The big shake-up in this week’s high-school state volleyball rankings is in Class 4A.
Three teams drop out — Central Valley (formerly No. 4), Olympia (formerly No. 7) and Snohomish (formerly No. 10).
CV fell with 1-3 with losses to Shadle Park and Mount Spokane, two 3A teams (which are pretty good, but still the Bears are struggling). Olympia, the defending 4A champion, fell to both Capital and Gig Harbor. Snohomish dropped two more, to Skyline and Glacier Peak).
So my challenge was to find three teams most worthy of the top-10. There were a number of candidates, but I ultimately decided to go with Gig Harbor at No. 7, Skyview of Vancouver at No. 9 and Richland at No. 10.
Gig Harbor’s lone loss was the No. 3 Bellarmine Prep and the Tides have beaten a pretty good Rogers squad. Skyview is 2-0 and gets its first big test Tuesday against Prairie (No. 4 in 3A). I was sold on Richland — until the Bombers bombed against Southridge. But Southridge is a ranked 3A team and Richland has beaten Chiawana, plus had the solid showing at the SunDome Invitational. So, Richland it is.
I also looked hard at Lake Stevens, Gonzaga Prep, Eisenhower of Yakima and Camas.
Puyallup and Newport are now up to Nos. 4 and 5. Curtis takes the sixth spot after beating Kentwood last week. Kentwood stays in at No. 8.
Puyallup and Kentwood play tonight (Monday), so I’ll be interested in hearing how that goes. Newport, which beat both Holy Names (No. 2 in 3A) and Glacier Peak in five sets last week, could face another battle tonight against Skyline.
In 3A, I didn’t penalize Holy Names for the loss to Newport. And, ultimately, I didn’t drop Eastside Catholic from No. 5, despite a 3-2 loss to Bothell. Bothell is a solid 4A team, although the Cougars lost two other 3-2 matches (to Lakeside and Monroe). Lakeside is a team on my radar.
Kennewick stays at No. 6, despite losing to Chiawana (those 4A/3A combo leagues make it tough on the rankings!). University of Spokane is dealing with some key injuries and went 1-2 last week (no shame in losing to Mead, No. 2 in 4A, and I’m not sure about Lake City (Idaho), to be honest, but the Titans are just 2-3). Sources tell me Mount Spokane is playing the best among the 3As over there, so U-High is out this week and Mount Spokane is in at No. 9.
The 2A rankings are unchanged this week. One big match tomorrow is No. 7 Pullman vs. No. 8 East Valley of Spokane. And I’ll be interested to see how No. 2 Tumwater does against Olympia on Wednesday.
We’ve got the big Kent Classic Saturday — which includes several ranked teams. I’ll have more on that later this week and I’m planning to cover the tournament.
For now, you can mull these over:
1. Jackson (Mill Creek)
2. Mead (Spokane)
3. Bellarmine Prep (Tacoma)
6. Curtis (University Place)
7. Gig Harbor
8. Kentwood (Covington)
9. Skyview (Vancouver)
1. Mount Si (Snoqualmie)
2. Holy Names (Seattle)
3. Mercer Island
4. Prairie (Brush Prairie)
5. Eastside Catholic (Sammamish)
7. Seattle Prep
8. Southridge (Kennewick)
9. Mount Spokane
10. Timberline (Lacey)
3. West Valley (Yakima)
6. Capital (Olympia)
8. East Valley (Spokane)