Posted On: 10/1/15 5:51 PM

It’s Oct. 1, which means four weeks from today, NSAA will release its district and subdistrict seedings for all classes. That mean’s it’s time to look ahead and try to predict what the state-tournament brackets will look like.

So, in a blatant rip off of ESPN’s college basketball bracketology, we present to you the Nebraska Prep Volleyball high school volleyball championships bracketology.

Class A

Projected Bracket

* – indicates wild card

(1) North Platte vs. (8) Omaha Northwest*
(4) Papillion-LaVista vs. (5) Lincoln Southwest
(3) Papillion-LaVista South vs. (6) Millard West
(2) Omaha Marian vs. (7) Lincoln North Star

 

Notes

For now, the bracket follows exactly what the NSAA wild card point standings look like. Unless something unforeseen happens this weekend at the Lincoln Northeast Invite, it’s hard to picture North Platte not remaining the top seed based on its remaining schedule. Omaha Northwest also has a favorable schedule in which we project the Huskies to go 9-2 and head into the Metro Conference tourney at 23-7. Anything more than two losses for the Huskies before then will put their state-tournament hopes in jeopardy. Huge match from wild-card point perspective on the horizon is Lincoln North Star vs. Millard West on Oct. 17. That’s likely the biggest hurdle left for the Gators prior to the Heartland Conference tourney. Lincoln North Star could conceivably run the table the remainder of the year and improve its seeding greatly.

 

Class B

Projected Sub-State Bracket

* – indicates wild card

(1) Omaha Skutt vs. (16) Holdrege
(8) Omaha Gross vs., (9) Platteview*
*(5) Elkhorn vs. (12) Alliance*
*(4) Aurora vs. (13) Columbus
(3) Grand Island Northwest vs. (14) Sidney
*(6) Elkhorn South vs. (11) Omaha Duchesne
(7) Waverly vs. (10) Seward*
*(2) Gretna vs. (15) Norris*

Notes

Given the difficulty in Skutt’s schedule, it’s hard to see the Skyhawks falling out of the top spot in wild card points even if they stumble a time or two yet this year. The big point here is how well the sub-state structure works and how it should be used in Classes C-1, C-2, D-1 and D-2 as well. Under the old system, it’s likely Elkhorn and Elkhorn South – two legitimate title contenders – would be left out of the field. Norris, the two-time defending state champions in Class B, finds itself in a dicey situation. The Titans’ schedule the next three months is brutal with the Skyhawk Invite, Eastern Midland Conference tourney and matches with Gretna and Elkhorn South. The Titans are going to need to find some wins in there to stay where it is in the wildcard standings, or be forced to knock off Waverly in the district tournament.

 

Class C-1

Projected Bracket

* – indicates wild card

(1) Kearney Catholic vs. (8) Auburn
*(4) St. Paul vs. (5) Omaha Concordia
*(3) Grand Island Central Catholic vs. (6) Columbus Scotus
(2) Ord vs. (7) Ogallala

Notes

As mentioned above, the sub-state format needs to be put in place in C-1, C-2, D-1 and D-2 and we have a perfect example why in C-1. In those four classes, 12 subdistricts are formed based solely on geographic locations. The winner of subdistrict 1 then plays the winner of subdistrict 2, and so forth, in the district final for a state berth. The combined records of the nine teams in subdistricts C1-1 and C1-2 is 44-94 and Auburn is the only team with a winning record. As of today, Auburn sits in 34th place in the wild card point standings, yet is likely the team to earn a state tournament berth. Meanwhile, subdistricts C1-3 and C1-4 have 10 teams with a combined record of 95-50. Eight of those teams have winning records and all eight of them rank higher than Auburn in the wildcard standings. In what world does that playoff structure make any sense? Also consider that Kearney Catholic, Grand Island Central Catholic and St. Paul all find themselves in the same district competing for one guaranteed spot. Those are three of the top four teams in the wildcard standings.

 

Class C-2

Projected Bracket

* – indicates wild card

(1) Guardian Angels CC vs. (8) Elgin-Pope Jon
(4) Hastings St. Cecilia vs. (5) Wisner-Pilger*
(3) Stanton vs. (6) Sandy Creek*
(2) Freeman vs. (7) Amherst

Notes

Some very good teams get left at home because of difficult districts. In a district that has Guardian Angels, Oakland-Craig, Wisner-Pilger and Hartington Cedar Catholic, the projected winner is GACC, but all four could win it. Subdistricts C2- & C2-8 also form a monster district where Hastings St. Cecilia is projected to come out on top. Centura, Doniphan-Trumbull, Nebraska Christian are all in C2-8 and all are state-tournament worthy.

 

Class D-1

Projected Bracket

* – indicates wild card

(1) Diller-Odell vs. (8) Leyton
*(4) Alma vs. (5) Heartland Lutheran
(3) Emerson-Hubbard vs. (6) Lawrence-Nelson
*(2) BDS vs. (7) Howells-Dodge

Notes

It’s not completely out of the question that Diller-Odell could be the top seed in the Class D-1 tournament without winning a district title and that’s because the district with Class D1-1 and D1-2 is loaded beyond crazy. Diller-Odell and Johnson Brock (the only team to beat Diller-Odell this season) are each in D1-1. Meanwhile, in D1-2 you have BDS (12-2) and Heartland (11-4). Those four teams are currently each in the top nine of the wild card standings. So, again, the NSAA has taken four teams it considers to be state-tournament worthy and put them in the same district for one guaranteed berth. Make zero sense.

Class D-2

Projected Bracket

* – indicates wild card

(1) Stuart vs. (8) Humphrey St. Francis

*(4) O’Neill St. Mary’s vs. (5) Potter-Dix

(3) Sandhills-Thedford vs. (6) Hampton*

(2) Exeter-Milligan vs. (7) Giltner

Notes

If these seeds come to fruition, it would be ironic in the sense that Stuart and O’Neill St. Mary’s would have to square off again in one half of the bracket and the other half would be a Crossroads Conference reunion being crashed by Sandhills-Thedford. There are two insanely difficult subdistricts, starting with D2-2 where Dorchester, Exeter-Milligan, Hampton and Meridian are all competing and all are ranked in the top 10. The winner of that slugfest would still have to likely get past another ranked team – Falls City Sacred Heart – to win a district title. Then, in D2-6 you have the top two teams in Class D-2 – Stuart and St. Mary’s, respectively, along with another ranked team in CWC.