By Phil Brozynski
OK, nobody's perfect. But correctly selecting six out of the eight quarterfinalists in the IHSA boys state volleyball tournament at Hoffman Estates ain't bad. AIG and GM should have done so well with some of their boardroom decisions.
Meanwhile, the 2009 quarterfinals should provide some of the most entertaining volleyball the tournament has seen in a long time. The subplots are numerous and intriguing.
Can Wheaton Warrenville South make it three straight and five out of six?
Can Neuqua Valley derail the Tigers and reach the finals for the first time in three tries?
Who will emerge from the quartertfinal between first-timers Morton and St. Patrick?
Can Buffalo Grove get to the finals again and win it all after falling just short in 2008?
Is Maine South a year ahead of schedule?
Meanwhile, here is how the quarterfinals might shape up:
Neuqua Valley (31-3) vs. WW South (35-4), 1 p.m.
Neuqua Valley had the easiest route to state. WW South arguably the most difficult. You have to like WW South's moxie and its ability to put it all together in crunch time. Got to like the Tigers in three games in this one.
St. Patrick (28-5) vs. Morton (29-5), 2 p.m.
St. Patrick and Morton have both had dream seasons. Experience won't be a factor, but Morton's defense should be. The undersized Mustangs advance because of their defense.
Glenbard North (24-8) vs. Buffalo Grove (30-5), 5 p.m.
Glenbard North played a difficult schedule in the DuPage Valley, and although the Panthers did not beat the either of top teams in the league (WW South and Glnbard East), they come in battle-tested. But the Bison are on a mission.
Maine South (33-6) vs. Marist (34-5), 6 p.m.
Maine South provided one of the tournament's biggest surprises when it won it all in 2006. But Marist wants a rematch with WW South, and to earn that, the RedHawks are ready to swat everybody in their way.
Semifinal picks: WW South over Morton, Marist over Buffalo Grove. Destiny dictates the two best teams meet in the finals.
Finals: WW South over Marist. The Tigers incredible run ends with another state title.
Let's see how I do, eh Bob?