Posted Online: Oct. 05, 2012, 6:29 pm

Area volleyball quintet earn top regional billings

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By Terry Duckett, tduckett@qconline.com

Prep volleyball regional play is just over two weeks away and the postseason preparations have already begun for several teams dueling for supremacy in their respective conferences.

Five of those area contenders were rewarded for their regular-season efforts to date, garnering No. 1 seeds in their respective Class 1A and 2A regional tournaments. Three 2A clubs earned top billing to go with a pair of area 1A teams.

Both of those 1A top seeds -- Erie and Wethersfield -- also get the extra benefit of home-court advantage as regional hosts, as does Orion in Class 2A.

The Erie Cardinals welcome a field that includes (in order of seeding) Lanark Eastland, Milledgeville, Ashton-Franklin Center and Polo; the Wethersfield Lady Geese will entertain Lincoln Trail Conference rivals Princeville (No. 2), Annawan (No. 4), Galva (No. 5) and ROWVA (No. 6), in addition to third-seeded Williamsfield.

Both teams are also running second place in their leagues. Erie (16-8 overall) took that spot with its two-set win at Fulton Thursday night putting it behind only Riverdale in the Three Rivers Conference race. Wethersfield's 5-1 LTC mark has it tied with United, behind only Sciota West Prairie. Each also has a regular-season tourney title to their credit -- the Cardinals at Princeville and the Geese at Knoxville.

Speaking of Riverdale, last year's 2A regional and sectional champions (21-2) will carry top billing onto the floor of one of its TRAC-9 rivals, second-seeded regional host Fulton (8-12). Fellow Three Rivers rivals Morrison (seeded third) and Prophetstown (fifth) round out that field alongside No. 4 seed Alleman out of the Western Big 6 Conference.

Orion (25-2), which recently beat the Rams in the finals of the Orion Charger Challenge tournament, is tops among the six teams it will host at its own regional gathering. The West Central North-leading Chargers welcome conference rivals Sherrard (15-9) and Rockridge (8-12) to their gym, aw well as Three Rivers squads Kewanee (12-8-1) and Bureau Valley and LTC member Ridgewood.

The aforementioned United Red Storm (16-4) earned top billing at the Mercer County Regional, topping a field that also includes two solid clubs in second-seeded Knoxville and third-seeded Mercer County (11-10); No. 4 Bushnell-Prairie City-Avon and No. 5 Biggsville West Central (another LTC club) round out the group at Aledo.