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BALL FIVE: Class B joins Class A with Sweet 16 format

Class A volleyball started a different postseason last fall with the advent of the Sweet 16. It worked out pretty well for the Lady Tigers, but it was different. Instead of playing a rivalry match in front of familiar foes and just as familiar fans, the Lady Tigers played Pine Ridge. They won, but there was, to me, something missing.
Class B is going to the Sweet 16 this year. The change is going to be dramatic from the opening round. Gone are the districts. In are the regions with two qualifying matches to get to the Sweet 16.
Here’s how everything (I think) is going to shake out in regions 2 and 8, the two regions that affect our area volleyball teams.
Herreid/Selby Area, on the strength of the Wolverines’ 26-2 record, is the number one seed in Region 2. They will get a bye, along with number two seed Sully Buttes. The first round on Monday will pit nine seed Eureka/Bowdle at eight seed Edmunds Central and 10 seed Sunshine Bible Academy at seven seed Highmore-Harrold. The winner of the Edmunds Central vs. Eureka/Bowdle matchup will play at Herreid/Selby Area on Tuesday and the winner of the Sunshine Bible Academy vs. Highmore-Harrold winner will play at Sully Buttes. Also that night will be five seed Ipswich at four seed Potter County and six seed Leola/Frederick at three seed Faulkton Area. Herreid/Selby Area is in the top bracket, and should they advance, will take on the winner of the Ipswich vs. Potter County match. The bottom bracket is Sully Buttes, presumably hosting the Leola/Frederick vs. Faulkton Area winner. Those matches will be on Nov. 2 with the winners advancing to the Sweet 16.
Got it?
Out west in Region 8B, Harding County is the one seed, Lemmon is the two seed and Faith is the three seed. They get the byes. On Monday, nine seed Newell plays at eight seed Tiospaye Topa, 10 seed Takini plays at seven seed Bison and 11 seed Wakpala plays at six seed Dupree. Tuesday matches pit five seed McIntosh at four seed Timber Lake with the eight-nine match winner playing at Harding County in the top bracket. The bottom bracket is the seven-10 winner at Lemmon and the six-11 winner at Faith. The sweet 16 qualifiers will be on Friday at the top seeds.
After that, nobody knows who they will play or where the match will be played. Unless the seed points fall just right, we’re going to miss out on something as classic as a Herreid/Selby Area vs. Sully Buttes drag-out fight to see who goes to state.
I’m not used to this new arrangement yet. It might take a while.