With all of last yearís elite volleyball programs making an appearance in this yearís tournament, itíll be an interesting one to watch. Just as a reminder, both Chicopee Comp and Newton South fell to St. Johnís Prep and Lincoln-Sudbury in the state semifinals with Lincoln-Sudbury prevailing in the state finals. However, Lincoln-Sudbury has drifted this season, highlighting the trio of elites: St. Johnís Prep, Chelmsford and Newton South.
After losing to St. Johnís Prep in the semifinals last year, Chelmsford (17-3) is going to need to overcome rising Cambridge (15-3) who served St. Johnís Prep its only loss this season.
The games to watch will be Chelmsford vs. Cambridge in the semi-finals and the winner against St. Johnís Prepís offensive weapon, 6-foot-7 middle hitter Andrew Lutz. My call is St. Johnís Prep finishing at 21-1.
Predicted winner: St. John's Prep
This season, Newton South (19-1) locked in wins against last yearís state victor, Lincoln-Sudbury and has clinched its 13th consecutive season in the playoffs. Newton South will surely be a tough team to beat. Although undefeated at 17-0, Barnstable did not play a tough schedule so the matchup against Newton South will be one to watch in the finals.
Predicted winner: Newton South
Two-time defending champ Chicopee Comp is returning this year as an undefeated threat. Best hopes are for Chicopee Comp (17-0) and Minnechaug to meet up again, but Agawam (16-2) might intervene.
Predicted winner: Chicopee Comp
Last but not least, there is Lincoln-Sudbury (13-4) who has not played the top-notch offense itís used to, especially after losing its season series to Newton South. Sixth-seeded Lincoln-Sudbury will need to take on Natick (15-1) to even touch undefeated Wachusett (20-0).
Predicted winner: Natick
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our fall correspondents:
- Anthony Gulizia | @gulizia_a | Div. 1 football
- Eric Russo | @erusso22 | Div. 2 football
- Stephen Sellner | @stephen_sellner | Div. 3 football
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Div. 4 football
- Greg Joyce | @GJoyce9 | Div. 5 football
- Lorenzo Recupero | @LorenzoRecupero | Div. 6 football
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls volleyball
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail email@example.com.