Glide will take on top-seeded Kennedy in the quarterfinals of the Class 2A state volleyball tournament at 1:15 p.m. Friday at Ridgeview High School in Redmond.
“I’m very optimistic about what we’re going to see at the tournament because of how they’ve been practicing,” Glide coach Stephanie Furlong said. “I love being the underdog because there aren’t those high expectations or pressures of being No. 1.”
The Wildcats made it into the tournament after defeating Culver in straight sets last Saturday. Kennedy swept Reedsport in the first round to make it to the finals site.
Glide is 19-5 overall with two losses to St. Mary’s of Medford, and losses to Coquille, Bonanza, and California’s Etna. The Wildcats are on a nine-game winning streak, which started on Oct. 4.
“I think my girls are peaking at the perfect time,” Furlong said. “As a team, defensively we’re a lot stronger than we were a few weeks ago.
“They started realizing what they’re capable of. I’ve known these girls since they were in seventh grade. I’ve known they’re very athletic, but also they’re very humble and working on their confidence and they’re believing in themselves. I think that’s been their biggest challenge. As they started to succeed and do big things and win big games, they started stepping into that confidence.”
The Trojans’ only loss in their 27-1 season came to Kings Way of Washington at Kennedy’s Oktoberfest Tournament.
Both Kennedy and Glide won their respective leagues — Kennedy the Tri-River Conference and Glide the Southern Cascade League.
Glide’s Johanna Pope was selected as the SCL’s player of the year and Furlong was named coach of the year.
Pope, Alyssa Malek and Regan Deardorff were selected to the all-league first team, Mashayla Belloir made the second team and Jordan Williams received honorable mention.
“Jordan Williams is really coming into her own in practices, I really hope she can carry that into the state tournament,” Furlong said. “Regan Deardorff is working hard with her attacks.”
Glide will lose Deardorff, Belloir, Pope, Julia Spens, Malek, Williams and Taya Nehl to graduation at the end of the school year.
The Trojans finished third at the 2017 Class 2A tournament with a sweep of Central Linn in the third place match. Kennedy fell to Grant Union in five sets in the semifinals. Grant Union is the reigning 2A state champion.
Glide played in Class 3A last season and was unable to make it into the postseason.
“I’d just love to go there and surprise some people,” Furlong said. “We’re kind of underdogging it right now, but I expect to win some games. We’re trying to keep the focus on the effort that we put out. People are going to be more skilled, but we don’t want anyone to outwork us.”
Kennedy has two seniors, Hallie Sprauer and Kalyssa Kleinschmit, on its roster.
Weston-McEwen will play Portland Christian at the same time on another court at the 2A state tournament and at 3:15 p.m. Oakridge will play Central Linn and Coquille will take on Grant Union.
The winners will move on to the semifinals at 8:30 p.m. Friday and the losers will play in the consolation semifinals at 10 a.m. Saturday.