A tumultuous 2020 high school volleyball season is headed for its conclusion, with state-tournament play set to begin Saturday for all five of Tooele County’s teams.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a change in format for this year’s postseason. The first two rounds of the tournament will be single-elimination, with the top eight teams in each classification hosting a “pod” with one or two other teams on Saturday. The tournament will then move on to a neutral site — the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield for classes 3A and 4A, and Union High School in Roosevelt for Class 1A — for a double-elimination tournament to crown a state champion.
Here’s a look at where Tooele, Stansbury, Grantsville, Wendover and Dugway stand going into Saturday’s pods.
Despite missing the final couple weeks of the regular season because of a COVID-19 outbreak the Tooele volleyball team managed to maintain the No. 4 spot in the Class 4A Ratings Percentage Index, and will serve as one of eight first-round pod hosts. The Buffaloes were 13-4 overall and 6-3 in Region 10 play, including a 10-game winning streak from Aug. 28-Sept. 26, and finished second to Uintah in the region standings.
The Buffaloes will enjoy a first-round bye, watching No. 13 Green Canyon (14-14, 5-5 Region 11) and No. 20 Canyon View (6-17, 0-14 Region 9) do battle in a first-round match at noon Saturday before facing the winner at 3 p.m. Tooele has not faced either team this season. The winner of the second-round match will face No. 5 Mountain Crest, No. 12 Bear River or No. 21 Ben Lomond in a quarterfinal match Tuesday in Richfield.
Stansbury (5-22, 2-10) earned the No. 19 seed in Class 4A, and will travel to Desert Hills High School in St. George for its pod. The Stallions will face No. 14 Cedar City (13-14, 7-7 Region 9) at 1 p.m., with the winner facing No. 3 Desert Hills (19-8, 13-1 Region 9) in the second round for the chance to face No. 6 Snow Canyon or No. 11 Ogden in a quarterfinal match.
Sky View is the top seed in Class 4A, and will face the winner between No. 16 Pine View and No. 17 Hurricane in the second round in Smithfield. In Vernal, second-seeded Uintah will face either No. 15 Cedar Valley or No. 18 Logan, while No. 5 Mountain Crest hosts No. 12 Bear River and No. 21 Ben Lomond in Hyrum.
Three second-round matchups are already set, as the top 10 teams received first-round byes. No. 6 Snow Canyon will face No. 11 Ogden in St. George, with No. 7 Ridgeline and No. 10 Crimson Cliffs meeting in Millville and No. 8 Juan Diego taking on No. 9 Dixie in Draper.
The quarterfinals and the first round of consolation play will take place Tuesday in Richfield, with the semifinals, finals and third- and fifth-place matches on Wednesday.
As one of the top 14 teams in Class 3A, No. 11 Grantsville (10-17, 6-4 Region 13) received a first-round bye. The Cowboys will face No. 6 North Sanpete (16-9, 9-2 Region 14) in a second-round match Saturday in Mount Pleasant.
The Cowboys and Hawks did not meet during the regular season, though they have a number of common opponents. Grantsville went 2-7 against Delta, Carbon, Grand, South Sevier, Cedar Valley, Juab and Richfield, while North Sanpete was 7-3. The winner of Saturday’s match will face either No. 3 Morgan or No. 14 Judge Memorial in a quarterfinal game Tuesday in Richfield.
The 3A bracket had to be reshuffled when seventh-ranked Grand dropped out of the postseason because of a COVID-19 outbreak. That moved all the teams ranked below the Red Devils up a spot, and allowed No. 8 Emery to become a host team instead of having to travel. It also gave No. 13 South Sevier and No. 14 Judge Memorial first-round byes that they otherwise wouldn’t have had.
There are two first-round matchups on Saturday. No. 15 Manti will face No. 18 Summit Academy in Price, with the winner facing No. 2 Carbon. In Roosevelt, top-seeded Union will face the winner of a first-round matchup between No. 16 San Juan and No. 17 American Leadership Academy.
The remaining second-round matchups are already set: No. 14 Judge Memorial at No. 3 Morgan; No. 13 South Sevier at No. 4 Richfield; in Kamas, No. 12 Providence Hall at No. 5 South Summit; in Nephi, No. 10 Maeser Prep at No. 7 Juab; and in Castle Dale, No. 9 Delta at No. 8 Emery.
Like in Class 4A, the 3A quarterfinals and the first round of consolation play will take place Tuesday in Richfield, with the semifinals, finals, third- and fifth-place games on Wednesday.
The top 14 teams received first-round byes in the classification for Utah’s smallest schools. Wendover (9-9, 4-0 Region 21) is No. 11 in the Class 1A RPI, and will travel to Escalante to face the No. 6-ranked Moquis (16-9, 5-6 Region 20) in the second round. The teams did not meet during the season, but had common opponents: Wendover was 2-5 against Providence Hall, Green River, Dugway, Parowan, Panguitch and Milford, and Escalante was 6-2. The winner will play No. 3 Valley or No. 14 Pinnacle in a quarterfinal match Oct. 30 in Roosevelt.
Other second-round matchups include: No. 14 Pinnacle at No. 3 Valley in Orderville; No. 13 Manila at No. 4 Intermountain Christian in Salt Lake City; No. 12 Green River at No. 5 Milford; No. 10 Water Canyon at No. 7 Panguitch; and No. 9 Wayne at No. 8 Tabiona.
No. 18 Dugway (1-16, 0-4 Region 21) will face a familiar foe in Friday’s first-round matchup against No. 15 Tintic (6-18, 2-2), having faced the Miners twice in region play. Tintic won the first matchup in four sets on Sept. 29 and swept three sets against the Mustangs on Oct. 13. Friday’s match will be played at 1 p.m. in Eureka, with the winner facing No. 2 Piute (14-3, 5-0 Region 20) at 1 p.m. Saturday in Junction. The second-round winner plays No. 7 Panguitch or No. 10 Water Canyon in a quarterfinal match.
The other first-round matchup in Class 1A pits No. 16 Bryce Valley against No. 17 Diamond Ranch Academy in Tropic on Friday, with the winner facing top-seeded Rich on Saturday in Randolph.
The quarterfinals and semifinals will be contested Oct. 30 at Union High School, along with the first round of the consolation bracket. The championship game and third- and fifth-place games are Oct. 31.