The Warsaw and Wawasee volleyball teams will both have a tough row to hoe to claim sectional championships.
The Tigers and the Warriors both found out their sectional foes this morning as the IHSAA held the pairings for postseason play.
A total of 402 teams statewide will open action in the 42nd annual state tournament series next week. Sectional championship matches are scheduled for Oct. 26. One game regionals in the four-class tourney are Oct. 29 with semi states Nov. 2 and the four State Finals matches Nov. 9 at Ball State University.
Warsaw will play host to a six-team, Class 4-A sectional. The Tigers will meet Elkhart Memorial in a sectional semifinal match on Oct. 26 at approximately 12:30 p.m. Warsaw lost to the Crimson Chargers in sectional semifinal play a year ago as Memorial went on to claim its’ sixth straight sectional title.
The Tigers, who are 22-6 on the season, lost 3-1 at home back on Aug. 29 to conference foe Memorial. The Crimson Chargers, who won the NLC title at 7-0, are 22-10 after going 3-1 Saturday in the LaPorte Invitational.
Warsaw, which has won 16 of its’ last 19 matches, did beat Memorial 26-24, 25-19 in the Michigan City Invitational Sept. 21.
The Warsaw Sectional is loaded as five of the six teams already own 20 or more wins this fall. The tourney opens with Northridge (21-5) versus Goshen (7-22). Concord (20-12) plays Elkhart Central (24-3) in the other first round matchup.
The field at Warsaw also includes the area’s most dynamic player in Azariah Stahl. The senior outside hitter for Elkhart Central has committed to play at Purdue. Central has lost to city rival Memorial and NIC foes Penn and Mishawaka Marian this season.
Wawasee will meet perennial power Fairfield in a first-round match at West Noble on Oct. 24 at 6 p.m. The Warriors, who started the season 9-1, are 14-15. Fairfield, ranked No. 7 in Class 3-A, sits at 21-7.
The Warriors have lost 14 straight matches to the Falcons, including a 3-0 decision in Syracuse on Aug. 22. Fairfield has won nine consecutive sectional championships. The Wawasee-Fairfield winner meets the winner of the NorthWood (14-12)-Lakeland match in a semifinal.
Whitko will face the host Chargers in the first match of sectional play in Ligonier on Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. Tippecanoe Valley drew a bye in the seven-team event and will meet the winner of the Whitko-West Noble match in semifinal action on Oct. 26 at 11 a.m.
Triton drew Argos in the opening match of the Class 1-A Oregon-Davis Sectional. The Trojans face the Dragons on Oct. 22 at 6 p.m. ET.
Lakeland Christian Academy will compete in the seven-team sectional field at Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian. The Cougars play Bethany Christian in a first-round match of the Class 1-A sectional on Oct. 24 at 6 p.m.
The champions of the West Noble and Oregon-Davis sectionals would host the one-match regional. The winners at Warsaw and Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian would play on the road in regional action.
Complete sectional pairings can be found at ihsaa.org.