Tournament preview

Ferndale girls soccer (left), Meridian volleyball (middle) and Lynden football (right) each have first-round matchups set. Lynden Christian's football and volleyball team have their games, as well as Mount Baker. (Connor J. Benintendi/Lynden Tribune)

Taking a look at the first-round contests for 1A/2A football, 3A soccer and 1A volleyball

LYNDEN – State tournament season has arrived.

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association released the championship brackets for classifications 1B through 4A girls soccer and football on Sunday, Nov. 7.

Volleyball brackets for 1B through 1A were released, as the 2A, 3A and 4A are still awaiting the conclusion of district play.

Lynden, Lynden Christian, Ferndale, Mount Baker and Meridian each have at least one team in the above brackets. Those matchups, as well as discussion, are below.

1A Football:

No. 3 Lynden Christian vs. No. 14 Granite Falls – Friday, Nov. 12, 4 p.m. at Civic Stadium

The third-seeded Lyncs (5-2) will open the tournament by hosting the Granite Falls Tigers (7-2) on Friday. Granite Falls has played two teams that are also in the 1A round of 16. They beat East Jefferson 20-19 in week one but were shut out by King’s 42-0 in week seven.

Comparatively, the only team Lynden Christian has played that shares a 1A state berth is Mount Baker, whom they defeated 12-0 in week seven. Wins and losses to bracketed teams are far from the end-all-be-all, but it is notable.

Avoiding travel is a huge plus for the Lyncs who have won five in a row after dropping their first two games. Lynden Christian must feel good about where the team is trending as postseason begins.

The winner of this game will move on to play either No. 6 Tenino or No. 11 Freeman in the quarterfinals.

No. 8 Mount Baker vs. No. 9 Toppenish – Saturday, Nov. 13, 4 p.m. at Civic Stadium

Out of the three football teams we will discuss, Mount Baker has the hardest road to the championship game. The eighth-seeded Mountaineers (5-3) will host No. 9 the Toppenish Wildcats (10-0) on Saturday.

Toppenish’s only game against another team in the bracket was a week nine win over Zillah, 14-7. However, their undefeated record tells the obvious tale: the Wildcats are far better than your typical No. 9 seed. In fact, this Toppenish case is likely the largest snub of the year, and they will play their hardest to prove it.

Mount Baker, on the other hand, only has that loss to Lynden Christian when it comes to bracketed schools. The loss to the Lyncs was a hard-fought contest despite the score, and they showed why they are worthy of a decent seed. Whether or not that means being seeded higher than an undefeated Toppenish team, we will find out at kickoff.

The winner of this contest will have to face either No. 1 Royal or No. 16 Bellevue Christian in the quarterfinals.

2A Football:

No. 2 Lynden vs. No. 15 Fife – Saturday, Nov. 13, 7 p.m. at Civic Stadium

The second-seeded Lions (8-1) will host No. 15 Fife (4-5) in the round of 16 to kickoff the 2A tournament. They sit behind only Tumwater in seeding.

Fife has losses to two teams in the bracket: a week seven 28-10 defeat against Enumclaw, and a 48-7 blowout loss to Steilacoom in week nine. Lynden defeated Hockinson in week one, 24-21, and Squalicum in week three, 15-12; both teams are in the 2A tournament.

Once again, Lynden avoiding travel in the opening round of games is a huge plus for a team that has hopes of a deep tournament run.

This game’s victor will play No. 10 W. F. West or No. 7 Prosser in the quarterfinals.

1A Volleyball:

No. 6 Meridian vs. No. 11 Charles Wright – Friday, Nov. 12, 1:30 p.m. at Yakima Valley SunDome Court 3

The Trojans (16-2) will kickoff their state tournament against Charles Wright (12-4). It won’t be an easy road to the championship, but this Meridian team has shown their ability to adapt to adversity and trudge forth.

With a win, they would move on to either No. 14 Connell or No. 3 Castle Rock in the semifinals later that day.

No. 16 Lynden Christian vs. No. 1 Overlake – Friday, Nov. 12, 5:15 p.m. at Yakima Valley SunDome Court 5

The Lyncs (9-7) will quite literally have the toughest road to the championship. They will face top-seeded Overlake (17-0) to start the tournament, which won’t be an easy task.

Lynden Christian has talent and deserve a state berth by how they played near the end of the season. The Lyncs are 6-2 over their last eight and will look to build upon that streak with an upset.

The winner of this match will play No. 9 South Whidbey or No. 8 Freeman in the quarterfinals.

3A Girls Soccer:

No. 17 Ferndale vs. No. 16 Bonney Lake – Tuesday, Nov. 9, 6 p.m. at Bonney Lake High School

The Golden Eagles (13-5-2) are 7-2-1 over their last 10, which includes their performances in the 3A District 1 tournament. Ferndale finished third in the tournament, wrapping up with a win over Shorecrest.

Bonney Lake (13-4-1) had four straight double-digit, shutout victories near beginning of the season’s latter half, but are 2-3 over their last five against tougher opponents.

The winner of this match will play No. 1 Gig Harbor in the round of 16 on Nov. 12.