This is Diller-Odell’s third overall trip to state and third in a row. In 2014 the Griffins finished third and last year they were state runners-up.
Diller-Odell moved up to C-2 this year from D-1, so only 11 of the Griffins’ 34 matches this year were against Class C schools while the other 23 were against Class D schools.
Diller-Odell senior South Dakota recruit Madison Jurgens in the only player in the state – according to MaxPreps – with more than 400 kills and 400 assists on the season.
At 19-12, Hartington Cedar Catholic played a brutal schedule this year with 25 of its 31 matches being against teams that finished the year with a winning record. The Trojans are 6-7 in their last 13 matches.
Hartington Cedar Catholic won the Class C-2 title the last time it was at state in 2012 and has an overall record of 7-8 in its seven appearances at state.
This is the first year at state for Doniphan-Trumbull. The last time either community was at state was when Doniphan made the trip in 1994.
Six of Doniphan-Trumbull’s seven losses this season came against LouPlatte Conference foes (twice to Ord, twice to St. Paul, and once each to Kearney Catholic and Centura).
This is Southern Valley’s fourth trip to state all-time and the Eagles are looking for their first win in the tournament.
On the season, Southern Valley played one match against a team which is at state, and that was a 2-0 sweep of Centura at the Gibbon Invite.
Crofton might be known more as a girls basketball power, but the Warriors are making their fourth-straight state tournament appearance and ninth overall.
Crofton is 5-1 this season against other teams that are in the state tournament and is currently on a m 11-match winning streak.
Last year Hastings St. Cecilia came to state with 11 losses and as the #5 seed and then dominated its way to the state title. This year the Hawkettes are the #7 seed and have 14 losses but are still a threat to win three games this weekend.
A total of 10 of Hastings St. Cecilia’s losses this year came against Class C-1 or B teams that reached the Round of 16 matches in their respective classes.
This is Stanton’s second overall trip to state after making it to the state finals last in their first trip – which ended with a loss to Hastings St. Cecilia.
Stanton is 11-2 in its last 13 matches with both of those losses coming against Class C-1 state tournament team North Bend Central.
Centura is at state for the third time after losing in the first round in 2014 and winning the 1988 Class C-1 title.
Both of Centura’s subdistrict matches went to five sets before Centurions were able to down Hemingford in four sets in the Round of 16.
Diller-Odell over Hartington Cedar Catholic
Doniphan-Trumbull over Southern Valley
Hastings St. Cecilia over Crofton
Stanton over Centura
Diller-Odell over Doniphan-Trumbull
Stanton over Hastings St. Cecilia
Stanton over Diller-Odell
If the predictions hold true and we get a Diller-Odell vs. Stanton final, it would be a match between two teams who finished as runners-up a year ago. So why go with what would technically be an upset in the final? It’s because I feel like we haven’t seen the best of Stanton yet this year. Specifically, I think Stanton sophomore Jessie Brandl is about to blow up. In the Mustangs’ first 19 games she had double-digit kills just six times and then missed about three weeks. Since coming back she has had double-digit kills in six of nine matches, including at least 13 in each of Stanton’s last three matches.
Diller-Odell is much, much more than just Madison Jurgens. With Madison Hajek along with Mackenzie and Paige Vitosh, the Griffins have a very balanced attack. Hartington Cedar Catholic, though, is not a team for Diller-Odell to look past. The Trojans are much bigger and just as balanced and they are also battle tested. Jada Cattau is just the kind of player that could explode on the big stage for HCC as well.
Those crazy Hawkettes from Hastings St. Cecilia could easily crash the party this weekend again as well. Lucy Skoch is the best uncommitted senior left in the state and is good enough to carry a team on her back to the title. That having been said, 6-foot freshman Tori Thomas could explode onto the scene and give the Hawkettes the most powerful 1-2 punch in the field.