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High School volleyball playoffs begin Wednesday

The Section 8-3A volleyball tournament will get underway at three sites tonight.

In the north, fifth seeded St. Cloud Tech will visit fourth ranked Brainerd while sixth rated Apollo journeys to third ranked Alexandria.

On Friday, the Tech-Brainerd winner goes to top ranked Moorhead while second seeded Bemidji hosts Alex or Apollo.

In the south the lone first round game has fifth seeded Big Lake at fourth seeded Monticello.

That winner plays at top ranked Sartell Friday while third seeded Sauk Rapids plays at second ranked SMA.

The four Friday winners advance to the section semifinals Tuesday at a neutral site where they will be cross bracketed with the lower seed from the north facing the upper seed from the south and vice versa.

The title game is Nov. 6, also at a neutral site.

SMA is the two time defending champion and an eight time regular at the state.

Moorhead has made 18 state trips winning the 1998 title and bowing four times in the final.

Alexandria has made 10 state trips, taking the state title in 1995 and 1999 and bowing twice in two other championship matches.

Bemidji and Sartell are still seeking their first crown.

Bemidji dropped a classic 3-2 decision to SMA in the 2007 final and lost to the same team 3-0 in the semifinals last year. SMA then beat Alex 3-2 in the final and went on take third place at the state meet.