Yorktown technically won the 2011 Class 3A state volleyball championship on Nov. 5 in Worthen Arena, but in truth, the Tigers sewed up the title two weeks earlier in the Muncie Fieldhouse.
The Tigers knocked off two ranked opponents in Central and Delta on Oct. 22 to advance out of the sectional. Both the Bearcats and Eagles pushed Yorktown to a fourth set, whereas the Tigers swept their next four state-tournament opponents.
The Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association preseason poll released on Tuesday indicates the winner of the 2012 sectional this October in the Fieldhouse will be primed once again to celebrate the Class 3A state title two weeks later in Worthen. The coaches ranked Central first in the poll, followed by Yorktown at 2 and Delta came in at No. 5.
“I believe we have the toughest sectional in the state,” Central senior setter Sarah Dale says. “… I believe if we have the ability to get past sectionals then we have the ability to win state and that goes for either of the other teams in the sectional. It’s a challenging sectional, but I believe it can be a really good sectional for us to be in.”
The No. 1 Bearcats open their season at 7:30 p.m. today at No. 2 Yorktown, and the winner in all probability will gain a psychological advantage for a potential rematch at sectional.
The Tigers fall between their two 3A county rivals in the poll, but they certainly stand out as the best in the group when taking into account the previous three seasons. Delta last beat Yorktown in the 2008 sectional. Since then, the Tigers have reeled off nine consecutive wins at the expense of the Eagles. Their success against Central is nearly as impressive. The Tigers have won five of their last six matches against the Bearcats.
“I think it makes all of us excited because around here volleyball is huge, and we all thrive on competitive volleyball,” Yorktown senior outside hitter Nikki Box says.
Box put up eye-popping statistics Tuesday when Yorktown opened its season by beating Class 4A No. 7 Westfield 25-20, 25-23, 25-27, 15-11. Box paced the Tigers with 20 kills and nearly matched in digs with 18.
Delta opened its season on a more ominous note. The youthful Eagles, with two freshmen on the outsides and a sophomore at libero, lost at home Tuesday to Class 2A No. 7 Madison-Grant 25-23, 25-9, 23-25, 23-25, 14-16.
Still, Delta possesses impressive talent and will be a dangerous out come state tournament time. The only problem for the Eagles is so will Central and Yorktown.
“We’re not too tall and we’re young,” Delta junior setter Madison Bergren says. “We just have to really outwork and outplay them even.”