40 volleyball teams vying for crown this weekend

Friday, September 10, 2004

The B.A. Sports Volleyball Tournament is being held in Cape Girardeau.

By Jeremy Joffray and Mark Unterreiner ~ Southeast Missourian

The 17th annual B.A. Sports Volleyball Tournament begins today at the Show Me Center with Notre Dame looking for another trip to the finals.

The Bulldogs lost to Notre Dame of St. Louis last year after winning the championship in 2002 with a win against Oakville. Notre Dame (7-1-1) is off to a strong start this season after defeating Marshfield in the championship of Notre Dame's Sportsfest on Saturday.

"If we play like we did this weekend in Sportsfest, I think we'll be fine," said Notre Dame coach Tara Stroup.

Notre Dame shouldn't have much trouble getting into the gold bracket -- reserved for the top two teams from each of eight pools -- with New Madrid, Bernie, Clearwater and Marquand in its pool. Notre Dame defeated Bernie in two games on Tuesday.

"Our chances are as good as anybody's if we play good," Stroup said. "But we're going to have to beat some really strong teams to make it to the finals. Overall, I think we have a pretty good chance going into the tournament."

The Bulldogs will play on their home floor tonight at 5 p.m. If the Bulldogs get through pool play unscathed, they could meet Farmington in the semifinals with a chance to avenge their only loss this season.

Nearly every team from the area will compete in the 40-team field. Seven defending district champions are entered, including all four from last year's Class 1 Advance sectional. Bell City, the Class 1 state champion, will play Gideon, another Advance sectional team, in pool play. Bell City beat Gideon in three games in last year's sectional. Jackson joins those two teams in Pool C along with Portageville and Oran.

Scott City is 6-0 and coming off a championship in the SEMO Conference Tournament. The Rams will have Poplar Bluff, Richland, Meadow Heights and New Haven in their group.

"I'd say we have a pretty good chance," Rams coach Laura Ort said of her team advancing to the gold bracket.

St. Louis Notre Dame is in Pool E with Leopold, Sikeston, Greenville and St. Elizabeth Academy.

The championship game is set for 6 p.m. Saturday at the Show Me Center. Pool play, as well as both silver and gold bracket games, will also be played at Notre Dame and the Southeast Student Recreation Center.

New district pairings bring few changes

District pairings were released for fall sports recently, with little affect on local teams.

The biggest change came with the makeup of Notre Dame's soccer district. District rival St. Pius X moved down to Class 1, leaving the Bulldogs with De Soto, Windsor, Hillsboro, Fredericktown, Sikeston and Lutheran South.

As expected, Chaffee's softball team was placed in Class 1 District 1, the same district as Delta.

College notes

Jackson graduate Travis Dambach, a sophomore at Kansas, picked up his second career start in the Jayhawks' season opener against Tulsa. Dambach started at right tackle in Kansas' 21-3 win.

Quincy junior J.P. Limbaugh, a Central graduate, caught seven passes for 45 yards and a touchdown in a 20-8 victory over William Penn in Quincy's opener Aug. 28. Limbaugh's teammate and fellow Central graduate Kenneth Lowe, a sophomore strong safety, had six tackles in the game.

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