The Roseburg High volleyball team has its work cut out as the Class 6A playoffs get underway on Wednesday.
If the Indians can survive the week and advance to the eight-team state tournament, they’ll likely have to win twice on the road.
No. 19 Roseburg (12-10), the second-place team out of the Southwest Conference, visits No. 14 Tualatin (14-7), the third-place team from the Three Rivers League, in a first-round match Wednesday. Match time is 6:30 p.m.
The Indians haven’t played well of late, dropping five of their last seven matches. The Timberwolves have won 10 of their last 12.
“I’m so excited for the playoffs,” said RHS senior libero Karey Lomica. “I’m hoping we respond well (from the Grants Pass loss Thursday at home). We have some stuff to work on in practice. We had a lot of unforced errors at crucial times. Grants Pass is a motivator for us to come back stronger.”
Tualatin, coached by Bridget Hinrichs, has four seniors, three juniors, three sophomores and one freshman on its roster. The Timberwolves lost to Sprague in the first round last year.
“It’s all about our girls coming back together after a loss,” said Roseburg first-year coach Doug Magee. “Grants Pass was a tough loss, but that’s over and done with. They’ve got to throw it in the garbage can and move on to the playoffs. Tualatin is going to be a challenge, but we can match up with them pretty well. It’s going to come down to what the girls bring to that match, and I believe they can do it.”
The Timberwolves ended the regular season with a win over Canby in straight sets at home.
“If we play like we’re capable of, we can beat any team,” Magee said. “We proved that at some of the tournaments.”
“We don’t know a lot (about Tualatin) going in, so it’s going to take some adaptability,” Lomica said. “It’ll be a good match. I don’t think either team has a significant advantage on the other; it’s going to come to which team shows up with more desire to win.”
The Indians have been without starting junior outside hitter Alyssa Fox (foot) the last five matches. Magee said Fox was a solid all-around player.
The Roseburg-Tualatin winner will meet the winner between No. 30 Aloha (9-14) and No. 3 Central Catholic (24-3) in the second round Saturday. The state tournament will be held Nov. 2-3 at Liberty High School in Hillsboro.
In other first-round matches Wednesday involving SWC teams: No. 17 Wilson (19-3) at No. 16 South Eugene (16-9), No. 21 Oregon City (12-10) at No. 12 Sheldon (19-7), No. 29 Grants Pass (11-17) at No. 4 West Linn (18-5) and No. 18 North Medford (17-11) at No. 15 Lake Oswego (13-7).
The Axe and Roseburg tied for second behind Sheldon in the SWC, but the Indians won both conference contests with South Eugene.
“It’s kind of weird,” Magee said, referring to South Eugene getting a home match in the first round. “The (power) rankings are tough. You get second in your league, but that brings no justice to anything.”
Jesuit is ranked No. 1 in the OSAAtoday 6A coaches’ poll. Central Catholic is No. 2, followed by Sunset, West Linn, Sandy, Mountainside, Sprague, Summit, Clackamas and Bend.