Effingham Daily News
A number of area teams advanced in their regional tournaments on Tuesday with wins that put them in position to win a regional championship on Thursday.
At least two will move on to the sectionals, as four of the area teams are paired against one another. At most, six can advance to sectionals next week.
St. Anthony (30-5) beat Pana, who went to sectionals last year as the regional champion, to set up a matchup against Shelbyville (19-12) on Thursday. The Bulldogs won in two sets, 25-20 and 25-17 against the Panthers.
The two teams haven't played each other this season and were in the same regional pool last year, but didn't play each other. Shelbyville beat Teutopolis in two sets, 25-13 and 25-13 on Tuesday.
Thursday's game will start at 6 p.m. in Pana and decide which team advances to the Newton Sectional, where either St. Anthony or Shelbyville will play the winner of the Casey Regional final.
Newton (24-12) and Robinson (20-7) will meet to decide the champion of the Casey Regional and face the Pana champ. Newton beat Marshall in three sets on Tuesday, while Robinson advanced with a three set win over Casey-Westfield.
The Eagles and Maroons met earlier this season with Newton winning in three sets. In the matchup this season, the Eagles regrouped after a 25-15 first-set loss to win the final two sets, 25-19 and 25-22. Thursday's rematch is set to begin at 6 p.m. in Casey.
Altamont and Metro-East Lutheran will play to decide the St. Elmo Regional at 6 p.m. on Thursday, which is another regional pool that feeds into the Newton Sectional next week.
The two teams met during last season's regional play-in game and Altamont won in three close sets, winning the first and last set 25-22 and 25-17 and losing the middle set 25-22.
Altamont (26-7) beat St. Elmo and Metro-East Lutheran (21-13) beat Flora, each in two sets, to advance to Thursday's matchup. The winner will play the winner of a Carlinville vs. Staunton matchup in the Piasa Regional.
In the Class 1A Dieterich Regional, Stew-Stras and Neoga won on Tuesday to set up a rematch of two matchups earlier this season in National Trail Conference play.
Stew-Stras (23-12) beat Neoga (22-13) in both matchups earlier this season, including a two set win at the end of September, 25-20 and 27-25. Also, the Comets beat the Indians in the NTC tournament in three sets, taking the first and last sets of the match.
Stew-Stras and Neoga each swept their Tuesday opponents to advance to the game that starts at 6 p.m. on Thursday in Dieterich. The winner will advance to the Arcola Sectional to play the winner of the Kansas vs. Martinsville final in the Hume Regional.
South Central (16-16) beat Patoka in two close sets on Tuesday to advance to play North Clay in the South Central Regional. North Clay beat Ramsey in straight sets on Tuesday.
In the two teams' previous matchup this season, North Clay won in three sets, winning the first and last set 25-19 and 25-19 and dropping the middle set 25-20.
Also, Windsor (14-15) advanced to the Arcola Regional final on Thursday with a win over Arcola on Tuesday. The Blue Devils beat Arcola in straight sets, advancing to play Arthur-Lovington.
Arthur-Lovington (25-3) beat Atwood-Hammond in two sets on Tuesday to reach the final. The two teams played each other last week, as Arthur-Lovington pulled out a very close three-set victory. Thursday's game will start at 6 p.m. in Arcola with Windsor looking to finish what they started last week.