Talk about a target!
Last year, Jackson came into the volleyball season ranked No. 56 in the nation by PrepVolleyball.com. The Timberwolves had won the Class 4A state title the year before with a young team (and were still junior-laden).
The expectations proved too high. Jackson lost its opening match to an outstanding Burlington-Edision team, which went on to win the 2A state title, then fell shortly afterward to Bellarmine Prep of Tacoma in the Adidas Invitational.
The Timberwolves then got on a roll and were seemingly primed to win another state title. But they lost to eventual-champion Olympia in the semifinals, then dropped the consolation match to Curtis of University Place to finish fourth.
So, where does Jackson start in this year’s PrepVolleyball.com national poll? No. 17!
Mead of Spokane, a traditional power that struggled at state last year and failed to win a trophy, is the only other Washington team in the top-100, sitting at No. 86. Bellarmine Prep comes in at No. 110.
West Valley of Yakima, which went unbeaten to claim the 3A state crown last year, is mentioned as a national team to watch. The Rams have dropped to 2A this fall.
Four others landed on the Washington watch list — Newport (Bellevue), Olympia, Puyallup and Snohomish.
You can find the full rankings and watch lists on the PrepVolleyball.com website. It’s a pay site, but well worth the $29.95 if you’re a high-school volleyball fan.
I’ll be writing a state-wide preview for them in the next two weeks and will have The Times’ rankings for 4A, 3A and YES 2A posted around that time as well.
It should be another fun volleyball season!