Three area teams face state semifinal challenges on Tuesday

The final week of the fall state tournament begins in earnest for area athletes on Tuesday.
Two soccer teams and one volleyball squad play in semifinal games across the state.

No. 4 St. Paul girls soccer will be at Falcon Field in Meriden for a 6:30 p.m. Class S semifinal against top-seeded Old Lyme (19-1). The only loss for the Wildcats came in the Shoreline Conference championship match against North Branford. It will be a stern test for the Falcons, but they’ve already had a few of those.
Old Lyme is the defending Class S state champion. The Wildcats have that state title, plus two shared championships, to their credit. St. Paul is in search of its first-ever state championship appearance.

At 7 p.m., No. 12 Holy Cross girls volleyball faces top-seeded Coventry in a Class S semifinal match at Sports and Medical Sciences Academy in Hartford. 
To say the Patriots are a perennial state power in Class S is one big understatement. Coventry has won 10 state championships and made 11 appearances in the final match, and that’s including and since 2003.
Holy Cross has appeared in one final, a 3-0 loss to Coventry in 2012. This is the first semifinal for the Crusaders since that magical run. It will be a tall order, but Holy Cross will attempt to knock off Coventry.

At 7:15 p.m., No. 2 Holy Cross girls soccer takes on No. 11 East Hampton in a Class S semifinal at Windsor High School. The Crusaders, who blew out No. 7 Tourtellotte 8-0 in a quarterfinal matchup, seek their first state finals appearance since 2006. Holy Cross has been to three state finals and come home empty-handed each time. They need to take down the Bellringers to reach their fourth final.
East Hampton has never been to a state final.

There are also two swimming class championships on Tuesday. Class S will take place at 6 p.m. at Southern Connecticut State University, and Class LL is at 7 p.m. at Wesleyan University.