(SOUTHSIDER VOICE PHOTOS BY DEIDRE BARNETT)
Defending IHSAA girls’ volleyball sectional champions Roncalli, Center Grove, and Lutheran are favored to repeat as the 2023 playoffs are under way.
On the Southside, local sectionals began at Ben Davis and at Lutheran Tuesday (results too late for deadline). Only Perry Meridian and Franklin Central opened play in a doubleheader at Ben Davis. The remaining 10 Southside teams join them in action this week.
Roncalli is expected to run the table in the 4A sectional at Ben Davis with dangerous Brebeuf Jesuit in the opposite bracket. The 4A No. 4 Royals are the Circle City Conference and Marion County champions. Last year, Roncalli claimed sectional and regional trophies before falling to Castle in Final Four action.
4A No. 6 Center Grove, the Johnson County champions, appear to have an easy path to snare the Greenwood Sectional trophy. The Trojans won last year’s sectional but fell in their regional opener.
Vastly improved Whiteland is in the Franklin Sectional where the host No. 20 4A Grizzly Cubs are heavy favorites.
In 3A, Beech Grove and Christel House Manual are in opposite brackets in the Speedway Sectional.
Reigning sectional champion Class A No. 22 Lutheran and No. 23-ranked Greenwood Christian Academy are on a collision path for the championship match.
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Here’s the sectional pairings with won-lost records for Southside teams:
AT BEN DAVIS: Thursday, 6 p.m., Southport (16-8) vs. Roncalli (25-3); 7:30 p.m., Pike vs. Decatur Central (4-20). Saturday, 10 a.m., Perry Meridian-Ben Davis winner vs. Brebeuf-Franklin Central winner; 11:30 a.m., Southport-Roncalli winner vs. Pike-Decatur Central winner; 7 p.m., Championship.
AT GREENWOOD: Thursday, 6 p.m., Bloomington South vs. Bloomington North; 8 p.m., Martinsville vs. Mooresville. Saturday, 11 a.m., Center Grove (24-5) vs. Bloomington South-North winner; 1 p.m., Greenwood (11-17) vs. Martinsville-Mooresville winner; 6 p.m., Championship.
AT FRANKLIN: Thursday, 6 p.m., East Central vs. Franklin; 8 p.m., Shelbyville vs. Columbus North. Saturday, 11 a.m., Columbus East vs. EC-Franklin winner; 1 p.m., Whiteland (16-10) vs. Shelbyville-Col. East winner; 6 p.m., Championship.
AT SPEEDWAY: Thursday, 6 p.m., Washington vs. Ritter winner; 7:30 p.m., Christel House Manual (7-12) vs. Purdue Poly. Saturday, 11 a.m., Speedway vs. Washington-Ritter winner; 1 p.m., Speedway vs. CHM-Purdue Poly winner; 6 p.m., Championship.
AT LUTHERAN: Thursday, 6 p.m., Lutheran (14-15) vs. Victory Prep; 7:30 p.m., Greenwood Christian Academy (15-12) vs. Central Christian Academy. Saturday, 11 a.m., Tindley vs. Eminence-Providence Cristo Rey winner; 12:30 p.m., Lutheran-Victory Prep winner vs. GCA-CCA winner; 6 p.m., Championship.