SIDELINE OBSERVATIONS: Volleyball playoffs are just around the corner

Published: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 at 04:06 PM.

District volleyball tournaments start Monday around the state, as coaches, players and fans watch the post-season.

Crestview will play in the District 2-6A tournament, set for Choctawhatchee High School in Fort Walton Beach, while Baker and Laurel Hill will head to Milton for the District 1-1A tournament at Central.

It has been an up-and-down season for Crestview, but the Bulldogs have enough talent to pull off the upset if they play well and can start believing they are capable. Coach Kathy Combest has instilled work ethic in the team, but the girls must figure out how to win on their own.

It’s also fair to say that Laurel Hill will have to battle to get past the district tournament. The Hoboes have shown steady improvement under first-year Coach Ashley Miller, and they took Baker to four sets on Oct. 9 — so anything is possible. If the Hoboes show up and play a little beyond themselves, they could head to the state tournament.

While Crestview and Laurel Hill enter the district tournaments hoping to make the playoffs, Baker is expected to win. The Gators have won nine straight district tournaments and have advanced to the state playoffs each of the last 19 years and 20 of the last 21 seasons.

Baker made it to the Class 1A finals last year before falling to Lafayette in the championship match.  The runner-up finish was the fourth in the program’s history.

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