Stage set for the 50th Volleyball State Tournament

With 393 teams entered, the matchups for the 50th Annual IHSAA Volleyball State Tournament were announced last evening via webstream at Host sites will announce their respective playing schedules this week and the IHSAA will populate the tournament brackets that will be linked at Sectional play begins on Tuesday, Oct. 12, and continues through Saturday, Oct. 16, at 64 sites across the four enrollment classifications. Those sectional champions will advance to a four-team regional on Saturday, Oct. 23, to be followed by a single semi-state round on Saturday, Oct. 30. The four state championship matches at Ball State University’s Worthen Arena are scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 6. The four top-ranked teams in the latest polls from the Indiana High School Volleyball Coaches Association at headline this year’s field. The No. 1 Penn Kingsmen will meet the Goshen RedHawks in the opening match of Sectional 4 at Concord. In Class 3A, the top-ranked Brebeuf Jesuit Braves, last year’s state runner-up, will face the Heritage Christian Eagles in Sectional 27 at Indianapolis Bishop Chatard. The No. 1 Andrean Fighting 59ers will host the Hammond Bishop Noll Warriors in Class 2A, Sectional 33. And in Class A, the top-ranked Trinity Lutheran Cougars will host the Crothersville Tigers in a first round match in Sectional 62. Among the defending state champions from a year ago, Class 4A’s Yorktown Tigers, ranked third overall this week, will host Muncie Central in a Sectional 9 first round match. Last year’s 3A state champion, the second-ranked Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger Saints drew the bye into the semifinal round and will meet the Leo-Fort Wayne Concordia victor in Sectional 22 at Angola. The Barr-Reeve Vikings were last year’s 2A title winners but have moved up to Class 3A and will meet the Sullivan-Pike Central winner in the Sectional 31 semifinals at Princeton. And the Pioneer Panthers, the defending champions in Class A, will play the Lakeland Christian Cougars in a Sectional 52 first round match at Southwood. This year, high school athletics is commemorating the landmark passage of Title IX signed into law by President Richard M. Nixon in the summer of 1972, which changed the athletics landscape across the United States. With it, the IHSAA, under Commissioner Phil N. Eskew and the Association’s first Director of Girls Athletics, Patricia L. Roy, initiated seven state tournaments for girls in various sports over the next four years. The first of which was volleyball in 1972. A total of 270 teams and approximately 2,700 girls were entered in the first volleyball state tournament that autumn. From that field, eight teams advanced to play in the first state finals tournament at Beech Grove High School on December 9, 1972. South Bend St. Joseph’s emerged the victor in a 15-5, 15-5 battle with Ben Davis to claim the first IHSAA state championship in a girls sport.

As for the sectional sites involving our local teams –

Sectional 29. Batesville – 7 team sectional

M1: Franklin County vs. Greensburg. M2: South Dearborn vs. Rushville Consolidated. M3: Connersville vs. Lawrenceburg. M4: Batesville vs. M1 winner. M5: M2 winner vs. M3 winner. Championship: M4 winner vs. M5 winner.

Sectional 45. South Ripley – 7 team sectional

M1: North Decatur vs. Milan. M2: Switzerland County vs. Southwestern (Hanover). M3: Austin vs. South Ripley. M4: South Decatur vs. M1 winner. M5: M2 winner vs. M3 winner. Championship: M4 winner vs. M5 winner.

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