A high seed was no guarantee of anything on the opening day of the OSAA/OnPoint Community Credit Union 6A and 5A volleyball championships at Liberty High School on Friday.
The two No. 1 seeds, 6A giant Jesuit and 5A leader Corvallis, cruised into their respective finals, but everything underneath them was a mess.
They’ll both be playing upstart finalists. Sprague of Salem came out of the six-hole to knock off No. 3 Central Catholic an entertaining quarterfinal drama, then swept another surprise, seventh-seeded Summit of Bend, to reach the game for the 6A trophy at 8:30 p.m.
Corvallis, in the meantime, will face sixth-seeded Ridgeview of Redmond, which knocked off two higher seeds to reach the 6 p.m. Saturday 5A final.
In all, four of the top eight seeds in the two combined categories were eliminated in the daytime quarterfinals.
6A: Jesuit has lost exactly one set to an Oregon team all year, and didn’t lose one in their quarterfinal and semifinal matches against eighth-seeded Sandy and fourth-seeded West Linn, either. The Crusaders’ impressive defensive front wall kept both teams from mounting any downward offense.
The spunky Pioneers went down 25-20, 25-21 and 25-18 in the afternoon, then Jesuit sent West Linn into the third-place game with an efficient, 25-21, 25-21, 25-10 victory in the semis.
West Linn reached the semifinals with a straight-set quarterfinal victory over Sheldon of Eugene.
The No. 6 Olympians, on the other hand, got to the championship game because they didn’t know the difference between dead and buried. They faced no fewer than five match points in the fifth set in their quarterfinal against Central Catholic, but made them all up and finally won in an extended fifth set.
The Olys won two of the first three sets, and the Rams had to fight back from a match point in the fourth set themselves to keep the match alive.
Central went up 14-9 in the 15-point last set, but the Olympians got six straight points on Izzy Linares’ serve to take a one-point lead. The two teams battled back and forth until Sprague got two straight points and a 27-29, 27-25, 25-21, 25-27, 21-19 victory.
In all the excitement of that match, a lot of fans missed an upset on the adjacent court, where seventh-seed Summit of Bend pounded No. 2 Sunset in straight sets, 25-21, 25-22 and 25-14. That set the Storm up for a semifinal showdown with Sprague.
Sprague still had enough energy left from its afternoon dramatics to take the Storm out in straight sets, 25-22, 25-17 and 27-25 and gain the championship match.
5A: Corvallis -- which is now 24-2, the two losses to 6A teams -- dispatched eighth-eighth-seeded Hood River Valley with only one hiccup in the third set. Before and after that, the Spartans rolled and finished the Eagles off 25-19, 25-12, 12-25 and 25-9.
On the adjacent court, fifth-seeded Dallas was pulling a rabbit out of its hat to beat No. 4 Wilsonville. The Dragons fell 25-20 and 25-17, then started breathing fire. They pulled out the next two sets 25-10 and 26-24, then came back again from an 11-13 deficit in the deciding set to put the Wildcats away 15-13 and advance.
In the next set of games in the morning session, Ridgeview jumped all over third-seeded Crater in the first two sets, 25-17 and 25-18, then tripped over the Comets 24-26 before finishing them off 25-19.
They advanced to play second-seeded West Albany, which knocked Crook County into the consolations earlier in the day.
The Ravens did almost the same thing to West Albany that they did to Crater. They rode hot-hitting junior Rylee Troutman to a win in the first set, then tipped over to the Bulldogs 25-21 in the second.
It was all smooth sailing after that. The Ravens earned their spot in the championship match with 25-15 and 25-19 set victories.