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  • Val T.

Volleyball draw: Rochester draws NM, could face Pioneer in final

Caston gets Southwood; Valley to face Bremen; Culver draws Triton; Argos, Winamac receive byes


BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

The Rochester volleyball team will get a chance to avenge its regular season loss to North Miami when they meet in the sectional quarterfinals.

This was among the revelations of the IHSAA volleyball draw revealed Sunday.

Here is how the draw affected area teams.

Rochester, Pioneer, Winamac

Rochester is 5-20 but coming off back-to-back wins over Wabash and Winamac last week. They lost to host North Miami in four sets in their Three Rivers Conference meeting on Sept. 20.

Now they will play again in a Class 2A, Sectional 36 quarterfinal at Pioneer on Oct. 12. The winner will play Wabash, who received a bye, in the semifinals.

While Wabash lost at home to Rochester on Sept. 26, they are the defending sectional champions, and they eliminated Rochester in last year’s sectional final.

In the other half of the draw, Pioneer drew Lewis Cass, and the winner will play Winamac.

Led by Ohio Christian University-bound Brooklyn Borges and Vanguard University-bound Mackenzie Rogers, Pioneer is 19-10.

In addition to having the home-court advantage, Pioneer is the only team in the sectional with a winning record. No other team in the sectional has even half as many wins as Pioneer does.

Winamac is 2-23. Freshman Brooke Rausch has a team-high 46 kills.

The Sectional 36 champion will advance to the Rochester regional on Oct. 21.

Tippecanoe Valley

Valley and Bremen are future rivals in the Indiana Northern State Conference beginning in 2024-25, but they will get an early start on their rivalry when they meet in a Class 3A, Sectional semifinal at Bremen on Oct. 14.

Valley accumulated one of their 18 wins when they defeated Bremen 25-12, 25-17 at the Valley tournament on Sept. 16. Bremen is 5-20 on the season.

Valley is seeking its first sectional volleyball title in school history.

If Valley is to meet three-time defending sectional champion Culver Academy, it would occur in the sectional final. First, the Lady Eagles must take care of John Glenn in the quarterfinal on Oct. 12 and then beat Knox, who received a bye, in the semifinals on Oct. 14.

Culver Academy (20-5) and Valley (18-11) are the only teams in the sectional with winning records. Culver Academy eliminated Valley in last year’s sectional final.

NorthWood will host the regional on Oct. 21.

Caston

After falling to Southwood in the sectional each of the last two years, Caston will get another shot at the Lady Knights when they meet in a Class 1A, Sectional 53 semifinal at Southwood on Oct. 14.

Southwood is 20-4 while Caston is 21-6. Southwood is both the two-time defending Three Rivers Conference and two-time defending sectional champion.

Caston will try to claim sole possession of second place in the Hoosier North if they can beat Triton Tuesday.

The senior quintet of Alexa Finke, Annie Harsh, Macee Hinderlider, Isabel Scales and Addison Zimpleman will try to bring Caston its first sectional volleyball title.

In the opposite half of the five-team field, Lakeland Christian drew Southern Wells in the quarterfinal on Oct. 12, and the winner will return two days later to face Northfield (20-6), who received a bye.

Southwood will also host the regional on Oct. 21.

Argos, Culver

Culver has already dropped two matches to Triton this season, including a five-setter at home in their Hoosier North meeting.

They will meet for a third time in a Class 1A, Sectional 50 quarterfinal at Marquette Catholic on Oct. 12.

Triton is 21-4, and all four losses have been to higher-class teams. Two of their losses came at the Michigan City tournament Saturday.

Culver is 14-13 but coming off losses to Elkhart Christian and LaVille last week. Culver has won four sectionals in its history but none since 2011.

Brynn Berndt has a team-high 210 kills and 209 digs. Grace Sieber has 207 digs and 231 assists. Sieber shares setting duties with Ashley Pugh, who has 153 assists. Livi Overmyer has a team-high 250 serves received.

The Triton-Culver winner will face Argos, who got a bye, in the semifinals. Argos is 1-25 under first-year coach Ondraya Perez.

This marks the 50th anniversary of Argos’ only sectional volleyball title.

In the other half of the draw, defending sectional champion Marquette Catholic received a bye and will await the Westville-Oregon-Davis winner in the semifinals.

The Sectional 50 champion will advance to the regional at Culver on Oct. 21.


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