Preview capsule outlook of today’s high school tournament action
High school tournaments today
Division I quarterfinals
No. 8 John Stark (8-9) at No. 1 Salem (15-1), 5 p.m.
Previous tournament matches: John Stark swept No. 9 Londonderry, 3-0. Salem received a first-round bye.
head to head: Salem won in straight sets on May 14.
Notes: John Stark picked up a historic victory in the first round, notching the program’s first postseason victory. Now, the Generals are looking to add a final four appearance to their résumé. That’s no easy task against Salem, the only champion the state has ever known since boys’ volleyball became an NHIAA-sanctioned sport in 2004. This year, the Blue Devils dropped just eight total sets and lost but one match, that coming against No. 4 Pinkerton. The Generals, who have won five of their last six matches, nearly handed Salem a ninth set loss in the regular-season meeting, falling 27-25 in the middle set of a 25-18, 27-25, 25-16 loss, a fact that has Coach Phil Matzke optimistic that his team can be competitive with the Blue Devils. “Salem has a fantastic record, so it’s hard to argue or predict something too different,” Matzke said. “… We didn’t play nearly as well (in the regular-season meeting) as we did (in the first-round match). If we play as well as we played (Friday), we’ve got a chance.”