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Playoff Primer

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Thursday October 25, 2018

Field Hockey

The three-time defending champs will have a different view of the Division I field hockey postseason this time around.

After earning the top seed the last three years — and winning titles in all of those years — South Burlington took the No. 2 spot in this year’s Vermont Principals’ Association field hockey pairings.

The Wolves (12-1-1) earned a bye in the opening round of the playoffs, advancing to face the winner of No. 7 Hartford in the quarterfinals. South Burlington will play at home on Friday, Oct. 26 at 3:30 p.m.

The Wolves shutout Burlington 9-0 in their only game of the season and topped Hartford 7-1 in their lone matchup.

Standing in their way is D-I newcomer Bellows Falls, who made the jump from D-II after winning the title last year, and earned the No. 1 seed. The Terriers, who are undefeated this season, also won back-to-back titles in 2015 and 2016 in Division III.
In the semifinals, South Burlington would likely face No. 3 Colchester (11-0-3), who tied the Wolves 0-0 in the final game of the regular season. Another team to watch will be No. 4 Essex (11-3), who handed the Wolves their only loss, and would be a possible title game opponent.

Girls Soccer

The 9-5 South Burlington girls soccer team earned a No. 5 seed in the Division I tournament pairings released on Oct. 22.

The Wolves faced No. 12 St. Johnsbury on Wednesday. Results were not available at press time.

South Burlington beat the Hilltoppers 2-0 in their only game of the regular season.

The No. 5 seed sets up a tough run for South Burlington, who would have to go through both of last year’s finalists in order to advance to the title game.

A win on Wednesday would send the team to Manchester for a quarterfinal match on Saturday with No. 4 Burr and Burton (presuming the Bulldogs defeat No. 13 Middlebury), who have appeared in the last three D-I finals.
A win in the quarters would set up a likely match with defending champs and top seed Champlain Valley in the semifinals.

Boys Soccer

A wide open Division I boys soccer tournament — the top seven teams all have nine wins or more — has South Burlington sitting pretty with the No. 4 seed.

Add in a strong returning core from last year’s D-I championship squad and the Wolves should be feeling good about their chances of a repeat.

The 9-4-1 Wolves faced No. 13 Burlington on Tuesday in the playdowns, but results were unavailable at press time. If victorious, they will face the winner of No. 5 Middlebury/No. 12 Mount Anthony on Friday in the quarterfinals.

South Burlington beat Burlington 4-0 in the final week of the regular season but played neither Middlebury or Mount Anthony.

Sitting above the Wolves in the pairings are top seed Champlain Valley (12-0-2), No. 2 St. Johnsbury (9-1-4) and No. 3 Essex (9-2-3).

Not much separate the four teams. Essex battled to two scoreless ties with CVU, South Burlington and St. Johnsbury also tied and two of Wolves’ four losses came to team’s above them in the pairings (CVU and Essex).

Girls Volleyball

Two years into high school girls volleyball and two teams have appeared in the D-I finals: Champlain Valley and Essex.

The rest of the state will look to break through that pairing this year, with the Hornets grabbing the No. 1 seed and Champlain Valley coming it at No. 2.

Among those trying to take down the top pair in No. 5 South Burlington (9-4), who took on No. 12 Mount Anthony (0-11) on Tuesday in the playdowns. Results were not available at press time.

South Burlington had yet to play the Patriots this season and had no shared opponents.

Should the Wolves win, they will advance to take on No. 4 Lyndon (9-4) in the quarterfinals on Friday at 4:30 p.m. in Lyndon.

South Burlington lost to the Vikings this season, 3-1, but if they advance to the semifinals, the Wolves would almost certainly face the defending champion Hornets (who will play the winner of No. 8 Enosburg/No. 9 St. Johnsbury in the quarters) in the semifinals.

Boys Volleyball

The South Burlington boys volleyball team will look to advance to their first ever D-I state semifinal this year after earning the No. 5 seed.

The Wolves (5-7) traveled to Enosburg (5-7) on Wednesday for a quarterfinal match. Results were not available at press time.

South Burlington and Enosburg split the two matches in the regular season, with the Hornets winning the first 3-2 and the Wolves coming out on top in the second 3-1.

If the Wolves pull off the win, they will advance to face two-time defending champion Champlain Valley in the semifinals.

The Redhawks are undefeated this season and beat South Burlington 3-0 in both matches.

 

SOURCE: Lauren Read, Correspondent