Clovis News: Sports

Centennial No. 1 seed in girls volleyball

If Clovis West High is to win a third straight Central Section Division I volleyball title, it likely will require a trip to Bakersfield for the championship match.

The Golden Eagles were given the No. 2 seed behind Centennial in pairings for volleyball's five playoff divisions announced Friday.

Edison (D-II), Independence (D-III), Central Valley Christian (D-IV) and Kings Christian (D-V) also are No. 1 seeds. The postseason begins Monday.

Clovis West enters as the No. 2 seed for the second straight year. This time, the Golden Eagles -- who went 10-0 to win the Tri-River Athletic Conference title and did not lose to a section opponent in going 26-6 overall -- seemed to have a solid case for homecourt edge throughout the playoffs.

But section Commissioner Jim Crichlow and his three area assistants gave the top spot to Centennial based on its edge in seedings criteria: head-to-head, record against common opponents, strength of schedule, record against teams from the section in the same division and results from common tournaments.

Two of the criteria were a wash. The Golden Eagles went 1-0 and the Golden Hawks 2-1 against Liberty, their only common opponent. Clovis West was 10-0 against section D-I opponents and Centennial 11-1.

The schools did not play head to head and didn't go to a common tournament, so the deciding factor was strength of schedule, where Centennial's Southwest Yosemite League was deemed stronger than the TRAC. The SWYL has five of its six teams in the top seven in D-I, with Independence the No. 1 seed in D-III.

Clovis West opens Wednesday at home against No. 7 Stockdale or No. 10 Clovis.

"These are the sort of things, you get the news and start preparing," Golden Eagles coach Rhonda DeRuiter said. "[The seeding] is out of our control. We're looking forward to Clovis or Stockdale. That's the next thing on our agenda.

"We can take our own route; it's not like we've never been in this position before. We are playing very good volleyball right now, and that's what's important."

In other divisions

D-II: County/Metro Athletic Conference co-champion Edison earned the top seed over West Yosemite champ El Diamante and defending D-III champion Tehachapi.

D-III: Independence, despite a sub-.500 record and fifth-place finish in the SWYL, is No. 1 based on a victory over No. 2 Madera South, the North Yosemite champion.

D-IV: Central Sequoia champ Central Valley Christian used its win over South Sequoia winner Bakersfield Christian to gain the top seed as it attempts a repeat.

D-V: A head-to-head win separated East Sierra champ Kings Christian over West Sequoia winner Fresno Christian for the top spot.