After one full week of play, here is the first iteration of the Northwest Conference volleyball power rankings.
1. Burlington-Edison (0-0): Until someone beats the Tigers, they won’t move from this spot.
2. Lynden Christian (0-0): I feel the Lyncs, with Madison Weg and Kara Bajema, will be a team vying for a 1A state title.
3. Sehome (2-0): The Mariners are good, just maybe not as good as last year. They pushed LC to a decisive third set at the SunDome this weekend, and clearly you know how good I think the Lyncs will be.
4. Bellingham (1-0): This Red Raiders squad will, mind you, WILL make the 2A district tournament this year. Just watch.
5. Lynden (0-1): The Lions had a good showing at their preseason tournament this past weekend, but a straight-set loss to Sehome to open the season wasn’t. Julie Clift has a way of rallying the troops, so I’d be shocked if by years end this Lynden team wasn’t right in the thick of things with Sehome and Bellingham.
6: Ferndale (1-0): The Seattle Times has the Golden Eagles ranked No. 7 in the 3A classification. The Seattle Times and myself know just about the same in regards to this team — not much. We’ll see if they can make another run to state this year with a vastly different group than they did a year ago.
7. Squalicum (0-2): How do you replace 10 seniors from a state-caliber team? No, seriously, I have no clue how Squalicum will repeat the success it found last year.
8: Blaine (2-0): I’m a believer in this team Bryan Clausen has assembled. It probably won’t ever be pretty, but style points don’t matter when you’re grinding out wins, just like the Borderites did against Meridian (3-1) and Mount Baker (3-2).
9. Anacortes (1-0): The Seahawks won 19 games in 2012 and just five last year. Maybe they can have an epic return to form, or another really tough season. Best guess? Somewhere in between.
10. Nooksack Valley (0-2): The Pioneers have a really good chance at being the tough-luck team in the NWC this year. They have already suffered a five-set loss to Anacortes, and I foresee a few more down the road. They can compete with most everyone, but that doesn’t mean they’ll always come out on top.
11. Mount Baker (0-1): Took a good Blaine team to five sets. Like Nooksack Valley, few will blow the Mountaineers off the court. Their ability to grind out wins will be key.
12. Meridian (0-1): The Trojans won just four games — not matches, but games — last year. They’ve already won one against Blaine, and I do believe the arrow is pointing up for this program, it just may not translate in wins.
13. Sedro-Woolley (0-2): The Cubs began the season with two straight-set losses. Optimism might be hard to come by.