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Gresham is on a collision course with No. 5 Sheldon

Volleyball playoffs offer big sub-round matches
by: David Ball, Gresham libero Brittani Hathorn digs a ball in front of a teammate during the Gophers' five-game loss last week against Central Catholic.

Gresham boasts the No. 2-ranked volleyball team in the state, but the Gophers face a rocky road to the Chiles Center for this year's state tournament.

After earning the runner-up spot out of the Mount Hood Conference, the Gophers will need two sub-round wins to reach the purple palace. Gresham should have little trouble getting past McNary at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 1, but then will travel to Eugene where the No. 2-ranked Gophers will battle No. 5 Sheldon on Saturday.

'There aren't any easy rounds for anybody,' Gophers' coach Lori Anderson said. 'Rankings don't mean a whole lot right now. You have to be ready to play every step of the way.'

The tournament also features a new format this season. Round-robin play has been eliminated, and teams will go straight into bracket play which will be in the best-of-five format. In the past, all state matches were best-of-three.

'You need to bring your A game from the first time you hit the floor,' Anderson said.

Look for expanded state volleyball, soccer and cross country previews in the Wednesday, Nov. 1, issue of the Gresham Outlook.