When Creston participates in the Winterset Invitational volleyball tournament Oct. 13, it could be a preview of this year’s Class 4A regional opener.
Winterset (10-15) hosts Creston (9-8) in a first-round match at 7 p.m. Oct. 22. The winner faces Dallas Center-Grimes (5-14) on Oct. 25 at Grimes.
On paper, that’s a favorable matchup, but the other side of the bracket includes third-ranked Harlan (17-3). The Cyclones face the winner of Norwalk vs. Perry.
The regional final is scheduled Oct. 30 in Stuart.
“The road is encouraging for us, if we play at our best,” Creston coach Polly Luther said. “We just have to come to play. I was excited when I saw the pairings.”
It’s been many years since Creston has played in a volleyball regional final, but Luther knows there’s a lot of work to be done to get there. Still, she’s not intimidated if that happens and Harlan is there waiting as the obstacle to state.
“I do think we can play with Harlan, but we have to be on top of our game,” Luther said.
The Panthers have a Hawkeye 10 match tonight at Denison-Schleswig.
East Union, the only area team in the state ratings (11th), has been assigned a different regional than No. 10 Bedford. The Eagles open Class 1A Region 3 play at home on Oct. 16 against 0-7 Diagonal. They would face the winner of Lenox vs. Orient-Macksburg on Oct. 23 at Afton.
Murray hosts a first-round match against Mormon Trail.
The other half of Region 3 does contain a rated team, No. 15 Grandview Park Baptist (13-5).
Corning and Bedford are assigned farther west in Region 2 along with No. 6 Stanton.
Nodaway Valley and Mount Ayr are assigned to Class 2A Region 3, which includes No. 6 Treynor.
The pairings (all matches 7 p.m. unless noted):
Class 4A Reg. 2
Oct. 22 — Norwalk at Perry; Creston at Winterset.
Oct. 25 semifinals — Perry/Norwalk at Harlan; Creston/Winterset at Dallas Center-Grimes (at Grimes).
Oct. 30 finals — At Stuart.
Class 3A Reg. 3
Oct. 22 — Clarke at I-35, Truro; Saydel at ADM (Adel); Shenandoah at Clarinda; Atlantic at Red Oak.
Oct. 25 semifinals — At Adel and Red Oak.
Oct. 30 finals — At Atlantic.
Class 2A Reg. 3
Oct. 17 — Clarinda Academy at Griswold; Riverside at Audubon; Van Meter at West Central Valley; Central Decatur at Mount Ayr.
Oct. 23 quarterfinals — East Mills vs. Clarinda Academhy/Griswold at Griswold; Riverside/Audubon at Treynor; Van Meter/W. Central Valley at Nodaway Valley; Central Decatur/Mount Ayr at Des Moines Christian (Urbandale).
Oct. 26 semifinals — At Treynor and Des Moines Christian.
Oct. 31 finals — At Greenfield.
Class 1A Reg. 2
Oct. 16 — Whiting at Charte Oak-Ute; Boyer Valley at Woodbine; Heartland Christian at West Harrison (Mondamin); Sidney at Stanton; Nishnabotna at Fremont0Mills (Tabor); Villisca at Corning; Essex at Bedford.
Oct. 23 quarterfinals — Whiting/CO-U at Ar-We-Va (Westside); at Mondamin, Tabor, Bedford.
Oct. 26 semifinals — At Woodbine and Corning.
Oct. 31 finals — At Atlantic.
Class 1A Reg. 3
Oct. 16 — Mormon Trail at Murray; Lenox at Orient-Macksburg; Diagonal at East Union; Grandview Park Baptist at Melcher-Dallas; Southeast Warren at Martensdale-St. Marys; Exira/Elk Horn-Kimballton at Earlham; CAM at Adair-Casey.
Oct. 23 quarterfinals — Lamoni vs. MT/Murray at Murray; at Afton, Martensdale and Adair.
Oct. 26 semifinals — At Afton and Adair.
Oct. 31 finals — at Truro.