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Volleyball playoffs in high gear

As the end of October draws near, the volleyball action for area teams heats up.

Nine teams with state tournament aspirations will take to the court today in their respective subsection semifinals.

Six of the teams will face fellow area squads. In Section 6AA-South, No. 2-seed Litchfield plays No. 3-seed New London-Spicer in the second semifinal match at Kimball. It's scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. start. The teams did not face each other in the regular season.

All four teams in the Section 3AA-North semifinals are area teams and all are in the West Central South Conference. Yellow Medicine East will play Montevideo at 6 p.m. and Benson will meet Lac qui Parle Valley at 7:30 p.m. Both matches are at Montevideo.

The Sting, the subsection's top-ranked team, has beaten the No. 5 Thunder Hawks three times this season; twice in conference play and once in the championship match of Montevideo's tournament.

The Braves, the No. 2 seed, split with the No. 3 Eagles during the regular season, which each team winning on the road.

Defending Section 5A champ Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, the only area team in the final State Coaches Association volleyball poll, will meet Braham in a semifinal at 7 p.m. at Melrose. Neither team met in the regular season.

The final two area teams are in Section 3A-North. MACCRAY will play against Minneota, the subsection's top seed and ranked No. 3 in the last Class A poll, in the first semifinal at 6 p.m. at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall. The Wolverines lost to the Vikings 3-0 Sept. 11.

Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg faces Camden North Conference rival Lakeview in the second semifinal at 7:30 p.m. The teams met on Sept. 8 at Cottonwood with Lakeview winning, 3-0.

The subsection championship matches will all be held on Thursday and the section championships matches will be on Saturday at various sites.