The 3A, 4A and 5A regional volleyball brackets were announced Monday afternoon, with teams seeded 1-36, and there were some head scratchers to say the least.
I’m not sure what kind of system the Colorado High School Activities Association used to seed the teams, but let’s jump right in with the biggest slight of all, Manitou Springs.
The Mustangs are the lone undefeated 3A team in the state, and coach Carol Benedict has this program running at peak performance. Manitou Springs is 23-0 and has lost just four sets all season, yet they received the three seed.
So you might assume that Manitou Springs loaded up on weak out-of-conference competition. Wrong. The Mustangs defeated Eaton (the team which received the No. 1 overall seed) 2-0 in a best-of-three match on a neutral court this season. If that wasn’t enough, they traveled to perennial state power Platte Valley (No. 4 in the seeding) and took the 3-2 victory.
The No. 2 team in the rankings is Valley, which lost five times this season. Yes, I said FIVE. I’m not very good at math, but I believe a no-loss team should always be seeded above a five-loss team.
Did I mention there are two 2A schools in the conference that Eaton, Valley and Platte Valley play in?
Benedict, who has turned the Manitou Springs program into a powerhouse, was rightfully not pleased.
“We feel (Eaton) should not be ahead of us, but everything is done by computer,” Benedict told The Gazette on Monday. “When we fell to No. 3 last week, we weren’t surprised that we stayed there for the regional seedings. We just have to beat whoever we play and make it to state.”
Agreed coach. And she brings up a good point: those darned computers are clueless. Not sure when the CHSAA took a look at the BCS system used in college football and decided it was a good model, but it is what it is. The Mustangs will have a chance to prove the powers from the north wrong and show they should’ve been the No. 1 seed for the state tournament Nov. 8-9.
Moving on to 5A, Colorado Springs once again gets little respect. Pine Creek was the team which came away with the worst draw among the three 5A Metro tri-champions.
The Eagles, who swept Doherty in three sets in the regular-season finale, are No. 12, while that same Doherty team is eighth and Rampart is ninth. This isn’t nearly as bad as the Manitou Springs deal, but still shows that the CHSAA thinks little of the 5A Metro, even though the Spartans crushed all Denver opposition in their path on the way to the title last season. All three should still make it to state.
The only place the CHSAA got it mostly right was in the 4A seeding. Lewis-Palmer deserved the top seed. The only issue I have with 4A is Longmont being ranked over Cheyenne Mountain for the No. 2 spot. I’ll take the Indians on a neutral court all day long in that matchup, but I guess that’ll be one for the potential state semifinals.
So what did we learn? That the CHSAA might want to shut down the computers and drive down south to actually watch our local teams play once in a while. Either way, regionals and state should be a lot of fun.
JUSTIN SHAW, THE GAZETTE