One amazing streak came to an end for the Douglas High School volleyball program last Saturday at the Northern 4A Regional Volleyball Tournament. But another one continued when the Tigers earned a berth in the NIAA/U.S. Bank State Volleyball Championships, which get under way today at Galena High.
The Tigers, who are appearing in the state volleyball tournament for the 14th straight year, open with a 3 p.m. match against Durango. In other first-round matches, Palo Verde (Sunset No. 2 seed) plays Silverado (Sunrise No. 2) at 1 p.m.; Green Valley (Sunrise No. 1) plays Galena (North No. 2) at 5 p.m. and Fallon (North No. 1) plays Bishop Gorman (Sunset No. 3) at 7 p.m.
Douglas enters the state tournament in an unfamiliar position as the No. 3 seed, the reason being that the Tigers had finished either first or second team from the North 11 years in a row. Every year since 1991, the Tigers had reached the North's championship round and they'd won it four times, but the run ended with a loss to Galena in the semifinals Saturday.
"We've never really talked about that (streak)," said Douglas coach Kira Brown, whose Tigers defeated Carson in the third-place match to secure the state berth. "But it is great to be there and to continue that other streak."
Brown wasn't concerned about having to open against the Sunset Region champion Durango Trailblazers.
"I know they were a good team last year and I've heard they're playing very well right now," Brown said. "Really, no matter where you come in, you're going to have a tough time against anybody you play."
Douglas lost in the semifinals of last year's state tournament to Green Valley in four games.
The tournament host Galena Grizzlies have the unenviable task of trying to get past defending state tournament champion Green Valley. The last time the two teams met, Galena got past Green Valley in a hard-fought four-game match in the first round of the 2000 state 4A tournament.
"We get Green Valley, yippee," coach Teresa Burrows said when informed of the bracket pairings Saturday night. "They've got a good squad, so we definitely have our work cut out for us. But we've had a little rivalry over the years, so it should be a good match."
Green Valley defeated Silverado in the regional finals for the fourth straight year last Friday. The Gators won 15-13, 15-9, 15-11.
Fallon won its third Northern 4A championship in four years last weekend in Minden. The Greenwave defeated High Desert League rival Galena in the finals, 15-6, 15-4, 16-14.
Fallon, is now 28-1 overall for the season, its lone loss coming against St. Francis during a tournament in Reno in September. St. Francis is currently the Sacramento area's No. 2 ranked team and a three-time defending Sac-Joaquin Section champion in California.