Iowa City West and Cedar Rapids Kennedy are fixtures at the state volleyball tournament.
There’s no guarantee either of them will get back.
“It looks like there might be some new teams this year,” West Coach Kathy Bresnahan said as the Women of Troy prepared for Monday’s Class 5A regional quarterfinal match against Muscatine.
West is the reigning big-school champion (the Women of Troy were 4A state champs in 2010 and 2011). Kennedy has been to the semifinals four straight years. Neither of them have a free ride or a smooth road to the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena.
With just 40 teams in 5A, that means three teams per region draw first-round byes while two kick off tournaments on opening night. Count West (19-16) and No. 9 Kennedy (22-12) among those jumping in right away.
West hosts Muscatine (19-11) in the opening round in Region 8; Kennedy entertains Marshalltown (22-16) in Region 5.
“Muscatine is going to be a tough, tough matchup for us,” Bresnahan said. “I think the (Mississippi Athletic Conference) is tougher overall than (the Mississippi Valley Conference) right now. We played horribly Tuesday night (in a loss to Cedar Rapids Prairie), and we need to stop talking about things and just do it.
“Volleyball is a game of mistakes, and we’re making too many unforced errors.”
If the Women of Troy advance, they’ll face No. 4 Iowa City High in the regional semifinals. Kennedy would likely have to get past No. 3 Dubuque Hempstead in the regional finals to get back to state.
MVC tournament runner-up Cedar Rapids Washington (25-13) hosts Cedar Rapids Jefferson (4-31) in a Region 7 quarterfinal.
Class 4A and Class 3A regionals also kick off Monday. No. 6 Solon, No. 7 Maquoketa and No. 9 Cedar Rapids Xavier all drew first-round byes in 4A, but No. 8 West Delaware and No. 10 Marion were assigned first-round dates in 4A Region 7.
West Delaware (28-11) opens at home with Decorah (11-24) while Marion entertains Western Dubuque (11-23). If the Indians advance, they’ll host No. 13 Dubuque Wahlert in the semifinals Thursday.
There’s one area match in 3A that features two ranked opponents. No. 7 Union (30-7), a state semfinalist last year, hosts No. 13 Waterloo Columbus (24-13).
Regional quarterfinals are Tuesday in 1A and 2A.
MONDAY’S CLASS 5A REGIONAL QUARTERFINALS
Marshalltown at Cedar Rapids Kennedy (Byes: Waterloo West, Waterloo East, Dubuque Hempstead)
Cedar Rapids Jefferson at Cedar Rapids Washington (Byes: Linn-Mar, Cedar Rapids Prairie, Pleasant Valley)
Muscatine at Iowa City West (Byes: Iowa City High, Ottumwa, Burlington)
MONDAY’S CLASS 4A REGIONAL QUARTERFINALS
Boone at Ballard (Waverly-Shell Rock, bye)
Des Moines Hoover at Grinnell (Benton Community, bye)
Pella at Newton (Solon, bye)
Carlisle at Indianola (Oskaloosa, bye)
Knoxville at Fairfield (Mount Pleasant, bye)
Washington at Clear Creek Amana (Cedar Rapids Xavier, bye)
Decorah at West Delaware (Vinton-Shellsburg, bye)
Western Dubuque at Marion (Dubuque Wahlert, bye)
Fort Madison at Keokuk (North Scott, bye)
Davenport North at DeWitt Central (Maquoketa, bye)
MONDAY’S CLASS 3A REGIONAL QUARTERFINALS
Crestwood at Osage
New Hampton at Waukon
Oelwein at Dyersville Beckman
Waterloo Columbus at Union
Monticello at Cascade
Independence at Center Point-Urbana
Anamosa at Northeast
Camanche at Davenport Assumption
East Marshall at Mount Vernon
South Hardin at South Tama
Williamsburg at West Liberty
Monroe PCM at Baxter CMB
Chariton at Albia
Davis County at Centerville
Central Lee at Columbus Junction
Mid-Prairie at Mediapolis