Last year Oregon high school sports did not have state playoffs due to COVID-19 precautions.
This year the competition is back, but it won’t look the same as previous years at the volleyball state tournament.
Instead of eight teams going to the tournament, only four are allowed.
“The state tournament is something that should be rewarded,” said Ridgeview Varsity coach Randi Viggiano. “It should be something to strive, and work for, and being a part of that final eight is a whole experience. So, the fact that only four teams will get to experience, it’s a real bummer, especially for all those seniors that missed that opportunity last year.”
This new playoff format also means teams will not be able to play for 5th – 8th place.
“Yeah that’s tough,” Viggiano added. “I also think for the first time especially in our classification in 5A, there are some teams who maybe haven’t had the opportunity to be at a state tournament in recent years, and an opportunity to have that experience and take home a trophy.”
Oregon School Activities Association executive director Peter Webber says some high school sites were worried about COVID-19 and hosting such large tournaments.
“The idea of having two courts, four communities there at a time, and then rotating four more communities right on top of them for the next match, were some of the concerns expressed,” Webber said.
Viggiano helped lead the Ravens to a state title in 2019 and runner-up in 2018.
After having no tournament last year, she’s just glad teams will have that chance once again.
“Although it is disappointing it won’t be the final eight, I am glad that at least four teams will be able to compete and somebody will get to walk away with a blue trophy because it’s a special moment that you’ll never forget,” Viggiano added.