Listen live Tuesday evening via JoeInsider.com to the regional #20 volleyball semifinal matches from Bronson High School. The first match at 5:30 p.m. sees the host and defending state-champion Vikings against Centreville, followed by Schoolcraft versus Niles Brandywine roughly around 7 p.m.
Three of the four teams are back together for the regional round with shifting district pairings preventing a regional repeat. Centreville is the one that wasn’t there last year, running into Bronson in the 2017 district round. Kalamazoo Christian is the team that did not return from last season’s group, falling in Thursday’s district final against Schoolcraft.
The Bulldogs are into the regional for the second time in three years, beating Cassopolis (3-0) and Constantine (3-2) in their district. Ranked ninth in the final Division 3 coaches poll, Centreville comes in at 49-5-4 overall. They get the unenviable task of facing second-ranked Bronson, who defeated the Bulldogs 25-19, 25-15 in the season-opening St. Philip tournament.
The Vikings have claimed three consecutive state championships, holding a 25-match postseason winning streak with a set record of 75-7 in those matches. Bronson sits at 53-6 overall in 2018. Formidable on any court, the Vikings also get the benefit of playing on their home floor, which they haven’t lost on since 2016. Bronson’s district wins came against Galesburg-Augusta and Union City.
In Bronson’s 25-match playoff win streak, only once have they been taken to a fifth set. That came against Schoolcraft in the 2017 regional final. The Eagles enter the 2018 regional at 44-7-2 and a third-best ranking in the final D3 poll. In addition to K-Christian, Schoolcraft swept Bloomingdale and Gobles in their district. The Eagles did meet Bronson earlier this season, falling 25-20, 26-24 in September’s Lakeview Invitational.
As for Brandywine, they come in at 45-5 after district victories over Watervliet, Bangor, and Bridgman. The Bobcats have continued their success despite dealing with injuries and a mid-season coaching change. Brandywine lost to Bronson in last year’s regional semifinal and was knocked out by Schoolcraft in 2014.
You can listen to both of Tuesday’s semifinal matches via the player below. Centreville and Bronson are set for 5:30 p.m. ET. Schoolcraft and Brandywine are listed for a 7 p.m. start, although it may begin later depending on the first match. The broadcast will end between matches and resume before first serve of the second match.
Photos by Nicci Plummer