Class 2A Region 8
Regional final date/location: Oct 31/West Liberty
Teams: Highland (10-14), West Branch (9-22), Iowa City Regina (25-8), Danville (7-17), Columbus Junction (5-25), Van Buren (19-10), Wapello (20-11), Durant (13-20), Wilton (32-5), Mediapolis (11-20), Louisa-Muscatine (4-22)
Area matchups: Louisa-Muscatine at Mediapolis, 7 p.m.; Durant at Wapello, 7 p.m. (winner travels to Wilton); Columbus Junction at Danville, 7 p.m. (All matchups are tonight)
Outlook: Columbus Junction enters postseason play on a five-match losing streak, and senior Maki Mendenhall leads the team with 120 kills and her 146 digs are is third on the team. The Wildcats will also rely on a freshman, Emma Milder, who leads them with 193 digs. Louisa-Muscatine has lost nine of its last 10 matches but ended the regular season on a high note with a straight set win over Lone Tree. The Falcons will continue to rely on scrappy team defense, as they have six players with more than 70 digs led by senior Alexa Wehrle at 157.
Durant has shown it can compete with some of the top teams in the area, as it pushed Wilton to three sets twice, Camanche to three sets once, and pushed Tipton and West Liberty to five sets. The Wildcats didn’t win any of those matches, but they hope to get over that hump in the postseason led by junior Ruby Kappeler, whose 607 assists lead the team and ranks 18th in Class 2A. Wapello will be led by its four seniors: Addison Lolling, Tiffany Parsons, Mariah Mitchell and Kirsten Hank. Lolling’s 685 assists rank 10th and Mitchell’s 447 kills rank second in Class 2A in 14 fewer sets than the leader.
Led by Aubrey Putman, Wilton has been an elite team all season and enters the postseason as winners 13 of its last 14 matches. The junior ranks third in Class 2A with 443 kills and third on the team with 329 digs. Senior Kali Milder ranks eighth in Class 2A with 402 digs and Kallie Poor has been one of the best facilitators in the state, as her 891 assists rank second in Class 2A.
Class 3A Region 7
Regional final date/location: Oct 30/Anamosa
Teams: Davenport Assumption (23-8), Northeast (6-24), West Liberty (21-13), Solon (15-20), Beckman Catholic (28-12), Monticello (23-9), Camanche (31-8), Anamosa (13-17)
Area matchups: Solon at West Liberty, 7 p.m., 10/18
Outlook: After a red hot start to the season West Liberty limps into postseason play with a 4-11 record over its last 15 matches. The Comets have leaned on Macy Akers this season, as the junior's 530 digs lead the team and rank third in Class 3A. Senior Brianna Morales has been their top offensive threat with 227 kills this season.
Class 5A Region 3
Regional final date/location: Oct. 30/TBD highest ranked team
Teams: Pleasant Valley (27-4), Muscatine (5-22), Burlington (7-18), Indianola (29-9), Urbandale (21-13)
Area matchups: Burlington at Muscatine, 7 p.m., Wednesday
Outlook: Although Muscatine has struggled with consistency in all phases this season, two of its five wins came against Burlington. The Muskies are a veteran team with six seniors that get significant playing time, but junior Haley Jarrett has been one of their most consistent players, as her 308 assists lead the team. Senior Morgan Hogenson leads Muscatine with 203 digs, and fellow senior Paige Miller is second on the team with 127 digs and has a team-high 82 kills.
-- Evan Riggs