The Saddleback volleyball team found out on Thursday that it had qualified for the Southern California Regional Playoffs. The Gauchos will play at Grossmont College on Tuesday night.
Saddleback (19-8, 12-4) was a third place finisher in the Orange Empire Conference, and with the reputation of the conference figured it may be at home for the opening round of the playoffs. That wasn't the case as the tournament organizers gave Saddleback the No. 9 seed, where they will travel to the No. 8 seed in Grossmont. The Griffins (20-6, 9-1) were the co-champions of the Pacific Coast Conference South Division, splitting the title with San Diego City College.
Saddleback and Grossmont have met once this season with the Gauchos beating the Griffins 3-0 back on September 20. In that match, Antonette Rolda led the team with 14 assists while Mandy Sides had a team-high six kills and six digs.
It's the second straight season that third-year coach Brian Hughes has led the Saddleback program to the playoffs after a 15-year hiatus from the festivities. Last season Saddleback was the No. 8 seed and lost at Long Beach City College in the opening round.
Match time on Tuesday is scheduled for 6:00 PM in El Cajon. The winner is likely to face top-seed Irvine Valley College next Saturday for an opportunity to go to the state tournament at Solano College on December 2-3.