IHSAA volleyball: Sectional draws, takeaways for East Central Indiana teams

Yorktown's Addi Applegate serves in the Delaware County volleyball tournament championship at Wapahani High School on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022.

MUNCIE, Ind. — The IHSAA released its volleyball sectional schedule on Sunday, and East Central Indiana teams now know their path to a trophy.

The tournament rounds will take place on Oct. 11, 13 and 15. Yorktown and Daleville were the area's sectional champions in 2021, but after multiple teams were reclassified, there should be several contenders this year.

Here are breakdowns and takeaways from all seven sectional tournaments involving ECI teams:

Class 4A Sectional 9 (at Yorktown)

First round: New Palestine (21-3) v. Greenfield-Central (9-15); Muncie Central (8-11) v. Pendleton Heights (19-9); Mt. Vernon (10-15) v. Anderson (1-11); Richmond (4-17) v. Yorktown (26-2)

Semifinals: New Palestine/Greenfield-Central v. Muncie Central/Pendleton Heights; Mt. Vernon/Anderson v. Richmond/Yorktown

Takeaways: Not that Yorktown needed any help, but the Tigers end up on the more favorable side of the bracket. Yorktown has won two consecutive sectional titles and seven in the last eight years, and is the favorite to cruise to victory again. The Tigers swept their biggest threat, New Palestine, 3-0 on Sept. 27, so it's hard to imagine head coach Stephanie Bloom's perennial powerhouse program not coming out on top. For Muncie Central, it got a tough draw against an opponent that swept the Bearcats on Sept. 13, making it unlikely they'd advance.

Related:Yorktown wins 9th straight Delaware County volleyball championship, Bloom breaks record

Class 3A Sectional 24 (at New Castle)

First round: Delta (13-8) v. New Castle (17-9)

Semifinals: Jay County (7-17) v. Centerville (6-18); Frankton (25-5) v. Delta/New Castle

Takeaways: Tough draw for Delta and New Castle, but the good news is both teams will get some clarity this week on where they currently stand. The Trojans lost to Frankton on Monday and host Delta on Tuesday, and how they perform against each other could indicate which side will advance to the semifinals. Jay County and Centerville are unlikely to pose a significant threat in the championship to whichever squad emerges from the other side of the bracket, so those first two rounds should decide the winner. No team in the field has won a sectional title in the last couple of years, so every point will be intense. This is a fun sectional.

Delaware County volleyball tournament:Wapahani v. Delta 5-set thriller headlines Round 1

Class 2A Sectional 40 (at Wapahani)

First round: Monroe Central (4-18) v. Wapahani (22-5); Muncie Burris (17-10) v. Winchester (18-11); Lapel (16-9) v. Wes-Del (18-7)

Semifinals: Alexandria (14-10) v. Monroe/Wapahani ; Burris/Winchester v. Lapel/Wes-Del

Takeaways: This is the most balanced sectional field on this list, but Wapahani is still the clear favorite. The Raiders won all of their previous matchups against Wes-Del (twice), Burris, Alexandria, Winchester and Monroe Central this season, and got an ideal draw. They also return to Class 2A after one year in 3A, during which Wapahani lost a heartbreaking five-set championship match to Bellmont. The team is supremely motivated to make a deep tournament run behind a strong class of seniors who were contributors on the program's back-to-back state runner-up teams from 2019 and 2020. The other side of the bracket, however, should feature some exciting matchups, and it's unclear which squad will advance to the final round.

Class 2A Sectional 39 (at Madison-Grant)

First round: Eastern (12-11) v. Elwood (6-19); Blackford (15-14) v. Tipton (20-7); Taylor (0-19) v. Madison-Grant (18-5)

Semifinals: Eastbrook (15-12) v. Eastern/Elwood; Blackford/Tipton v. Taylor/Madison-Grant

Takeaways: Tough draw for Blackford as both sectional favorites are on its side of the bracket. The Bruins will not play Tipton in the regular season and were swept at Madison-Grant on Sept. 15, and going by how much closer Tipton's 3-1 loss to Madison-Grant was than Blackford's, it'll be difficult for the Bruins to upset two teams in a row. Madison-Grant has won two consecutive sectional titles, already beat Tipton earlier this year and should be the favorite.

Class 2A Sectional 41 (at Knightstown)

First round: Union County (14-9) v. Northeastern (13-9)

Semifinals: Knightstown (7-15) v. Hagerstown (13-14); Shenandoah (3-20) v. Union County/Northeastern

Takeaways: It's been a tough season for Shenandoah, and this draw doesn't help. The Raiders will face whichever squad emerges from what should be a good first-round match, with Union County being more likely since it defeated Northeastern 3-1 already this season. Shenandoah was swept at home against Union County on Sept. 17.

Class A Sectional 55 (at Daleville)

First round: Liberty Christian (8-12) v. Anderson Prep (2-14)

Semifinals: Daleville (16-6) v. Tri-Central (12-11); Cowan (6-18) v. Liberty Christian/Anderson Prep

Takeaways: Daleville won its first sectional title in five years last season and should be the favorite in 2022. The Broncos did draw a first-round bye but will face likely their biggest threat, Tri-Central, in the semifinals. The two teams will not meet in the regular season and are both 1-3 against common opponents, although Daleville was more competitive in those losses. If the Broncos can win their semifinal match, they should have a good chance to win it all. Cowan is young and hasn't had a great season in terms of wins, but the Blackhawks are on the easier side of the bracket and have shot to get to the finals.

Class A Sectional 56 (at Union)

First round: Tri (4-20) v. Randolph Southern (3-14); Union City (7-21) v. Cambridge City Lincoln (21-5); Union (2-18) v. Seton Catholic (6-16)

Semifinals: Blue River (11-10) v. Tri/Randolph Southern ; Union City/Lincoln v. Union/Seton

Takeaways: Lincoln hasn't won a sectional title since 2006 but has a great shot to do so this year. Blue River lost to Lincoln 3-1 earlier this season, but it was fairly close throughout. Union has struggled and was previously swept by Seton Catholic earlier this season. Expect this one to come down to Blue River and Lincoln in the finals.

Gus Martin is a sports reporter at The Star Press. Follow him on Twitter @GusMartin_SP, and contact him at gmartin@gannett.com.

This article originally appeared on Muncie Star Press: IHSAA volleyball: Sectionals draws, takeaways for ECI teams