SAN JOSE – The 28-game-winning reward for division champion Gabilan Salinas is a spot in the Central Division Volleyball Playoffs in the Center Section and a road trip on Saturday to face the lead of Mitty series.
However, being placed in the Open Division also guarantees the Number 8 Cowboys a spot in the Northern California State Divisional tournament in two weeks time, regardless of what happens in the Section’s playoffs.
Salinas, who are two wins away from breaking the school record for winning in a single season, swept all 15 league games this season, with 27 of their 28 straight-set wins.
The Cowboys were one of 10 Monterey County teams to see their seasons extended at Thursday’s standings meeting. Gonzales and Stevenson both end more than 25 years of playoff drought, while Greenfield makes his first playoff appearance.
“Just being back this year has brought a great appreciation to a kind of normalcy,” said Carmel coach and PCAL representative Israel Ricardez. “It’s great to see so many teams from the region come in. I was so happy for Greenfield and Gonzales.”
The third seed in Division V is Division champion Mission Notre Dame, who will be granted a first-round bypass and will not begin her quest for a sixth CCS title until Tuesday, when she hosts Crystal Springs. .
The Spirits, who missed the playoffs for the first time in two decades in 2019, were undefeated in the Mission Division, sweeping 11 of their 12 opponents.
Joining them in Division V, Division finalist Mission Santa Catalina and Division finalist Santa Lucia Stevenson, who is making her first playoff appearance since 1996.
The No. 10 seeded Pirates will travel to Pacific Bay Christian on Saturday, while the No. 9 Santa Catalina will host Nueva. Both matches are scheduled for 2 p.m. Castiellja de Palo Alto is the seed of the V division.
Santa Catalina returns to the playoffs after a two-year absence. The last time he was in the playoffs he was coming from back-to-back Central Coast Section Division V championships.
Cypress Division champion Pacific Grove was ranked No.5 in Division IV, where he will host Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League finalist Harbor on Tuesday.
Santa Lucia Division champion Gonzales is in the playoffs for the first time since 1995 as the No. 9 seed in Division IV, and will entertain Scotts Valley on Saturday at 11 a.m. Carmel is in the playoffs for the 15th year in a row as the No. 3 seed and will have a first-round bye.
“It’s a new season,” said Ricardez, who won the Carmel boys’ program to a CCS title in 2018. “There is nothing better in sport than having to perform to keep your season alive. . ”
North Salinas was the No. 11 seed in Division I and will travel to No. 6 in San Benito on Saturday. Alisal won the No.9 seed and will travel to Cupertino for a 2pm start.
Greenfield and King City are in the Division III tournament. The Arroyo Division champions Bruins were seeded No.10 and will travel to Del Mar on Saturday at 11 a.m., while No.9 King City will travel to Westmoor at 2 p.m.