Posted On: 10/20/16 7:17 PM

We are down to just three weeks from the start of the 2016 state high school volleyball championships, so it is time to take a very uneducated look at what Nebraska Prep Volleyball thinks the state tournament brackets will look like.

This is the second installment of our “bracketology” this year, which takes a look at what we project to be the state tournament field in Classes A, D-1 and D-2 and what we project to be the sub-state round in Classes B, C-1 and C-2. Obviously there are a lot of intangibles that can alter how things look, but when we make our best guesses about what will happen the remainder of the regular season and in the district tournaments, this is what we think things will look like.

We will update our “bracketology” each Thursday until the brackets are released. Numbers reflect the seed of the team based on NSAA wild card point standings, not what they will be ranked.

Class A
* – indicates wild card team

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

Notes: This is the exact same projection as last week. Unless something major happens at the Metro or Heartland conference tournaments, I feel really confident this is what your state tournament bracket will look like. There is a chance Lincoln Southwest and Lincoln Southeast couple flip-flop spots, especially if Southeast were to beat Southwest in both the Heartland and district tournaments. There is also a chance Pius X and Millard North could swap seeds but they seemed destined for a 4-5 match-up. Pius X has matches left with Class B powers Grand Island Northwest and Gretna, winning both could boost the Bolts to the #4 seed. I find it very difficult to believe that there will be any major upsets in district play. As I tweeted out yesterday, the eight teams projected in the Class A field are a combined 105-3 against the rest of the teams in Class A. The two teams, in my opinion, with the slight chance to pull an upset in district play would be Grand Island and Lincoln North Star. Grand Island is likely headed to Pius X for districts, and those two teams haven’t played this year, but the Islanders are 0-8 against the rest of the top eight with a set record of 3-19. North Star looks headed to Millard West for districts. North Star is 0-3 against Millard West this year with a set record of 2-6.

Class B
* – indicates wild card team

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

Notes: Biggest change from last week is Sidney and Elkhorn South flip-flopping seeds, which is significant with the higher seed hosting. I’ve been saying this for a couple weeks now, but it bares watching where Norris winds up because the Titans are playing like a top-5 team in Class B after a rough start to the year. Currently the Titans look like they could face Elkhorn in sub-state, which would be a rough reward for the Antlers being the #4 seed. Also worth watching is just how close the final wild card spots will be. There is still plenty to be determined, and we are predicting Norris to win its district over Waverly, Beatrice and Crete but the outcome of that district could greatly alter things with both McCook and Beatrice not far from the final wild card spot. The one lock for sure in these projections in Bennington at Skutt. Badgers should go ahead and make travel plans for that – it’s happening.

Class C-1
* – indicates wild card team

(1) Bishop Neumann vs. (16) Syracuse
(8) Malcolm vs. (9) Grand Island Central Catholic*
(5) Omaha Concordia vs. (12) Ord
(4) Ogallala vs. (13) Arlington*
(3) St. Paul vs. (14) Wayne
(6) Kearney Catholic vs. (11) North Bend Central
(7) Lincoln Christian* vs. (10) Chase County*
(2) Chadron vs. (15) Columbus Scotus

Notes: Tonight’s match in Wahoo between Malcolm and Bishop Neumann could change how this looks entirely, but this projection is based on Neumann winning the match. Malcolm, however, needs a win over the Cavaliers to vault up a couple spots in the wild card standings and give itself a slightly cleaner path to state. You hate to look past sub-state, but if things hold steady, you could be looking at a first-round state tournament match of Kearney Catholic and St. Paul – the top two teams in the class according to everyone’s rankings. Although Columbus Scotus is not having its typical season, it’s not a team you would choose to see in sub-state, and a match-up with Chadron would be interesting as a rematch of last year’s Class C-1 third-place match.

Class C-2
* – indicates wild card team

(1) Diller-Odell vs. (16) Creighton
(8) Hemingford vs. (9) Freeman
(5) Cambridge vs. (12) Hastings St. Cecilia*
(4) Doniphan-Trumbull vs. (13) Centura
(3) Crofton vs. (14) Archbishop Bergan
(6) Howells-Dodge* vs. (11) Southern Valley*
(7) Ponca vs. (10) Hartington Cedar Catholic*
(2) Stanton vs. (15) Nebraska Christian

Notes: No real significant changes in the projections. Freeman does moves up from a 12 seed to a 9 seed based on its recent surge in wildcard points and the projection is now that Nebraska Christian is the subdistrict champion instead of slumping Twin River. Defending state champion Hastings St. Cecilia continues to be that landmine no higher seed will want to face in the substate round.

Class D-1
* – indicates wild card team

(1) Johnson-Brock vs. (8) Alma
(4) Dundy County-Stratton vs. (5) Meridian*
(3) Heartland vs. (6) Lutheran High Northeast*
(2) Elgin-Pope John vs. (7) Guardian Angels CC

Notes: Dundy County-Stratton’s recent win over Bertrand changes are projection for the district featuring the same two teams. An important factor in whether or not Johnson-Brock can hold onto the top seed is how it does in its conference championship match against Diller-Odell this week.

Class D-2
* – indicates wild card team

(1) Hampton vs. (8) Red Cloud
(4) O’Neill St. Mary’s vs. (5) Wynot*
(3) Potter-Dix vs. (6) CWC*
(2) Exeter-Milligan vs. (7) Brady

Notes: Our projection has changed to reflect Red Cloud being a district champion over Axtell – but that is really close to a 50/50 decision on the winner there. Another reminder as to why we need sub-state rounds in Class D as well is District D2, where you have three of the top six teams in NSAA wild card points all jammed together.