The playoff picture has all but rounded into form in the Northwest Conference girls’ soccer and volleyball seasons, so here’s a look at how the seedings shake out.
In the Class 2A classification, undefeated Sehome and Burlington-Edison have long held the top spots and secured their playoff berths a while back, but behind them has been much more difficult to forecast.
With that said, Bellingham, Lynden and Anacortes have the inside tracks to making up the final three spots, with Squalicum battling to get in.
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The Red Raiders (9-4, NWC 7-4) end the year against Sehome, but after defeating Lynden in five sets on Oct. 16, they look like a lock for one of the three remaining spots. Likewise, Anacortes (9-3, 7-3) holds the tie-breaker over Bellingham if the two were to tie at 7-5, which looks likely as the Seahawks end the year against Sehome and Lynden Christian, the top two teams in the conference.
Where it gets interesting is the battle between Lynden and Squalicum for the final spot.
The Lions (5-7, 5-5) face Mount Baker before facing off against Squalicum (4-8, 4-6) in both teams’ regular-season finale. The Storm meet with Nooksack Valley before its meeting with Lynden, so if both teams win their respective match ups, whoever takes the regular-season finale will earn the final 2A berth.
Should be interesting considering both teams are favored in the lead-in match.
In the 1As, Lynden Christian is in a class of its own and should likely contend for a state title. Mount Baker is a tier or two below the Lyncs, but still a good team that has beaten fellow 1As Meridian and Nooksack Valley already.
Squalicum, with its undefeated 14-0-1 record (10-0-1 in conference play) has locked up a second-consecutive league crown.
Bellingham (10-5-1, NWC 9-2-1) will at the very least finish in a tie with Ferndale for second, although that’s quite an accomplishment for a Red Raiders squad that lost its first five matches before rallying to win eight in a row at one point.
The emergence of Kayla Heidenreich and Morgan Jones has been a big boost for Bellingham, which should be considered a heavy contender with Squalicum come the playoffs.
Sehome (8-3-3, 7-1-3) and Burlington-Edison (10-4-1, 7-3-1) round out the top four in the 2A classification, with Ferndale fighting for a high district seed in the 3As.
The Mariners are coming off a big performance Thursday night against the Storm, holding a 2-0 lead through 73 minutes before two late goals by Kim Dorr and Kim Hazlett ended their upset bid, leading to a 2-2 tie. Still, Sehome is the only team to not lose to Squalicum this year.