- Val T.
Volleyball draw: Rochester, Caston, Winamac, Argos all receive byes
Valley gets West Noble, Pioneer to face Lakeland Christian, Culver draws O-D
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
The Rochester volleyball team’s quest for their third straight sectional title will begin like the previous two – with a bye.
Meanwhile, Pioneer’s bid for a 16th straight sectional title and a second straight state title will start with a sectional quarterfinal match against Lakeland Christian.
Those were among the revelations of the IHSAA volleyball draw that occurred Sunday night.
Rochester. Winamac, Argos and Caston were the four RTC area teams to receive byes.
While neither Tippecanoe Valley or Culver received byes, both drew teams they have already beaten this season.
Sectionals will be held statewide from Oct. 12-16. Tickets are $6 per session or $10 for an all-sectional ticket.
Regionals are Oct. 23. Semistates are Oct. 30. The IHSAA state finals will be held at Worthen Arena on the Ball State campus in Muncie on Nov. 6.
The Lady Zs received byes in both 2019 and 2020 on their way to sectional titles. They got one again and will wait for the winner of the Westville-South Central (Union Mills) match in a Class 2A, Sectional 35 semifinals.
South Central is 24-4 on the season and already has two wins over Westville.
Rochester beat South Central in three sets in their most recent meeting in the 2019 sectionals.
In the other half of the bracket, South Bend Career Academy will play Bremen in the quarterfinals with the winner to meet LaVille in the semifinals. Bremen beat LaVille in four sets in their regular season meeting on Sept. 8.
Rochester has beaten Bremen in the final each of the last two years.
The Lady Vikings will play West Noble in a Class 3A, Sectional 21 quarterfinal at Lakeland on Oct. 14. The winner will meet Jimtown, who received a bye, in the semifinals.
Valley is 18-9 on the season, and one of their wins was a 25-14, 25-19, 25-23 win at home over West Noble on Aug. 19.
At the time of the draw, West Noble was 5-18, and Jimtown was 12-14. West Noble had no wins over teams with winning records, and Jimtown had only one.
Valley has never won a sectional title in volleyball.
In the other half of the bracket, NorthWood drew Lakeland in the quarterfinals with the winner to meet Wawasee in the semifinals.
NorthWood is 26-2 on the season and already has wins in the bank over Lakeland, Valley, West Noble and Jimtown. NorthWood meets Wawasee in their Northern Lakes Conference match on Thursday. NorthWood is 6-0 in the Northern Lakes Conference and has already clinched at least a share of the conference title.
Caston ended a 16-year sectional match drought last year when they beat North Miami in the quarterfinals.
This year, they do not even have to worry about the quarterfinals as they received a bye. Caston will await the Southwood-North Miami winner in the Class 1A, Sectional 52 semifinals at Southwood on Oct. 16.
Caston swept North Miami in three sets on Sept. 27. They did not face Southwood during the regular season. Southwood is 22-4 on the season and has already clinched a share of the Three Rivers Conference title.
In the other half of the draw, Pioneer drew Lakeland Christian in a quarterfinal on Oct. 14. Pioneer beat Lakeland Christian in three sets in last year’s sectional semifinals in their most recent meeting. Northfield, who received a bye, will face the winner. Northfield has slipped from 27-2 last season to 7-15 this year.
Culver drew Oregon-Davis in what will be the third act in their season trilogy in the Class 1A, Sectional 50 quarterfinals at Triton on Oct. 14.
Culver has already doubled last year’s win total – five wins last year, 10 wins so far this year.
Culver defeated O-D in five sets in their regular season meeting on Aug. 17 but lost to the Lady Bobcats 2-0 in a tournament at John Glenn four days later.
The Culver-Oregon-Davis winner will play Argos, who received a bye, in the semifinals. Argos (1-15) has already lost three times to Culver this year. Argos does not play O-D during the regular season.
In the other half of the draw, LaCrosse will play Triton in the quarterfinals with the winner to play West Central.
Triton has won two straight sectionals and six sectionals in the last seven years.
The Lady Warriors, who fell to 4-22 with a loss to rival North Judson Monday, could see the Lady Jays again in the sectional final.
But first, Winamac must beat either Rensselaer or Boone Grove in a Class 2A, Sectional 34 semifinal at Boone Grove on Oct. 16. Rensselaer owns regular season wins over both Boone Grove and Winamac, but they have not won a sectional title since 1991.
The Rensselaer-Boone Grove match will be the second quarterfinal on Oct. 14. The first quarterfinal will feature North Judson and Hebron. The regular season match between North Judson and Hebron is this Thursday at Hebron, and they will meet again in the sectional a week later.
The North Judson-Hebron winner will play North Newton, who received a bye, in the semifinals.
North Judson is the defending sectional champion, and they have won five sectionals in the last eight years.