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September 15, 2008 at 2:48 PM

State volleyball rankings: week 2

OK, the dice are back in their box and I’ve come up with Week 2 state volleyball rankings below.

Actually, I made several phone calls and gave this considerable thought, but in some cases I felt I might as well toss a coin to decide the order, especially in 3A. Each of last week’s top-six lost at least one match, although for some it was to a quality 4A team.

As impressed as I was with East Valley of Spokane at Saturday’s Puget Sound Adidas Invitational, I had a difficult time vaulting the team all of the way from “Others” to No. 1, so I didn’t. No doubt, the Knights should have been in that original top-10, but I took past history into consideration and they have not been a state qualifier in more than a decade (last appearance was in 1996) and the school has never trophied in volleyball.

That should change this year, for sure.

I did give East Valley the No. 2 spot, just ahead of last week’s No. 1, Auburn Mountainview. After all, the Knights bettered the Lions in Saturday’s championship match.

Who’s this week’s No. 1? You could debate this all day, but I finally went with Shorecrest, which had debuted at No. 2 last week. Sure, the Scots lost last week, but it was to a quality 4A team, Kamiak, which is now in the 4A poll, and it went five games. I figured they shouldn’t be punished for that. Kennedy lost to Edmonds-Woodway, now No. 6 in 4A, in the semifinals of the Meridian Tournament. Again, that shouldn’t count too much against the Lancers, who only slip one spot to No. 4 (with East Valley jumping up, most everyone else has to move down a little).

Shadle Park of Spokane leap-frogs Prairie, which played poorly in a 3-0 loss to Skyview of Vancouver (No. 5 in 4A). The Highlanders took a game off Mountainview in the semifinals Saturday.

After electing a new No. 1 in 3A, the most difficult decision for me was who to drop out of the top-10. I finally had to bump Bishop Blanchet — some thanks for starting the season 3-0, huh? Mount Si, Eastside Catholic and Mercer Island had done nothing to hurt themselves, either, and were originally ranked ahead of the Braves. It finally wound up being between Blanchet and Mercer Island. Both had 3-1 wins over Skyline, but Blanchet’s game scores were a tad closer, so MI stays in for at least another week.

I’m anxious to see what happens in that Mount Si-Mercer Island match Wednesday.

The only real changes in 4A see E-W moving from No. 10 to No. 6 and Kamiak moving into the poll at No. 7. Auburn Riverside, still a work in progress, moves back on the bubble. Riverside takes on No. 8 Curtis of University Place tomorrow night and we’ll get a better idea about both teams.

Actually, we’ll know a whole lot more after Saturday’s Kent Classic, which includes several of the top-10 4A and 3A teams, including Kentwood, Monroe, Skyview, Curtis, Issaquah (which stays in another week, despite the lopsided loss to KW, dropping from sixth to 10th), Eastside Catholic, Mount Si and Mercer Island. Rogers of Puyallup — which probably would be at No. 11 in 4A, if I went that deep — gets another shot to impress along with Blanchet and some of the other “Others.”

So, here it is, and let the debate begin again:

Class 4A

1. Mead (Spokane)

2. Kentwood (Covington)

3. Lewis and Clark (Spokane)

4. Monroe

5. Skyview (Vancouver)

6. Edmonds-Woodway

7. Kamiak (Mukilteo)

8. Curtis (University Place)

9. Kamiakin (Kennewick)

10. Issaquah

Others (alphabetically) — Auburn Riverside, Bellarmine Prep, Bethel (Graham), Bothell, Central Kitsap Eisenhower (Yakima), Kentlake, Kentridge, Marysville-Pilchuck, Olympia, Puyallup, Rogers (Puyallup), Skyline (Issaquah), Southridge (Kennewick), Walla Walla.

Class 3A

1. Shorecrest (Shoreline)

2. East Valley (Spokane)

3. Auburn Mountainview

4. Kennedy (Burien)

5. Shadle Park (Spokane)

6. Prairie (Brush Prairie)

7. Sumner

8. Mount Si (Snoqualmie)

9. Eastside Catholic (Sammamish)

10. Mercer Island

Others (alphabetically) — Bainbridge, Bishop Blanchet, Black Hills, Bonney Lake, Camas, Enumclaw, Holy Names, Lakes (Lakewood), Mount Spokane, Olympic (Silverdale), Seattle Prep, Union (Vancouver).

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