Bloodhounds at home in Round 1, No. 4 North Scott looms in bracket, but no CR Xavier
BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – If the Holy Trinity Catholic girls are to make a return trip the U.S Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids for the Class 1A state volleyball tournament, they’ll have home court advantage the whole way.
Regional pairings were released Wednesday and HTC will host the first two rounds after receiving a first round bye, and the regional championship will be played at Fort Madison High School.
After the bye, the Crusaders will take on the winner of Winfield-Mt. Union/Burlington Notre Dame regional opener on Monday Oct. 28. First round action starts on Tuesday, Oct. 22.
The Fort Madison Bloodhounds will kick off regional action on Wednesday, Oct. 23 at home against Keokuk in a 7 p.m. tilt. If the Hounds make it past the Chiefs, they will face Burlington on Oct. 29 in . The Grayhounds received a first round bye. On the other side of the bracket, Mt. Pleasant and Fairfield battle it out for the right to face No. 4 North Scott.
The winners on both sides of the bracket will face off on Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. at a site to be determined with the highest seeded team remaining hosting that match.
“I believe or players looked at the regional and are looking forward to the challenge,” FMHS Head Coach Kent Bailey said.
“We play an improved Keokuk on our home court which presents another opportunity to play in front of our fans and the familiarity of our home court. The winner gets a much improved Burlington team which will be a challenge.”
Bailey said it’s nice to finally not have Cedar Rapids Xavier staring them down at the end of the bracket, which they have in past years.
“It is nice to see a team other than CR Xavier on the other side, but North Scott is an excellent team as well,” he said.
“We have the ability to play well on any given night and hope to be playing our best volleyball as we move toward the regionals.”
HTC Head Coach Melissa Freesmeier said she’s happy with the regional draw, but said it’s a tough bracket.
“We’ve got tough teams with Notre Dame, WACO, New London… whichever way it goes with those guys, but yeah it’s always nice to be home. We’re excited about the season and where we’re getting to.”
The Crusaders are coming off a three-game sweep of a hot West Burlington team that had one seven of it’s last nine game. But the road isn’t any easier the next seven days with HTC facing Central Lee, Notre Dame, WACO, and Class 2A 5th-ranked Mediapolis next Thursday.
“We’ve still got some good matches this wee, but I feel like we just have to continue to build from here and I can see the girls gaining confidence as the season goes on. We’re pretty excited about where we’re at right now,” Freesmeier said.
Also in the Crusaders’ half of the 1A bracket, Moravia will play Seymour and Wayne will face off against Moulton-Udell both in Monday night opening round action.
In the bottom half of the bracket stands New London, which holds a 4-3 game advantage over the Crusaders, but the teams have split matches this year. Holy Trinity was ranked last week at the No. 8 team in 1A, with New London right behind at No. 9. New rankings are due out today.
New London will face Hillcrest Academy in the first round. The Tigers will have home court advantage through their regional play.
The winner of the match with take on the winner of the Keota/Tri-County match. Also in the bottom half of the 1A bracket, WACO will take on Highland at WACO and Sigourney will take on North Mahaska in Sigourney.