Weston-McEwen has been a fixture at the 2A state volleyball tournament for years, having qualified 15 of the past 16 years.
The TigerScots are back in the 2A bracket this season after missing out last year, breaking a 14-year string of appearances. They will open play at 1:15 p.m. Friday against Portland Christian at Ridgeview High School in Redmond.
“The seniors are very excited,” W-M coach Shawn White said. “It was difficult for them last year when that streak ended. This year, there is a lot of redemption. They have been very motivated to get back.”
W-M (24-6) is ranked No. 5 heading into state, while the Royals (21-3) are ranked No. 4.
The TigerScots handed PC one of its three losses at the Heppner Tournament on Sept. 1, but this is the first time they have met at state in several years.
“They are a team we have seen many times, but not for a while,” White said. “We lost a couple of finals to them in 2007-08, and we have played them a few other times. They went up to 3A for a while and they just came back down this year. This current team has not played them at state.”
W-M finished second at the Blue Mountain Conference district tournament to Grant Union, then swept Regis in the first round of state last weekend to advance.
“Regis was a good team,” White said. “The state is quite deep. We played easily the best we have played all year. We only had 17 unforced errors for the match, and we were very aggressive.”
While the TigerScots have middle Tyree Burke back to full strength after an ankle injury, outside hitter Bryce Thul strained her hamstring against Regis.
“We are trying to get her healthy for Friday,” White said.
If W-M gets past the Royals, it likely will face top-ranked Kennedy in the semifinals. Kennedy faces Glide in its first match.
“We have a very tough draw on our half of the bracket,” White said.
But, playing in a league with defending state champion Grant Union, Heppner and Union has helped the TigerScots prepare for whatever comes their way.
“That is a benefit for us,” White said. “Day in and day out, we play good teams in our league. The rest of the state doesn’t realize how good the teams out here are. Eastern Oregon does really well in state volleyball.”