The seedings have been determined and the pairings drawn for the 2011 Mustang Invitational Thursday and Saturday at Downers Grove South.
Wheaton Warrenville South was awarded the top seed, followed by Downers Grove South, New Trier, Lake Park, Downers Grove North, Barrington, Naperville North and Oak Park. Glenbard East, Glenbrook South and Deerfield were seeded 9-11. Defending champion Maine South was seeded 12th.
Pool play begins Thursday at 5:00 p.m. at Downers South, Lockport and Niles West. The gold and silver divisions will be played Saturday at Downers South beginning at 8:00 a.m. with the bronze bracket played at Lockport
You have to like the chances of WW South and Sandburg to reach the finals of the IHSA Boys Volleyball State Tournament based on the “rolling of the peas.” The teams are in opposite halves of the draw announced April 15 in Bloomington.
The Tigers’ sectional at IMSA drew the winner of the St. Ignatius sectional (where Oak Park could snag the top seed) in the quarterfinals and the winner of the Belleville West (Neuqua Valley) vs. Warren (Buffalo Grove) quarterfinal in the semifinals.
Sandburg, which is expected to emerge from its own sectional after being upset in the sectional semifinals last year by Marist, drew the Niles North sectional winner (New Trier) in the semifinals and the Reavis vs. Schaumburg (Lake Park) quarterfinal survivor in the semifinals.
Marist (13-3) travelled to Cincinnatti last weekend to play three matches against teams from Ohio, including 2010 state runner-up Moeller, Centerville and 2010 state champion Elder.
The RedHawks went 2-1 against the Ohio teams, defeating Moeller in five games (Ohio plays best-of-five) on Friday and Centerville in four before losing to Elder in five on Saturday.
The RedHawks played most of weekend without middle hitter Jim Mead, who tweaked an ankle against Moeller. Marist was also without outside hitter Kevin Morrison, who suffered a foot injury earlier in the week against Sandburg.
“(Six-foot-4 middle) Tony Natalino really stepped up for us without the other two guys,” Marist coach Bob St. Leger said. “We had to go to him a lot. We played some great volleyball on Saturday even though we didn’t have our two best players.”
Marist also defeated Maine South 25-18, 26-24 on Thursday to finish the week 3-2.
“It’s still April,” St. Leger said.
Barrington (14-2), which had four players with at least nine kills each in its victory over Highland Park in the championship of the Lake County tournament Saturday, hopes to make a splash this weekend at the Downers Grove South invite.
“We want to let everyone know that we’re the real deal,” said senior outside hitter Matt Logue, who had 13 kills against the Giants and is one of only two seniors who get much playing time for coach Rob Ridenour.
“Everybody looks for Wheaton Warrenville South to come out of the western suburbs and Sandburg to come out of the south,” Logue said. “We want to represent the north side.”
The Broncos would likely have to get past Buffalo Grove in the Warren sectional to advance to the state tournament for the first time since 2005, when they lost in the finals in three games to WW South and finished 33-3.