The high school volleyball season has seemed like it's flown by.
But, yes, the road toward the state tournament at Wright State University's Nutter Center begins in earnest across the Buckeye State this week.
Sectional play in the Eastern District begins at a plethora of familiar sites with local squads in Divisions II, III and IV taking the court.
Action begins at the St. Clairsville district Monday night with a doubleheader.
At 6 p.m., No. 6 seed Steubenville will battle No. 9 seed Cambridge. This will be followed by a tussle pitting No. 7 seed East Liverpool against No. 8 seed Beaver Local.
The winner of the Steubenville-Cambridge match will return to St. C. on Tuesday to face No. 3 seed Edison in the second match of the night. Top seed Carrollton will battle No. 10 seed Buckeye Local in the evening's first match. Those two winners will square off Saturday at 6 p.m. with the winner advancing to the district final on October 24.
No. 2 seed Indian Creek and No. 5 seed Minerva will get things started at St. C. at 6 p.m. Wednesday. Meadowbrook will face the East Liverpool-Beaver Local winner in the nightcap. The two winners will battle in Saturday's second match with the winner returning for the district final on October 24.
Action begins at Meadowbrook High School Monday with a doubleheader.
At 6 p.m., Martins Ferry Ferry will face Barnesville. The nightcap features Fort Frye against Union Local. The two winners will play Thursday at 6 p.m. back at the home of the Colts.
Tuesday features another doubleheader in Byesville starting with traditional power Buckeye Trail against Bellaire. Monroe Central and St. Clairsville will battle in the next match. The two winners will tangle in the Thursday night finale.
The winners of both Thursday matches advance to play in Cambridge on Monday, Oct. 21.
Harrison Central opens sectional play Tuesday at Strasburg against Ridgewood. If the Huskies win, they would play Thursday at 7:30 p.m. against the Coshocton-West Muskingum winner.
Barnesville is the host site for local teams and action there begins Monday with Shadyside and East Richland Christian playing at 6 p.m.
Tuesday, St. John and Bridgeport will battle at 5:30 p.m., with River and Frontier playing right after. The two winners will square off at noon Saturday.
Thursday, Shenandoah will play Monday's winner at 5:30 p.m. Caldwell and Beallsville will lock horns in the nightcap. Both winners will play each other at 1:30 p.m.
Thorp can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org