Is it playoff time already? Very nearly. It seems like just yesterday that I was writing team preview’s and now all of a sudden the Regular Season is coming to an end and I’ve barely had any chance to tell the stories of what’s been going on in our Calgary and Vancouver 2020 seasons. This year’s contender’s are nearly decided, so let’s take a look at how the team’s have gotten to where they are right now, and what tomorrow’s matchups mean to them heading into the knockout rounds.
Remember that in Vancouver this Sunday’s matches start at a special time 1:30pm PST
We’ll start of with the untouchables, Natura Solutions is the only team in either league to still be undefeated, and therefore to have clinched the #1 seed going into the playoffs. On top of that, the team has only gone to Overtime once, meaning they’ve only dropped a single match out of the 8 total that they’ve played, and Jared Krause and Grant O’Gorman remain the only unblemished pair in either league. Will they be able to carry their winning ways through to the end?
On the other end of the spectrum, Dunbar Cycles have had a rough go this season. They had high hopes coming in, but with some miscommunications and an inability to finish matches for either gender, they’ve gone through the first 4 weeks with only a single point. Their playoff dreams are over, but they have the opportunity to end their season on a bright note if they can take down Volleyball Stuff this weekend.
Volleyball Stuff is on the outside looking in at the moment, currently in 5th but only a single point back from 2nd, giving them plenty of opportunity to bounce themselves either in or out of the playoffs. A win will put them in good shape, and even going to Overtime will give them a chance in a tiebreak scenario (depending on how other matches go), but if they lose in straight sets to Dunbar, then they kiss the postseason goodbye.
In a 3 way tie for 2nd sit Pacific Coast, navaslab.com, and Moveo, but all of them still have their neck on the line. Navas has arguably the toughest go of it, since they play top seeded Natura, though since the latter have already clinched, you never know how motivated they’ll be on this free weekend. The key matchup will be between Pacific Coast and Moveo, as the winner of that one will have the best chance at taking the #2 seed, and guaranteeing both their spot in the postseason, and also the chance to avoid Natura until the finals.
Every point counts for all 4 teams, even an OT loss could keep any of the 4 alive, and any straight sets defeat could mean the end of the road. For those of you who are curious, the seeding tiebreak protocol is as follows:
- Total Matches won (ex. 3W+2L= 6pts > 2W+1L+2OTL= 6pts)
- Head-to-head result
- Sets W/L ratio between tied teams (OT counts as a set)
- Points W/L ratio between tied teams
- Points W/L ratio between all teams
- Coin Toss
It’s a little simpler in Calgary, since all 4 teams will be making it into the 2020 playoffs, but the race is still very tight. All 4 teams are still capable of taking the 1st seed, and all but one can end up as #4.
The Dome Defenders are currently the top dogs in Calgary. After dropping their week 1 matchup in regulation to CBVA, they’ve taken overtime wins in their last 4 straight, giving them the edge over the rest of the league. This despite their men’s team having yet to record their first match win so far this season. Camille Saxton and Steph Burnside have been dominant since week 2, and Leah Andries has stepped up when called upon as well.
The only team in a position to dethrone the Defenders is ACE. Though the women had a rough start, they’ve become contender’s since Megan Nagy returned to join Jaimie Thibeault. On the men’s front Tom Haight and Alex Bader have been solid and given ACE consistency with a 4-1 record on the Men’s court. They’ve led ACE to being the only team in Calgary without a regulation loss, and within a point of the top seed.
The men on CBVA are also 4-1 (with Colton De Man and Jarron Mueller together, they’re 4-0), and will look to put a stamp on who the top men’s pairing is when they battle it out with ACE for the second time this season. The last time they played, ACE took the matchup in overtime despite a dominant performance from De Man and Mueller, and a tight 3 set loss from Leah Pezer and Claire Crossfield on the women’s set (Crossfield and Rhonda Schmuland are the only pair to take down Burnside/Saxton this season). I expect it’s a rematch both teams are looking forward to. Potential for a top 2 playoff seed is on the line.
PlayBeach will be looking for that high playoff seeding as well. It’s a tough matchup, but Amanda Moppett-Beatch and Ashtyn Mackenzie nearly pulled it of the last time they played a 3 set match vs the Dome Defenders women, before suffering eventual match and then overtime defeats. PlayBeach had a strong start to the season winning their first 2 matchups, but have fallen in their last 3, so will need to find their early season form if they want to be contenders to take it all. A win this weekend will guarantee that PlayBeach won’t face off against the top seeded squad in round 1 of the Playoffs on Feb 16th.
Calgary Semi Finals at The Beach YYC
5:30PM and 6:30PM MST
Vancouver Semi Finals at 6Pack Indoor Beach
7:00PM and 8:00PM PST
Calgary Finals at The Beach YYC
Vancouver Finals at 6Pack Indoor Beach
NBVL FINALS at The Beach YYC (Calgary)