The Kentucky volleyball postseason begins Monday, Oct. 19, with district tournaments around the state.
While Ninth Region frontrunners Notre Dame and St. Henry have uncertainties in their rosters as their varsity programs are in quarantine because of COVID-19, they plan on playing the district tournaments this week.
Northern Kentucky has six teams in the Kentucky Volleyball Coaches Association state poll, five from the Ninth Region. The Top 25: 1. Assumption, 2. Mercy, 3. Notre Dame, 4. Henry Clay, 5. Sacred Heart, 6. St. Henry, 7. Ryle, 8. Elizabethtown, 9. Paul Dunbar, 10. North Oldham, 11. Male, 12. Presentation, 13. McCracken County, 14. Greenwood, 15. Cooper, 16. Tates Creek, 17. Central Hardin, 18. Manual, 19. Holy Cross, 20. West Jessamine, 21. Simon Kenton, 22. Louisville Holy Cross, 23. Lafayette, 24. Ballard Memorial, 25. Thomas Nelson.
Cooper is 3-0 in the 33rd District with three-set sweeps over Boone County, Conner and Ryle. Newport Central Catholic (14-9) is the frontrunner in the 36th after beating Highlands 3-1 during the season.
The top five in the Ninth Region KHSAA RPI: 1. Notre Dame .672, 2. Cooper .641, 3. Holy Cross .635, 4. St. Henry .622, 5. Dixie Heights .565. Note: Due to a technical error, the KHSAA currently does not have an RPI for Ryle or NewCath, who could be in the top five with one.
The three Oldham County schools have controlled the Eighth Region in the current alignment, but Simon Kenton has a chance to stop that this year. Simon Kenton (16-4 overall) is 5-1 against the Eighth Region, including a win over North Oldham, who is ranked 10th in the state. SK has lost to South Oldham. SK is 6-2 against Ninth Region competition and 2-0 vs. reigning 10th Region champion Campbell County.
SK ranks second in the Eighth Region in RPI (.627) behind Eminence (.643). Walton-Verona is seventh (.528).
The 37th District has won the 10th Region championship every year in the current alignment. Campbell County has won the past two district and regional titles, and is undefeated against 10th Region competition this year (5-0).
Campbell is only 7-10 overall, but six of them are against Ninth Region competition, including ranked teams Ryle and Notre Dame. The Camels have also lost twice to 21st-ranked Simon Kenton from the Eighth Region.
In the RPI, Brossart ranks fourth in the 10th Region (.502),. Pendleton County fifth (.497) and Scott sixth (.484).
32nd District at Grant County
Monday: Simon Kenton (16-4) at Grant County (0-7), 6 p.m.
Tuesday: Walton-Verona (13-6) vs. Williamstown (8-6), 6 p.m.
Wednesday: Final, 6 p.m.
33rd District at multiple sites
Monday: Boone County (3-16) vs. Heritage Academy (5-9), 6 p.m. at Ryle
Tuesday: Conner (5-10) at Ryle (13-6), 6 p.m.; Boone/Heritage at Cooper (11-3), 6 p.m.
Wednesday: Final, 6 p.m. at Ryle.
34th District at Ludlow
Monday: Lloyd Memorial (4-5) at Ludlow (9-14) , 5 p.m., winner vs. Dixie Heights (13-8) at 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday: St. Henry (12-6) vs. Villa Madonna (7-8), 7 p.m.
Wednesday: Final, 7 p.m.
35th District at Notre Dame
Monday: Notre Dame (17-3) vs. Holmes (4-14), 5:30 p.m.; Beechwood (10-11) vs. Holy Cross (17-4), 8 p.m.
Wednesday: Final, 7 p.m.
36th District at Dayton
Monday: Bellevue (7-11) vs. Newport (4-12, 6 p.m.
Tuesday: Newport Central Catholic (14-9) vs. Bellevue/Newport winner, 6 p.m.
Wednesday: Dayton (14-6) vs. Highlands (11-7) , 6 p.m.
Thursday: Final, 6 p.m.
37th District at Calvary Christian
Monday: Campbell County (7-10) vs. Calvary Christian (7-9), 5 p.m.; Scott (9-13) vs. Bishop Brossart (11-11), 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday: Final, 7 p.m.
Players to watch: The Enquirer identified 11 players as the preseason players to watch. Here is how they have done:
Olivia Crowl, senior, Campbell County – She has 177 kills and 68 total blocks; Maya Hunt, sophomore, Holy Cross (Covington) – She leads the Indians with 233 kills and 70 blocks; Gabby Kallmeyer, senior, Scott – She leads the Eagles with 277 kills and 224 digs; Marie Kiefer, senior, Bishop Brossart – She has 353 kills and 63 solo blocks, including her 1,000th career kill last week; Anna Long, senior, NDA – She leads the Pandas with 276 kills and also has 33 blocks; Rylee McKinney, junior, Campbell County – She has played nine matches and has 83 kills in those appearances, over nine per start; Taylor Preston, junior, St. Henry – She leads the Crusaders with 217 kills and 41 blocks, and also has 97 digs; Rebekah Sergent, junior, Simon Kenton – She leads the Pioneers with 194 kills and is second in digs with 313; Lucy Trump, junior, Ryle – The reigning NKAC DI player of the year has 275 kills and 129 digs; Emily Wichmann, senior, NDA – The Oakland commit leads NDA with 217 digs; Torri Wurtz, senior, Holy Cross (Covington) – She is second on the Indians with 204 kills.
Others to watch: Simon Kenton has three players in triple figures in kills, including Sergent, Naomi Hayes and Ella Murray, and Abby Lachmann has over 300 digs. Brittney Tackett averages more than 25 assists per match. Notre Dame has three players in triple figures in kills besides Long: Emma Grace, Sydney Nolan and Abby Powers. Nolan leads the Pandas in blocks. Bentley has nearly 700 assists. Cooper’s Kaitlyn Luebbers has 154 kills and 174 digs and has more than 1,000 of each in her career. Savannah Snebold is one of the area leaders in blocks with 83. Cora Taylor has 368 assists for St. Henry and is considered one of the top setters in Northern Kentucky. Dixie Heights’ Maia Long is one of the leaders in kills with 293. Dayton is the NKAC Division III leader behind kills leader Laci Davis and digs leader Haylee Reynolds, plus seniors Angel Thomas, Tatum Turner, Rayla Woodyard and Liberty Windeler. NCC is led by Madison McCloskey and Riley McCloskey, who have more than 200 kills each. Kori Reckers has more than 500 assists.