It isn’t the Metro Conference tournament first-round match that Millard West was expecting.
The fourth-seeded Wildcats will take on 13th-seeded Millard North 7 p.m. Monday. That match and all the rest in the four-day, 18-team tourney will be at Ralston Arena.
The Mustangs went from a high seed to a low seed after a recent NSAA ruling. It was determined that Millard North had been using an ineligible player, so the school had to forfeit 14 wins.
Suddenly, Millard West’s first-rounder has become much more difficult. But Wildcats coach Joe Wessel said his team is ready.
“We don’t have any anger about the situation we’ve been put in,” he said. “We just need to take care of our own business.”
The teams met for the first time last week, with host Millard North prevailing in five sets.
“We’re looking forward to playing them again,” Wessel said. “Hopefully, this one ends differently.”
The match will be one of 10 first-rounders Monday. The quarterfinals will be Tuesday and semifinals Wednesday before the championship at 6 p.m. Thursday.
Matches Monday and Tuesday will be best of three. The semifinals and final will be best of five.
Despite the forfeits, Millard North’s record remains at 19-8. An NSAA official said Thursday that record will change to reflect the 14 losses before the start of districts.
The Wildcats enter the tournament with an 18-10 mark.
Millard North’s drop in the wild-card point standings — from fourth to 22nd — will be felt Thursday, when district seeds are released. The Mustangs went from hosting a district to becoming a tough lower seed in another district.
“A lot of coaches are trying to keep track of their points and figure out where they might end up,” Wessel said. “But right now, all we can do is take it one step at a time and do the best we can.”
He added that he feels sorry for the Millard North players who have gotten caught up in the forfeits.
“I feel for them,” he said. “I’ve coached a lot of them in club and it’s a tough situation.”
Undefeated Papillion-La Vista is the top seed. The 33-0 Monarchs will play their first-round match at 5 p.m. Monday against the winner of the Omaha North-Omaha South match.
Papillion-La Vista coach John Svehla said the Millard North situation will have an impact on the last few weeks of the season.
“There could be huge ramifications, especially in districts,” he said. “But right now, we’re just concentrating on the Metro tournament.”
The Metro tournament schedule (with seedings):
East court — 4 p.m.: No. 16 Omaha South vs. No. 17 Omaha North. 5 p.m.: No. 1 Papio vs. South-North winner. 6 p.m.: No. 5 Millard South vs. No. 12 Omaha Central. 7 p.m.: No. 3 Gretna vs. No. 14 Omaha Bryan. 8 p.m.: No. 7 Bellevue West vs. No. 10 Bellevue East. West court — 4 p.m.: No. 15 Omaha Northwest vs. No. 18 Omaha Benson. 5 p.m.: No. 2 Elkhorn South vs. Northwest-Benson winner. 6 p.m.: No. 9 Omaha Westside vs. No. 8 Papillion-La Vista South. 7 p.m.: No. 4 Millard West vs. No. 13 Millard North. 8 p.m.: No. 6 Omaha Marian vs. No. 11 Omaha Burke.
Quarterfinals on both courts, 6 and 7 p.m.
Semifinals (best of five) on the main court, 5 and 6:30 p.m.
Final (best of five) on the main court, 6 p.m.
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