DI Districts to Regionals: Upcoming Action
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The regional round is just ahead and the field is narrowing rapidly. With regional semifinal action set to begin at the start of the new month, here are some of the top upcoming sectional rounds. Region 1St. Joseph Academy is…
The regional round is just ahead and the field is narrowing rapidly. With regional semifinal action set to begin at the start of the new month, here are some of the top upcoming sectional rounds.
St. Joseph Academy is ranked #2 in DI and features one of the best 2025 prospects in the Midwest in . The core group around her has been taking care of business all season, including a current 12 match win streak. They have not dropped a set in their previous four matches. They next take on Mentor, ranked #18 in the most recent poll. The Cardinals are led by sophomore and her 3.3 k/s. She has earned double-digit kills in their last five matches for a 4.4 k/s average over that stretch. Also in Region 1 is NDCL. Senior (*pictured) leads them offensively with 3.5 k/s as sophomore libero Abby Tolin picks up 4.6 digs per frame. She had a season high 29 digs in a match earlier this month. They will face Jackson, led by senior McKenna Weber and her 3.4 k/s. Her career best average is highlighted by her increased effectiveness as she terminates through a .335 efficiency and 48% kill rate. SJA (21-4 overall) has depth around the floor along with being tested competitively all season, including 3-0 wins over both Jackson and NDCL. They should emerge to the state semifinal round.
This region may be the biggest toss-up given three teams are currently ranked in the top 20 and the fourth team in Perrysburg, although unranked, has a core trio of arms that can put a lot of pressure on teams. Junior Sophie Burkey has offered up a career best 4.2 k/s has she has had a breakout varsity campaign including five matches over 20 kills. They next face St. Ursula of Toledo. The Arrows are ranked #16 and feature the dual senior veteran threat of and Erynn Maloney, who average 4.0 k/s and 3.5 k/s respectively. Fellow senior has nearly 800 assists on the season and controls their offense well through her hands. On the other side are Avon and Avon Lake, ranked 9th and 12th. The Avon Eagles are 24-1 overall and are led by one of Ohio’s better sophomores in and her 3.9 k/s. A strength of this team is their net defense as they collectively earn nearly eight blocks per match. The Shoreman from Avon Lake are 24-2 overall behind their own dynamic senior duo of (4.6 k/s) and (4.4 k/s). These two teams have faced off twice already with each winning in 3-0 fashion. Expect every point to be intense. An Avon Lake vs. SUA match up would be fun given the senior leadership that is fighting through their final varsity season.
Dublin Scioto, ranked #8, is a favorite in their next match when they take on Oletangy Liberty for the Central 4 district title. The winner will face either Pickerington North or Bishop Watterson. Pickerington Central, ranked #14, will face off against Lewis Center Oletangy, while #7 Oletangy Orange will battle Kilbourne. As we have a few matches ahead of the district finals round, he predicted match up for the regional final round is Dublin Scioto, and the all-everything , versus Oletangy Orange and their senior offensive duo of Lily Baron and . In addition to these experienced arms, this region also features Pickerington Central’s (5.5 k/s), Bishop Watterson’s terrific sophomore in (4.3 k/s), Oletangy’s Katelyn Nichols (3.6 k/s), Pickerington North’s (3.6 k/s), and Oletangy Liberty’s Ana Cate Loftus (3.8 k/s). Look for Dublin Scioto to be the last team standing to the final weekend of the season.
The greater Cincy area has seen a lot of success late in the postseason primarily represented by the GGCL. As MND and Ursuline have recently won state titles, it may be the year for Seton as the state’s #1 ranked DI team has been atop the state poll for multiple weeks. They have great balance at the pins, in the middle, and in the serve and pass phases. They face a Lebanon team that will need to get beyond their one dimensional offense in order to have a chance in this Southwest 2 district final. The aforementioned MND and Ursuline presence in the postseason gets a head-to-head battle soon as the two compete against one another for an opportunity to get to the regional round. MND is led by seniors (3.2 k/s) on offense and in the first-touch areas. Ursuline features two top-five offensive threats in the GGCL in juniors , leading the league with 342 kills, and middle , fifth in total kills while leading the league in total blocks. Surprisingly, neither one of them was selected to the GGCL all-league 1st team in spite of their league leading efforts in arguably the toughest conference in the state. The Centerville versus St. Ursula (Cincinnati) match could potentially be a highlight reel of some of the Cincy areas biggest arms as the Elks have , the GWOC’s player of the year, and (3.3 k/s; 1st team all-GWOC) while the Bulldogs have (3.8 k/s) and (3.0 k/s). Defense will be key here and SUA may have they edge with senior Cincinnati-bound Kaleigh Freitch on their side. She was a recent GGCL 2nd team selection. The one team in this region that has the tools to shut down a GGCL run through regionals is Kings. Ranked #3 and closing out ECC play unbeaten for a second consecutive league title, this team has a dynamite quartet of seniors representing the best veteran experience among all of these teams. The Knights are led by the league’s best setter in who has earned 850 assists this season alone. She is less than 50 assists from eclipsing 3,000 for her varsity career. averages 3.6 digs per set and anchors their defense while the tandem of and are the two best offensive prospects in the league given their production and versatility that contributes impact numbers on both sides of the ball on any given night. A Seton versus Kings regional final would be ideal given how these two teams have been dominant all season. The two faced off at the end of September with Kings winning the marathon five-set match 17-15 in the final frame.