The girls state volleyball tournament is back in Cedar Rapids next week. Tonight, many area teams will be trying to punch their tickets into the tournament field.

Let's begin with the five metro teams still in the hunt. In Class 5A, Cedar Rapids Kennedy, ranked sixth, takes on 11th ranked Dowling Catholic tonight at Cedar Rapids Kennedy.

14th ranked Cedar Rapids Prairie hits the road to battle #3 West Des Moines Valley.

The #4 Linn-Mar Lions, sporting the metro's best record at 32-8, host Pleasant Valley.

In Class 4A, #3 Marion (33-9) will host Oskaloosa.

Meanwhile, it's #6 Cedar Rapids Xavier hosting #8 Clinton.

The two Iowa City public schools, City High and West, both play tonight as well. #8 West hosts Bettendorf while #10 City High travels to Dubuque Hempstead.

If all seven Cedar Rapids metro and Iowa City schools win tonight, there will be some very familiar colors making their way through downtown Cedar Rapids next week. Mount Vernon could join them. The #5 Mustangs play Davis County tonight, in Washington, in Class 3A.

1A and 2A schools play for the right to get into the tourney tomorrow night.

The week of the Girls State Volleyball Tournament is one of my favorites of the entire year in downtown Cedar Rapids. You can just feel the excitement and see the school pride, everywhere you look. No matter who wins their way into the U.S. Cellular Center next week, we'll welcome all the schools and fans with open arms. Still, I'd like to see some of these local teams win. It's ok, you can call me a homer if you like.

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