It won't be easy for either of the city's Class 6A high school volleyball programs to advance to the state tournament this season.
The Kansas State High School Activities Association unveiled sub-state brackets on Wednesday, and both Free State and Lawrence will have to get past some of the best teams in the state on Saturday to move on and keep their seasons alive.
The Firebirds (13-21), playing in one of two sub-states hosted by Manhattan, received a No. 5 seed. They face Derby (23-16, ranked No. 8 in 6A by the Kansas Volleyball Association), following a 1 p.m. first-round match between Wichita East (27-11, No. 9) and Wichita Southeast (6-27). A sub-state title game between the winner of each game will follow.
In one of the Olathe East brackets, the Lions (12-22) drew a No. 6 seed and a first-round match against Olathe South (22-12, No. 6).
That game begins after a first-round matchup pitting Olathe Northwest (29-9, No. 5) against Olathe North (11-16). The winners square off for a trip to state.
FSHS plays at LHS at 6 p.m. Thursday in the regular-season finale for both teams.
Bishop Seabury Academy will compete in a nine-team, 2A sub-state in Valley Falls.
The Seahawks (12-20) received a No. 5 seed and will take on No. 4 Immaculata (19-13).