The volleyball teams from Enochs and Golden Valley get an early start to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs tonight, with each hosting an outbracket match in Division 1. They must win to reach the 16-team bracket.
Playoff brackets for the six divisions were released Thursday afternoon.
Top seeds are St. Francis of Sacramento (D1), El Camino of Sacramento (D2), Oakmont of Roseville (D3), Escalon (D4), Capital Christian of Sacramento (D5) and New Life Christian of Elk Grove (D6). Schools that elect to play D6 are not eligible for the Northern California playoffs.
While outbracket matches are today, the full tournament starts Tuesday.
DIVISION 1 No. 14 seed Enochs hosts West of Tracy and No. 15 Golden Valley hosts McClatchy in today's 5 p.m. matches, while the Stanislaus District's top seed in the division is Pitman, which went 15-0 in the Central California Conference. All matches will start at 7, except for out-bracket matches.
DIVISION 2 Modesto Metro Conference champion Gregori (32-2) is the No. 2 seed and the section is expecting it to face El Camino for the crown on Nov. 15 at UC Davis. All the finals are at Davis on the same day. The only apparent threat to Gregori's run to the final is No. 3 Benicia, but the Panthers have played a lightweight schedule. Atwater is the No. 8 seed and, if it tops visiting Kimball in Tuesday's opener, will travel to El Camino.
DIVISION 3 No. 8 Oakdale is the district's top seed, and it hosts Pioneer Tuesday, before a potential road trip to Oakmont. Livingston and Pacheco are lower seeds and will travel for openers, the Wolves at No. 7 Christian Brothers and Pacheco at No. 5 Rio Americano.
DIVISION 4 Escalon is the district's lone top seed in the six divisions, and it hosts Calaveras in Tuesday's first round. There are a couple of teams in the division that might surprise folks who have been away from the game a few years Sonora and Ripon Christian are seeded Nos. 3 and 4, respectively.
Sonora's declining enrollment drops it in with the small schools for the playoffs, while Ripon Christian was forcibly promoted after the section passed a rule that any program winning three straight volleyball titles in the same division will be promoted to the next-highest division. Sonora hosts Mariposa and RC entertains West Campus in openers.
Sonora could be headed to a semifinal battle with No. 2 Bear River, while the quarterfinals could feature No. 5 Summerville at RC but first Summerville has to knock off visiting No. 12 Ripon in the first round. There is an all-West Side opener, too, with Hilmar visiting Los Banos.
DIVISION 5 The all-private school matchup sending Modesto Christian to No. 6 Central Catholic for Tuesday's first round is the highlight here, while No. 4 Big Valley Christian hosts Vacaville Christian.
DIVISION 6 Turlock Christian is the only district school that elected to skip the NorCal playoffs and instead play in D6. The division was created to accommodate small, primarily private schools that felt they had no opportunity for success playing in D5. The tradeoff was that these teams will not be considered for the regional playoffs.