The long road to Battle Creek and the volleyball state championships begins with a first step — districts.
Here’s a look at where each of the local teams will be in action.
First-round matchups take place Nov. 4, semifinals are Nov. 6 and finals are Nov. 8 unless otherwise noted.
Class A at Troy Athens
Troy Athens volleyball coach Christine Stanichuk is viewing the district tournament as an opportunity to make this season right.
The Red Hawks struggled with inconsistency in the Oakland Activities Association White Division, finishing 1-5, which is a record Stanichuk believes isn’t representative of her squad.
“I think after our loss last Tuesday (against Farmington High), we’re in the locker room and said to the girls, ‘This season didn’t go great, but maybe we’re going this route because we’re meant to have the great part at the end,’” she remembered. “Sometimes, there’s something great at the end of the tunnel, and maybe that’s what is in store for this team.”
Athens opens the tournament with Waterford Kettering at 7:30 p.m. in the first round. The winner takes on Pontiac High in a semifinal at 7:30 p.m.
On the other side of the tournament bracket, Troy High takes on Waterford Mott at 6 p.m. in the first round. The winner meets Auburn Hills Avondale at 6 p.m. in the other semifinal.
The championship is 7 p.m.
Athens beat Pontiac this season and lost to Troy. The Red Hawks haven’t seen the rest of the squads in the tournament, but Stanichuk said Avondale is probably the favorite, though she hopes it’s an all-Troy final like it was last season.
“I hope it’s Troy. I would love a second shot and would love to see that matchup,” she said. “I want this district for our seniors more than anything.”
Class B at Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood
Pontiac Notre Dame Prep takes on Clawson High at 6 p.m. at Clawson in the first round. Madison Heights Lamphere plays Detroit Henry Ford at 6 p.m. at home in the first round.
Cranbrook drew a bye and plays the winner of Ford and Lamphere at 5 p.m. in a semifinal at home.
Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day has the other bye and plays either Clawson or Prep at 7 p.m. in the other semifinal at Cranbrook.
The Championship is 6 p.m. at Cranbrook.