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September 8, 2014 at 3:55 PM

Class 4A, 3A and 2A state volleyball rankings — Week 1

Below you’ll find The Seattle Times’ first state volleyball rankings of the season for Class 4A, 3A and 2A.

Rankings are always a crap-shoot in my book, no matter how many coaches I connect with. One call or e-mail leads to another and in the end I’m forever second-guessing myself.

Of course we all know the only “rankings” that really matter are the way teams line up at the end of the state tournaments in November.

But, in the meantime, this gives prep volleyball fans something to mull over, right? I welcome your input and I’ll be anxious to see how the coaches polls look when I get them from the WSVCA, too — and those should include rankings for all classifications. It’s a stretch for me to include 2A even in my rankings, because the strongest programs seem to be well out of our coverage area as a general rule.

But let’s get to it, with a brief overview.

Bellarmine Prep is the two-time defending champ in 4A and should contend again. But I’m going with Emerald Ridge at the top, and that seems like a no-brainer with the progression they’ve made the last two seasons and talent level they have.

The Jaguars are Washington’s top-ranked team in PrepVolleyball.com’s top-100 at 47. Bellarmine starts at No. 77, and I’ve got them ranked second in 4A.

Beyond that, I believe there are a lot of unknowns. I toyed with another SPSL team in the top-10, like Rogers or Curtis or Kentridge, but am playing a waiting game there. Instead, I’m giving WesCo two spots, but are they the right teams?

Note that West Valley of Yakima makes the 4A top-10 — after jumping all of the way from 2A. The Rams have a top-notch program, regarless of classification.

In 3A, Mercer Island has a chance to repeat, but Auburn Riverside comes in at No. 1. The Ravens would be poll-worthy in 4A, and they dropped down a size.

Metro will be super-tough as always and could wind up with 3-4 teams (or more) in the top-10 at state. I’ve got Lakeside and Seattle Prep in there to start and also expect good things from Holy Names and Bishop Blanchet. That list could go on and on.

The 2A nod goes to Tumwater with Burlington-Edision next in line as defending champion. Fife may be returning to power, too. I am not sure how things are shaping up on the other side of the state (I keep hearing it’s a down year for a lot of teams — but someone’s got to win, right?). Selah is usually a safe bet.

So, here you go for this week and don’t be surprrised to see some major shuffling next Monday.

Class 4A

1. Emerald Ridge (Puyallup)
2. Bellarmine Prep (Tacoma)
3. Battle Ground (Vancouver)
4. Camas
5. University (Spokane)
6. Central Valley (Spokane Valley)
7. Jackson (Mill Creek) / SNO / LS
8. Skyline (Sammamish)
9. West Valley (Yakima)
10. Snohomish

Class 3A

1. Auburn Riverside
2. Mercer Island
3. Columbia River (Vancouver)
4. Southridge (Kennewick)
5. Lakeside (Seatttle)
6. Kennedy Catholic (Burien)
7. Ferndale
8. Kamiakin (Kennewick)
9. Capital (Olympia)
10. Seattle Prep

Class 2A

1. Tumwater
2. Burlington-Edison
3. Sehome
4. Fife
5. Selah
6. Lynden
7. Ridgefield
8. Anacortes
9. North Kitsap (Paulsbo)
10. R.A. Long

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