Four county teams make the cut
The CIF Northern Section released its playoff volleyball brackets last week, and four of Colusa County’s prep volleyball programs will have a shot to compete for a section title.
In Division IV, Colusa and Pierce drew the fifth and sixth seeds for the postseason, respectively. Colusa finished their most successful season in school history with a 35-5 record overall, and had a 6-2 record in Sacramento Valley League play, good for a second-place finish. The RedHawks had the second-most playoff points according to the Northern Section’s playoff formula, but were re-seeded behind University Prep (No. 1), Sutter (No. 2) and Willows (No. 4) – which each won their respective leagues – and Wheatland (No. 3), which finished second in the Butte View League behind Sutter.
A year ago, Colusa fell to Durham in the Northern Section Division V championship. This year, the school’s enrollment number used by the CIF climbed over 400, bumping Colusa up to Division IV. The RedHawks have flourished against opponents in the higher division, going 24-2 against D-IV schools this season.
“I’m just thankful that we’ve improved to be able to compete in Division IV,” RedHawks head coach Tina Lyons said earlier this month. “The girls worked hard in the offseason to compete, and we’re competing this year.”
Colusa fell just short of capturing the SVL crown after dropping matches to Pierce and Willows in the last two weeks of the regular season. After beating the Honkers in five sets earlier in the season in Colusa, the RedHawks fell in Willows in four sets last week, in what was the de facto league championship game. The two schools will meet in Willows to play a high-stakes rubber match on Thursday at 7 PM, in the second round of the NSCIF D-IV playoff bracket. Both schools earned a bye in the opening round of the 10-team tournament.
Pierce, which finished the regular season with a 20-10 overall record and were third in the Sacramento Valley League with a 5-3 record, drew No. 3 seed Wheatland (30-11). Both schools earned a first round bye. The Bears and Pirates are set to face off in Wheatland on Oct. 30 at 3 PM.
Maxwell and Princeton each made the cut for the NSCIF D-VI playoff bracket, with the Panthers (10-12, 6-4 Mountain Valley League) drawing the No. 12 seed and the Eagles (8-18, 4-4 Pioneer Valley League) the No. 15 seed in the 16-team tournament. Both schools faced tough tests on the road yesterday. Maxwell traveled to Dorris to play Evergreen League champions Butte Valley (15-2). Princeton was in Paradise facing Pioneer Valley League champions Paradise Adventist Academy, which swept the Eagles in each of the two league matches the schools played this year. Results were not available at press time for either game.■