Volleyball sectionals start Thursday
The 46th Indiana High School Athletic Association volleyball state tournament will begin with the sectional round this week.
Locally at the Class 3A Sullivan Sectional, Washington will play Vincennes Lincoln at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Princeton will play Pike Central in the first match at 11 a.m. Saturday to be followed by Sullivan vs. the winner of the Washington-Lincoln matchup.
The championship contest is set for 7 p.m. Saturday.
The Lady Arrows sport a 28-5 record while the Lady Alices are 25-4.
The two met in the opening week of the regular season almost two months ago at Lincoln. The Lady Alices prevailed 17-25, 25-21, 27-25, 25-22.
Sullivan was led by Lexi Netherlain, who had 29 digs. Netherlain, who has 462 digs this season, since has set the career mark for digs.
Madalyn Rinck and Emma Royer each served three aces.
Rinck had 18 assists and Royer dished out eight.
Asia Povlin had 13 kills and Ryli Bobbitt added seven.
Bobbitt leads the team with 22 solo blocks and 41 block assists.
Sullivan will be without one of its top hitters — Adison Perry. The senior had an appendectomy last week. Perry leads the Lady Arrows with 340 kills with a hitting percentage of .281 while Povlin has 305 kills while hitting .266.
As a team, Sullivan is serving right at 93 percent with 261 aces.
Royer and Rinck serve as setters in the Sullivan 6-2 offense.
The Lady Alices also use a 6-2 offense, led by setters Lauren McCrary and Callie Foster.
Lincoln has a balanced attack as Alison Hein (290), Grace Doane (272) and Chasity Trueblood (249) each have over 240 kills while Payton Sievers had 155 during the regular season.
At the Class A White River Valley Sectional 57, Bloomfield will play Eminence in the first match at 6 p.m. Thursday. The Lady Cardinals have a 12-12 record.
The second match will feature White River Valley (9-18) vs. North Central (7-19).
Those two winners will meet in the first semifinal at 11 a.m. Saturday with Shakamak playing Clay City in the second semifinal. Clay City won the Southwestern Indiana Athletic Conference championship with a 7-0 mark and have a overall record of 21-4.
The championship contest will be played at 7 p.m. Saturday.
North Central needed five sets to defeat host White River Valley 24-26, 25-15, 28-26, 24-26, 15-10 a week ago.
“It was an outstanding game and we just happened to be on the winning side in the end,” said North Central coach Matt Rinck. “We didn’t just play WRV’s team, we played their student section as well because they were a force on their own. They both will be tougher Thursday night.
“We are very evenly matched teams. I think it will come down to who wants it the most.”
For North Central, Cheany Deckard and Samantha Johns each had 16 kills against while Malee McCoskey and Amber May both were credited with 17 digs.
Brinley Stone dished out 51 assists and served eight aces.
Zoe Lowrence was credited with eight blocks.
“We didn’t quit. Once again, we found ourselves in familiar spots as last year or earlier this year and in those times we collapsed, but not tonight,” said Rinck. “Our heart came out tonight and pushed us through.
“We played as a team and were mostly focused. In the end, we had fun. I was proud of them.”
Rinck is the first to admit he does not always know what to expect from his Ladybirds.
“We are very inconsistent,” he said. “We still have trouble handling the ups and downs that come with volleyball.”
Tickets at both sites will be $6 per session or $10 for an all-session pass.
White River Valley
Match 1: Bloomfield vs. Eminence, 6 p.m.
Match 2: White River Valley vs. North Central, 7:30 p.m.
Match 3: Match 1 winner vs. Match 2 winner, 11 a.m.
Match 4: Shakamak vs. Clay City, 12:30 p.m.
Championship, 7 p.m.
Match 1: Washington vs. Vincennes Lincoln, 7 p.m.
Match 2: Princeton Community vs. Pike Central, 11 a.m.
Match 3: Sullivan vs. Match 1 winner, 12:30 p.m.
Championship, 7 p.m.