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2021 MIAA boys’ volleyball tournament pairings, schedule

For Needham coach Dave Powell and team captain Ben Putnam (right), the road in the Division 1 South bracket starts with the Braintree-New Bedford winner.
For Needham coach Dave Powell and team captain Ben Putnam (right), the road in the Division 1 South bracket starts with the Braintree-New Bedford winner.Josh Reynolds for The Boston Globe

Top-ranked Needham earned the No. 1 seed in the South bracket, but the Rockets will have their work cut out for them in a loaded field. Greater New Bedford won 11 straight games in the South Alliance to secure the fourth seed, including a 3-2 victory over second-seeded Taunton.

Natick and Lincoln-Sudbury square off in the Central bracket’s preliminary round — a rematch of the 2019 Central final, which Natick won 3-1. The victor faces the first seed in St. John’s (Shrewsbury) after the Pioneers captured the Catholic Conference tournament title.

League foes match up to open the North bracket. Seventh-seeded Lowell and 10th-seeded Andover represent the Merrimack Valley Conference, while Wayland battles a fresh Dual County League face in sixth-seeded Winchester. They’ll all battle to eventually dethrone 2019 state champion Westfield, which opens as a No. 2 seed in the West

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Division 1 North

Seeds: 1. Chelmsford (10-0); 2. Lowell Catholic (9-0); 3. Greater Lowell (8-1); 4. Malden (8-1); 5. Westford (10-2); 6. Winchester (10-2); 7. St. John’s Prep (9-2); 8. Lowell (9-2); 9. Cambridge (10-4); 10. North Andover (8-4); 11. Andover (7-5); 12. Wayland (8-5); 13. Haverhill (6-6); 14. Boston Latin (6-6); 15. Latin Academy (8-8); 16. Central Catholic (1-10); 17. Arlington (0-11); 18. Methuen (0-10); 19. Acton-Boxborough (0-10).

Fri., June 18 — Preliminary

Methuen at Latin Academy, 3; Acton-Boxborough at Boston Latin, 6; Arlington at Central Catholic, TBA.

Fri., June 18 — First round

Cambridge at Lowell, 2; North Andover at St. John’s Prep, 3; Haverhill at Malden, 4; Wayland at Westford, 4; Andover at Winchester, 5.

TBA — First round

Arlington/Central Catholic at Chelmsford, TBA; Methuen/Latin Academy at Lowell Catholic, TBA; Acton-Boxboro/Boston Latin at Greater Lowell, TBA.

Division 1 South

Seeds: 1. Needham (16-0); 2. Taunton (16-1); 3. Brookline (13-4); 4. Greater New Bedford (12-4); 5. Brockton (12-4); 6. Newton South (7-3); 7. O’Bryant (9-5); 8. Newton North (10-6); 9. Quincy (10-6); 10. North Quincy (9-7); 11. Norwood (7-7); 12. Barnstable (8-8); 13. BC High (5-5); 14. Randolph (5-7); 15. Xaverian (4-8); 16. Braintree (5-11); 17. New Bedford (4-12); 18. Madison Park (3-10); 19. Weymouth (0-13).

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Fri., June 18 — Preliminary

New Bedford at Braintree, 4; Weymouth at Randolph, 4.

Sat., June 19 — Preliminary

Madison Park at Xaverian, 11a.

Mon., June 21 — First round

North Quincy at Newton North, 4; BC High at Greater New Bedford, 5; Barnstable at Brockton, 5; Norwood at Newton South, 5.

TBA — First round

New Bedford/Braintree at Needham, TBA; Quincy at O’Bryant, TBA; Madison Park/Xaverian at Taunton, TBA; TBA at Brookline, TBA.

Division 1 Central

Seeds: 1. St. John’s (Shrewsbury) (11-2); 2. Milford (15-3); 3. Doherty (9-2); 4. Medfield (11-3); 5. Algonquin (9-4); 6. Wachusett (6-3); 7. Nipmuc (10-5); 8. Natick (11-6); 9. Lincoln-Sudbury (8-6); 10. King Philip (7-7).

Fri., June 18 — First round

King Philip at Nipmuc, 12; Lincoln-Sudbury at Natick, 5.

Mon., June 21 — Quarterfinals

Wachusett at Doherty, 4; King Philip/Nipmuc at Milford, 5; Lincoln-Sudbury/Natick at St. John’s (Shrewsbury), 6; Algonquin at Medfield, 6.

Division 1 West

Seeds: 1. Putnam (10-0); 2. Westfield (12-1); 3. Chicopee Comprehensive (9-1); 4. Southwick-Tolland (12-2); 5. Holyoke (10-2); 6. Sabis Charter (8-4); 7. Agawam (7-5); 8. Springfield Central (7-6); 9. West Springfield (6-6); 10. Ware (7-7); 11. Athol (6-6); 12. Belchertown (5-6); 13. Ludlow (4-7).

Fri., June 18 — First round

Belchertown at Holyoke, 12; Athol at Sabis Charter, 4; Ludlow at Southwick-Tolland, 5:30; Ware at Agawam, 6; West Springfield at Springfield Central, 7.

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TBA — Quarterfinals

West Springfield/Springfield Central at Putnam, TBA; Belchertown/Holyoke vs. Ludlow/Southwick, TBA; Ware/Agawam at Westfield, TBA; Athol/Sabis at Chicopee Comprehensive, TBA.