The IHSAA state volleyball tournament is ready to swing into action. Sectionals open tonight with finals set for Saturday night.
Three Howard County teams are in action tonight — Northwestern and Western square off at 6 p.m. in the Class 3A Peru Sectional opener, and Taylor faces Elwood at 7 p.m. in the Class 2A Madison-Grant Sectional opener.
The following are looks at sectionals around the area.
class 3A PERU SECTIONAL
The seven-team field at Peru features four Mid-Indiana Conference squads and three Hoosier Conference squads. The first two matches are MIC-vs.-MIC matchups — Northwestern vs. Western tonight, and Peru vs. league champion Maconaquah at 6 p.m. Thursday.
“I think it will be a competitive sectional,” Mac coach Jessica Metcalf said. “I think with four of the teams being in the MIC, we all have a preview of each other.”
Northwestern went 2-0 against Western in the regular season. The Tigers took a 25-17, 25-15, 25-22 win in league play, and a 25-13, 25-11, 25-14 win in the Howard County Tournament.
“We beat them this season so I’m hoping as long as these girls go in knowing they’re still going to have to play a tough game, we’ll be OK,” Northwestern coach Trina Yager said. “It’s sectionals and teams step up in the sectionals and play a lot different than they do during the regular season, I think. So we’ll have to play well.”
Northwestern (14-12) built a little bit of momentum by playing well in the closing weeks of the regular season. The Northwestern-Western winner will face Twin Lakes in the semifinal round. The Tigers beat the Indians 15-25, 25-23, 14-25, 25-21, 17-15 last week.
“I think these girls have it in them to go pretty far in that sectional and even win, as long as they play their game,” Yager said. “We just have to keep our heads in the game and stay focused on what we know we need to do.”