Prep Volleyball- The Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union released the preseason Volleyball rankings as the season gets underway tonight with first competitions. Southeast Iowa is well represented in the Class 1A rankings.
Ankeny Christian, last year’s state champions, sit atop the rankings and for good reason. The Eagles were led by a sophomore strong core that included Carley Craighead, Macey Nehring, and Katie Quick who notched a triple-double in the championship game against Gladbrook-Reinbeck. This young core for the Eagles will make them a team to fear for at least this year and next.
Holy Trinity Catholic enters this year as the #2 team as the Crusaders also return young talent in Mary Kate and Anna Bendlage along with Natalie Randolph, who did not get to play last season due to an injury. An early mark against this team will be the lack of depth after an injury to Reagan Holvoet.
Don Bosco was ranked 3rd and AGWSR, who shocked everyone with their run through the playoffs, is ranked 4th. New London is ranked 8th after coming up one set short of a trip to the state tournament last season. The Tigers will look to replace their impressive seniors in Eliana Manning, Emma Nye, Natalie Burden, and Camryn Lair. Expect Morgan Jones, Tysann Gipple, and Sophie Malott to step up for this squad. Despite Gladbrook-Reinbeck’s runner-up finish last year, the Rebels rank just inside the top 15 at #13.
Dike-New Hartford is the obvious preseason favorite after a 45-3 record to their runner-up finish last season and one of the few teams that stood in their Western Christian, last year’s winner, got moved up to Class 3A means Class 2A is for the Wolverines taking. Hinton and Grundy Center rank #2 and #3, respectively. Pella Christian ranks 8th with Denver getting the #10 spot. South Central Calhoun rounds out the top 15 after a 34-9 finish last season.
Des Moines Christian was upset by Sioux Center in the semifinals last season, and they will look for revenge as they take the top spot in the Class 3A rankings. Western Christian might be new to Class 3A after winning the crown in 2A last season, but they enter as the #2 team. Assumption, last year’s winner, is ranked 3rd. Sioux Center might have finished as the runner-up; however, the senior-led Warriors are located outside of the top 15. Mount Vernon is ranked 6th, Mid-Prairie at #11, and Roland-Story rounds out the list.
In Class 4A, Xavier was last year’s champion, but they enter the rankings at #4. Clear Creek-Amana, last year’s runner-up, is the team at the top of the rankings followed by Indianola and North Scott, respectively. Bondurant-Farrar is ranked 10th after a 24-11 season a year ago. Bishop Heelan was one of the eight teams in the state tournament last season, but enter this year ranked 13th. Waverly-Shell Rock takes the last spot on the list.
In Class 5A, Waukee Northwest was dispatched in the first round of the state tournament last season, but they enter this year as the favorite. Dowling Catholic and Johnston make up the rest of the top three teams, respectively. Surprisingly, Iowa City Liberty lost only three sets on their way to a state championship last season but enter this season ranked 7th. Pleasant Valley may have finished as the runner-up last year but will be ranked #10 to enter this season. Muscatine is ranked 12th and Dubuque Senior rounds out the list.