Prep Volleyball

NOTEBOOK: Area teams heading for Crossover Classic

The Spokane Crossover Classic takes place this weekend at four high schools in the Spokane area, bringing together 64 teams from throughout the state in what is one of the best barometers for where the top teams stand a month out from the state tournaments.

The CBBN’s remaining unbeatens — Kamiakin and Southridge — are the top teams in their respective pools, which begin play Saturday morning.

The Braves are in Pool K with Heritage, Cascade Christian and Kellogg, Idaho, while the Suns are in Pool E with Shadle Park, Granger and Newport.

Southridge has an interesting final match with Shadle, which placed fifth at the 4A state tourney a year ago and until last week was ranked in 3A.

The pool winners advance to the 16-team main bracket, and should Kamiakin and Southridge emerge from their respective pools, they would be in opposite brackets and could meet only in a trophy match.

“We want to be in that top bracket and see how we do against the top teams,” said Braves coach Mary Opitz, whose team is ranked fifth in 4A by both the state coaches and The Seattle Times.

Grandview, the No. 1 team in the 2A rankings, is in Pool H along with Pasco. Other area teams in the Classic are Richland (Pool A), Connell (B), Moses Lake (C), Kennewick (D), Kiona-Benton (G), Walla Walla (J) and Othello (M).

-- The Braves and Suns get little time to rest after Saturday’s tournament. The teams return to CBBN play Tuesday night and face off at Kamiakin, with the winner virtually assured of capturing the league title.

“The girls are really excited to play Southridge,” Opitz said. “Whether we’re up or they’re up in the standings, it’s a crosstown rivalry. They all know each other.”

-- Five-time defending 4A state champion Mead saw its 39-match regular-season win streak come to an end Tuesday night in a three-set sweep to Lewis & Clark, which has lost to the Panthers in the last two state title matches. Mead’s streak dated back to 2004.