> SOUTHERN INDIANA —
The Floyd Central and Silver Creek volleyball teams will each play a conference rival in their respective first-round sectional matches next week.
Class 2A No. 1 Providence will take on a Clark County foe to begin its defense of the Class 2A Providence Sectional championship. As for Christian Academy, it will start its defense of the Class A CAI Sectional title in the semifinals thanks to an opening-round bye.
Like hundreds of volleyball teams throughout the state, area squads learned their sectional pairings on Monday morning as the IHSAA conducted its blind draw for the 42nd annual state tournament. Sectionals will get under way next week.
CLASS 4A FLOYD CENTRAL SECTIONAL
For the third time this season, the Class 4A No. 6 Highlanders will face Class 4A No. 7 Seymour as they drew each other in the opener of the Floyd Central Sectional at Highlander Gymnasium at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 24.
The Owls won the first meeting on Sept. 3 at home, as they rallied from a two-sets-to-one deficit to defeat Floyd Central, 17-25, 25-22, 17-25, 25-23, 15-9. The Highlanders returned the favor to Seymour on Oct. 5 at Johnson Arena in Jeffersonville, as they beat the Owls in the Hoosier Hills Conference Tournament final, 25-19, 25-20.
Seymour has won the last two sectional championships. The Owls edged Floyd Central in the 2011 New Albany Sectional final, 16-25, 20-25, 25-14, 27-25, 15-10.
The second first-round match on Oct. 24 will pit New Albany against Bedford North Lawrence at about 8 p.m. The Bulldogs lost to the Stars in the opening round of the HHC Tournament, 25-20, 25-19.
The first-round winners will face each other in the first semifinal at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26. The second semifinal will have Jeffersonville facing Jennings County at approximately noon on Oct. 26. The championship will be at 7 that evening.
CLASS 3A BROWNSTOWN CENTRAL SECTIONAL
Two-time defending sectional champion Brownstown will try to avenge its regular-season loss to Silver Creek on Oct. 24 when the Mid-Southern Conference rivals meet in the opening round of the Class 3A sectional at about 7:30 p.m.
On Sept. 12 at Silver Creek, the Dragons swept the Braves, 26-24, 25-14, 25-22, to put them in first place in the MSC standings. Silver Creek has not lost a conference match since then and can clinch the outright MSC title with a win at Corydon Central on Wednesday. Brownstown has captured at least a share of the conference title in each of the past 24 seasons.
The sectional will start with two first-round matches next Tuesday. Scottsburg will take on Corydon at 6 p.m., followed by Madison versus North Harrison at approximately 7:30 p.m. Charlestown will face Salem in the first match at 6 p.m. on Oct. 24 and will play the winner of Silver Creek and Brownstown.
The semifinals and the championship will be on Oct. 26. Next Tuesday’s winners will meet in the first semifinal at 11 a.m., followed by the Oct. 24 first-round victors facing each other in the second semi at about 12:30 p.m. The final will start at 7 p.m.