2017 Flo50 Boys' High School Volleyball Rankings
Final Boys' High School Rankings
By Mark Tennis
The boys’ high school volleyball season in Hawaii ended May 6, but it wasn’t until now that Punahou of Honolulu can officially claim the mythical Flo50 national title.
In the last national ranking list of 2017, Rick Tune’s Buff ‘N Blu squad stayed in front of Glenbard West of Glen Ellyn, Illinois, which won its third straight Illinois High School Association state title on June 2, and CIF Southern California Division I champion Loyola of Los Angeles.
Punahou did what it had to do early in the season when it went to the prestigious Best of the West tournament in Poway, California. That’s where the only loss of the season took place in a pool play match, but the Buff ‘N Blu came back to win the title. Loyola was also in that tournament, along with just about every other top-ranked team from Southern California. Punahou then went back home and won its state championship without losing a match to clinch the national No. 1 ranking.
Sure, the SoCal teams continue to play each other and Punahou only had that one week to play them, but a lot of teams from outside Southern California come to play that tough competition (including other top Hawaii teams over the years) and go home with their tails between their legs. You’ve got to credit Tune’s team for making the trip and doing what it did the rest of the season. If the squad hadn’t won that tourney, stayed home and went 28-0, then Loyola clearly would be higher in the final rankings and perhaps Glenbard West as well.
Glenbard West capped its season with a 25-21, 20-25, 25-16 triumph over Lincoln Way East of Frankfort, Illinois. The only minor difference between 2016 and 2017 is that in 2016 the Hilltoppers were undefeated. There wasn’t a Flo50 last season, but if there had been, head coach Christine Guinta-Mayer’s program probably would have been No. 1.
Robert Murphy led the Hilltoppers in the championship with 10 kills, while 6-foot-9 junior J.T. Ardell had a strong outing and showed that the dynasty in the state may be continuing for at least another season.
It was thought heading into the final stage of the IHSA tourney that Glenbard West would play Lake Park of Roselle in the final, which also entered the weekend with just one loss. But Lincoln Way East upset Lake Park in the semifinals. Lake Park is still shown at No. 7 (down from No. 4) in this week’s final rankings, but Lincoln Way East jumped up from No. 25 to No. 10.
Two other teams which completed dominant showings in their state championships and moved up in the final rankings were Central York of York, Pennsylvania and Southern Regional of Manahawkin, New Jersey.
Central York completed its run through the PIAA Class 3A playoffs by topping North Allegheny 20-25, 25-21, 25-22, 25-23. A 6-foot-7 junior, Cole Johnson, who is getting Division I college attention from everywhere, led the way with 22 kills. Carter Luckenbaugh also shined by racking up 40 assists.
Southern Regional won its second-consecutive New Jersey state title--sixth in program history. It defeated Fair Lawn 25-13, 25-18 in its final match. Head coach Eric Maxwell’s squad was led by setter Brennan Davis, who had 26 assists and nine digs.
St. Ignatius of Cleveland, Ohio, and Darien of Connecticut also were put into the final Flo50 after winning titles in their respective states. St. Ignatius defeated Hilliard Darby in its final match, while Darien downed East Hartford.
Congratulations to all players and coaches from all of the final Flo50 ranked teams and from schools everywhere that are helping to keep the sport vibrant.
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