If Lake Central coach Tina Tinberg were drawing the ping pong balls for the girls volleyball sectional, she has a preference.
"Honestly, I would have liked to have been opposite of Munster, ideally, but I'm not opposed to just playing Saturday," Lake Central coach Tina Tinberg said. "We'll have all week to prepare."
The Indians, who beat the Mustangs in a five-game marathon in 2012 for the sectional title that eventually turned into a regional title and semistate appearance, drew the bye courtesy of the IHSAA. Lake Central will play the winner of Munster vs. Morton in one Oct. 26 semifinal as the sectional pairings were announced Monday.
"It's always going to be an epic battle, both programs are so strong," Tinberg said.
Munster topped the Indians in August before Lake Central went on to win the Duneland Athletic Conference.
"L.C. is definitely in my mind, our rival for the last few years playing sectionals," Munster coach Tracy Summers said. "I feel very happy about playing them in the morning. We play well in the morning. We've beaten some really good teams playing in the morning."
That doesn't mean that the Mustangs are thinking the field includes only them and the Indians.
"We don't want to put anything past Highland, they've looked wonderful lately," Summers said. "Lowell has their moments and we don't want to look past anyone."
In Sectional 2, host Crown Point will need to beat Merrillville and the winner of LaPorte vs. Hobart to advance to the sectional title game. The Bulldogs have already beaten every team in the field at least once this season, but haven't won a sectional title since 1992.
In Class 3A, Gavit and Griffith split the regular-season series, with Griffith winning the scheduled matchup and Gavit taking the win in a tournament.
So it was almost no surprise to Gavit coach Amy Osorio when she saw that her Gladiators had drawn the Panthers in the first round next week.
"I think it could be a positive," Osorio said. "I'm glad we're playing the evening game, I dread the Saturday morning games. My girls tend not to do well when our first game is on a Saturday morning."
Gavit lost to Griffith last season in the Saturday morning semifinal.