Playoff time is upon us.
Our Greater Alton boys’ soccer and girls’ volleyball teams are ready to delve into postseason action over the next couple weeks and under a tweaked format.
Since the expansion of classes to three in soccer and four in volleyball back in the ‘07-08 prep season, there have been years where the talent hasn’t spread so evenly between regional tournaments. In an attempt to right that wrong, the IHSA came up with the idea of creating subsectionals.
Starting in ‘15 there will be two regionals taken and seeded Nos. 1-8, called subsectionals. Once they’ve been ranked, the top four seeds will split between two locations, with Nos. 1 and 4 going to one spot, while Nos. 2 and 3 head to the other. The remainder of the teams will then be sent to the closest geographic location.
The only way this formula deviates is if there is a hosting conflict. If that happens seed Nos. 1 and 3 could end up in the same place instead of 1 and 4.
What does all this mean? Well, for the five Greater Alton schools this season it means some travel early in the postseason.
We’ll start with soccer since the Class 1A postseason has already begun. Unfortunately, the Roxana Shells have already hung up their soccer duds for the 2015 campaign. The Shells bowed to host Greenville by the score of 5-0 on Oct. 9.
Roxana was a No. 7 seed, while the Comets were rated No. 6. The loss saw the Shells wrap up their campaign at 7-13-1.
Greenville advanced to play Althoff Catholic at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The other semifinal pitted No. 3 East Alton-Wood River against No. 5 Metro East Lutheran in Greenville. Althoff won 4-0, while the Oilers shaded the Knights 3-2 in overtime.
EA-WR and Althoff meet at 6 p.m. tonight in Greenville for the chance to advance to the Gibault Sectional in Waterloo. It would be the second straight sectional berth for the Oilers, who won their first regional championship in 2014.
The Civic Memorial Eagles and Marquette Catholic Explorers are mired in Class 2A. No. 10 seeded CM starts with a play-in match at 11 a.m. Saturday at No. 8 Taylorville.
The No. 6 seeded Explorers begin at No. 3 Jacksonville at 7 p.m. on Oct. 20. They will be looking to get the taste out of their mouths from last season’s regional where they fell 1-0 to Jersey in a shootout in the regional semifinals. The Jacksonville subsectional feeds into the Columbia Sectional.
Alton hits the road in the Class 3A postseason. The Redbirds are the No. 6 seed and face No. 3 seeded Quincy in Quincy at 5 p.m. on Oct. 20. The winner out of Quincy advances to the Collinsville Sectional.
EA-WR was the only Greater Alton soccer team to log a playoff victory a year ago, moving on to corral its first regional title in school history.
For complete brackets on soccer and volleyball, check out www.ihsa.org.
Moving on to volleyball, we get an extra week before soaring into the playoff stratosphere.
There are four classes in the volleyball postseason. Let’s start with Marquette, which is in Class 2A.
The Explorers earned a No. 3 seed and won’t play until Tuesday, Oct. 27 in Carlinville. They await Oct. 26’s winner between Carlinville and North Greene. The host Cavaliers are rated No. 5, while North Greene is the No. 9 seed.
The survivor in Carlinville travels to the Shelbyville Sectional.
Class 3A is where we find three of our Greater Alton squads. No. 9 Roxana will battle host Greenville, the No. 8 seed, at 6 p.m. Oct. 26, while CM (No. 7) and EA-WR (No. 10) square off at 7 p.m. in Greenville.
Whichever team comes out of Greenville advances to the Rochester Sectional.
Alton will enjoy staying close to home to start the Class 4A postseason. The Redbirds are the No. 7 seed and will face No. 9 Chatham Glenwood in Granite City at 6 p.m. on Oct. 26. The victor in Granite City advances to the Springfield Sectional.
Last season, Marquette and CM were the only volleyball teams to garner playoff wins. Here’s hoping that trend changes this season. Roxana was the last Greater Alton volleyball program to win a regional title in 2013.
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