates and issues – emerge victorious by Tuesday night. Most importantly, exercise your Constitutional right on Tuesday and vote for key races that will affect the future of our schools, cities, state and country.

Bridgeport takes WTC title

As aforementioned, the Bridgeport Bulldogs won the Western Trails Conference Tournament on Saturday. Bridgeport swept Morrill 25-11, 25-14 in the first round and Kimball 27-25 in the semifinals before the Bulldogs scored a comeback win over host Mitchell 21-25, 25-23, 25-22 in the championship match.

Mitchell, which earned a first-round bye as the No. 1 seed, needed three sets to top Bayard in the semifinals. Kimball then defeated Bayard in two sets to earn third place.

Bayard needed three games in the first round to defeat Hemingford. The Tigers entered the WTC tourney after having defeated Minatare 25-4, 25-18, 25-5 on Thursday.

After its opening loss to Bridgeport, Morrill fell into consolation round-robin play. The Lions lost to both Gordon-Rushville and Hemingford to finish seventh, while Gordon-Rushville claimed fifth place.

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