As the volleyball regular season wound down this week, the postseason has quickly arrived as area tournaments are coming into focus.
After Wednesday’s Baldwin County Championship Tournament, many teams will close regular-season matches this weekend before area tournaments open next Wednesday and Thursday.
Entering the homestretch of the regular season, a handful of teams remained ranked in the MaxPreps state polls updated Oct. 3 with three top-25 teams and three more top-50 teams.
With an area win over the 20-time defending state champions Bayside Academy Admirals, the Class 6A Spanish Fort Toros were the highest-ranked team in Baldwin County at No. 9.
Bayside Academy checked in at No. 15 ahead of Class 4A Orange Beach at No. 24 who earned area wins over St. Michael Catholic and Satsuma.
In addition, Class 7A’s Fairhope (No. 35) and Daphne (No. 37) were neighbors again while Class 5A Gulf Shores (No. 43) was not far behind.
Although the Trojans beat the Pirates in the teams’ area match, both teams also beat Foley and lost to McGill-Toolen so Daphne will likely take the second seed into the area tournament. Gulf Shores recorded area wins over B.C. Rain and Elberta to help their area standings.
The 6A Area 2 race will likely finish with Spanish Fort ahead of Bayside Academy, Robertsdale and Baldwin County to create that area tournament bracket.
On the Class 4A Area 1 stage, Orange Beach’s earlier area wins have the Makos atop the area standings alongside Escambia County. With St. Michael’s win over Satsuma in five sets, the Cardinals are still in the playoff mix.
Earlier this week, St. Michael completed a program sweep of its Oct. 3 matches. Both 7th and 8th grade teams beat Orange Beach and the JV and varsity squads beat Murphy and Robertsdale in tri-match action.
Last weekend, the Golden Bears from Robertsdale traveled to Greenville and won the Block Out Breast Cancer Tournament by going undefeated on the final day, Oct. 1.