1. Lynden Christian (previous rank: 1): Everything so far has gone as planned. Will that change Thursday night against Burlington-Edison? It will likely decide the Northwest Conference title.
2. Burlington-Edison (previous rank: 2): The Tigers have been dominant this season. Then again, they haven’t faced a team like the Lyncs yet. Should be an epic battle for the NWC crown.
3. Ferndale (previous rank: 3): Since losing to Lynden Christian, the Golden Eagles have only dropped one set in the last four games. Patti Hoelzle has this team in postseason shape midway through season.
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4. Sehome (previous rank: 4): A pair of sweeps after a frustrating loss to Ferndale should put the Mariners back on the right track. This is still a team that could make waves come postseason.
5. Anacortes (previous rank: 6): As a team right in the middle, the Seahawks position the rest of the way will ride heavily on the next two games — Bellingham and Lynden.
6. Squalicum (previous rank: 7): The Lyncs and Golden Eagles are two tough opponents to face back-to-back. Burlington-Edison and Sehome still remain on the slate for the Storm.
7. Bellingham (previous rank: 8): Two victories over Nooksack Valley look a lot better after the Pioneers win over Lynden. Losses are all against top-tier teams or crosstown rival.
8. Nooksack Valley (previous rank: 9): Sweeping Lynden is certainly no easy task. It’s the Pioneers second win in the past four games and the schedule doesn’t look too tough from here out.
9. Lynden (previous rank: 5): Last week in this spot were the words “they have to be wary of slipping up.” Well, getting swept by Nooksack counts as a slip-up. It could end up costing by season’s end.
10. Meridian (previous rank: 10): After getting swept in the past two games, the Trojans play strong teams in the next four. The key will be snagging a set here or there to boost confidence.
11. Blaine (previous rank: 11): The Borderites have lost four straight but face Mount Baker Thursday night. If the Borderites are on their A-game, that streak should be broken.
12. Sedro-Woolley (previous rank: 12): It’s been a tough season for the Cubs but they’ve done well at grabbing sets when they can. Playoffs are likely out of the question, but an upset may be in the works.
13. Mount Baker (previous rank: 13): Being a 1A team in this league is hard enough. When your top returners switch sports or transfer, that makes it even harder.