By Al Stilley Editor and Bob White, community outreach rep
Roncalli and Perry Meridian square off in the first round Friday of the Indiana Boys Volleyball Coaches Association (IBVCA) state finals in the Falcons’ gymnasiums.
The No. 1-ranked Royals and No. 7 Falcons collide at 6 p.m., and are among eight teams to reach the coveted finals.
The pairings also find No. 3 Cathedral and Brebeuf Jesuit colliding at 8 p.m. Two gyms will be used Friday and Saturday until the state championship match in the main gym. Friday, No. 6 North Central and No. 2 Hamilton Southeastern meet at 6 p.m. and reigning two-time state champion No. 5 Fishers faces Cardinal Ritter.
The winners meet Saturday at 11 a.m. in separate gyms at PMHS with the title match at 4 p.m. in the main gymnasium.
Roncalli reached the eight-team field by sweeping Avon 25-9, 25-11, 25-8 in the regionals on the Royals’ floor and then swept Carmel 25-11, 25-17, 25-17 to advance to the state finals.
The Royals are chasing their second championship after winning it all in 2018. They returned again in 2019 and 2021 only to lose to Fishers in the title match. Roncalli had reached the final match four times before landing its only state title.
Perry Meridian advanced by defeating Columbus North 25-8, 25-10, 25-22 and then Guerin Catholic 25-22, 25-14, 25-14 in the Roncalli regional.
Three Southside teams also had reached the regionals.
Franklin Central upset Silver Creek, winning the first set 25-18 and narrowly winning the next two sets 26-24 and 25-23. The Flashes fell to Cathedral in the regional title match 25-15, 25-16, 25-13.
No. 16 Southport battled Carmel to five sets in a regional semifinal thriller. After losing the first game 25-15, the Cardinals recovered and captured the next sets 25-19 and 25-20 but the Greyhounds won the fourth set 27-25 and the deciding set 15-10. Southport trailed 4-0 in that set before battling before their tourney run ended.
The Cardinals finished the season with 14 wins and 17 loses but will graduate only one senior.
Center Grove lost to Brebeuf Jesuit in its first regional match 25-11, 25-16, 25-14. The Trojans were state champs in 2006 and 2009 in a four-year run of reaching title matches.
Boys high school volleyball is sanctioned by the IBVCA, but has earned “emerging sports” status by a recent vote by the Indiana High School Athletic Association’s board of directors. Currently, 42 high school teams have boys’ volleyball but would need participation by 50 percent of high schools to become a recognized sport with an IHSAA state tournament.
The IBVCA has administered the state tourney since 1994.