CVU Div. 1 playoffs come into focus

LAUREN READ
Sports Correspondent

The teams have made their best case and the seeds have been handed down for the Vermont Principals’ Association spring playoffs.

With three No. 1 seeds and a bevy of home playoff matchups, Champlain Valley Union High School fans will have plenty to cheer for as the Division I playoffs.

Here are some thoughts on the matchups for the Redhawk teams:

BASEBALL

Despite a loss in the last game of the regular season, the CVU baseball team finished with a 15-1 record and the top seed in the Division I state tournament.

But a No. 1 seed can mean little in a sport and division where the team with the top spot has not won a state championship since 2007. The Redhawks will be in for a fight in every round.

CVU will start off the playoffs in the D-I quarterfinals on Friday at home at 4:30 p.m., where they will take on the winner of No. 8 Brattleboro (10-6) and No. 9 Rutland (8-6). The Redhawks have not seen either team this season, so there will be an element of the unknown no matter the matchup.

Lurking as a possible semifinal matchup are No. 4 Rice and No. 5 Essex. The Green Knights have provided two close games this season, with CVU earning the win in both.

On the other side of the bracket, there are multiple teams who could emerge in the wide open field. No. 2 Burr and Burton (13-3), defending champs South Burlington (No. 3 seed, 11-4) and No. 10 Mount Mansfield, who handed CVU their only loss.

SOFTBALL

The Champlain Valley softball team had a breakthrough year. The Redhawks finished 11-5, their best record in 14 years and earned their highest seed since the 2005 season.

CVU enters the Division I postseason with the No. 6 seed and a playdown matchup with No. 11 Colchester (7-8) on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.

The Redhawks beat Colchester in their only game of the season, winning 9-4 in the middle of the season. CVU also wrapped up the regular season with three wins in a row, though the Lakers won three of their final four to also enter the playoffs playing well.

If CVU can earn the win – their first playoff win since 2008 – they will face the winner of No. 3 Lyndon and No. 14 Spaulding in the D-I quarterfinals on Friday.

BOYS LACROSSE

The Champlain Valley boys lacrosse team will begin the push for their seventh straight Division I title as the No. 1 seed in the playoffs.

CVU will play their first game on Friday, with they take on the winner of No. 8 Rutland (7-8) and No. 9 Burlington (6-9) in the D-I quarterfinals.

The Redhawks beat both the Raiders – 10-4 – and the Seahorses – 20-5 – in their matchups this season.

If CVU advances to the semifinals, they will likely face No. 4 Essex, who have given the Redhawks two tough battles, or No. 5 Woodstock, who lost to CVU 13-5 early in the season.

GIRLS LACROSSE

Three straight losses to end the regular season dropped the Champlain Valley Union girls lacrosse team to the No. 9 seed in the Division I playoffs.

The Redhawks (6-8) will take on No. 8 Essex (8-8) in the playdowns on Wednesday.

CVU lost both matchups with the Hornets by identical 14-8 scores and, perhaps more worryingly, both those losses came in the last week of the regular season.

If they get past Essex, the Redhawks would face top-seed and undefeated South Burlington in the quarterfinals, making CVU’s road to a title the toughest in the division.

BOYS TENNIS

The Champlain Valley Union boys tennis team took on South Burlington in the Division I playdowns on Tuesday. ADD SCORE HERE

The Redhawks, who finished with a 4-7 record and the No. 13 seed, played the fourth-seeded Wolves.

GIRLS TENNIS

The CVU girls tennis team may have seen their 75-game win streak come to an end but there is another streak that is still very much alive. The Redhawks will look to win their fifth straight Division I state title when they begin the postseason this week.

CVU, who lost just one game all season, earned the No. 1 seed and a first-round bye. The Redhawks will take on the winner of No. 8 Essex (6-6) and No. 9 Spaulding (6-4) on Thursday at 3 p.m.

While the regular season was a little tougher than seasons past on the court, the Redhawks are still heavy favorites to advance to the D-I final.

If they get there, they could face No. 2 South Burlington, their finals opponent for the last six title games.

The Wolves handed CVU their only loss this season and a doozy of a final could be on the way.

BOYS ULTIMATE

After three losses in their first five games, the CVU boys ultimate team won six of their last seven to finish with a 8-4 record and the No. 7 seed in the Division I playoffs.

The Redhawks took on No. 10 Lyndon (7-5) in the playdowns on Tuesday as they tried to advance in the first-ever VPA state tournament.

Lyndon and CVU have yet to play this year, but do have Mount Mansfield as a common opponent. CVU got two wins over the Cougars, while the Vikings fell to MMU in their only game.

If CVU advances to the quarterfinals, they will likely face. No. 2 Burr and Burton (10-1).

GIRLS ULTIMATE

In the first season of varsity status, the CVU girls ultimate team finished with a 5-3 record and the No. 3 seed in the Division I playoffs.

CVU will take on No. 6 St. Johnsbury (3-5) on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. at home in the D-I quarterfinals.

The Redhawks and Hilltoppers did not meet during the regular season and have almost identical records against common opponents, meaning there is not much separating the two foes.

If CVU wins, they will likely face No. 2 Burlington in the semifinals looking to book a spot in the first state title game.

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