2019 Flo50 High School Female Rankings

2019 Flo50 High School Female Rankings

By Mark Tennis

It seems almost impossible not to start out the Assumption of Louisville (Ky.) girls volleyball team at the top of the national rankings for the 2019 season. (Explanation continued below rankings)

11AssumptionLouisville, Ky.43-0
22Mater DeiSanta Ana, Calif.43-2
311RedondoRedondo Beach, Calif.35-4
47Flower MoundFlower Mound, Texas42-7
537Cathedral CatholicSan Diego, Calif.27-8
68Byron NelsonTrophy Club, Texas42-2
719Ridge PointMissouri City, Texas46-6
823SterlingSterling, Ill.41-1
9NRNew CastleNew Castle, Ind.35-5
10NRPlano WestPlano, Texas37-10
1110Torrey PinesSan Diego, Calif.33-4
126MaristChicago, Ill.39-3
13NRHagertyOviedo, Fla.25-5
1433Cedar FallsCedar Falls, Iowa46-1
1515Ursuline AcademyCincinnati, Ohio27-2
1620Green HopeCary, N.C.28-1
17NRXavier PrepPhoenix, Ariz.33-9
1843The WoodlandsThe Woodlands, Texas44-5
1920Bishop GormanLas Vegas, Nev.39-4
209MarymountLos Angeles, Calif.34-10
2149Logan-RogersvilleRogersville, Mo.38-2
223YorktownYorktown, Ind.34-0
2339PlantTampa, Fla.28-2
24NRSkutt CatholicOmaha, Neb.30-7
2512IolaniHonolulu, Hawaii26-6
2614MercyLouisville, Ky.32-7
2734MercyFarmington Hills, Mich.38-3
2822BrentwoodBrentwood, Tenn.47-3
29NRLovejoyLucas, Texas44-7
3028Mt. CarmelNew Orleans, La.42-2
3129Millard NorthOmaha, Neb.38-2
32NRSacred Heart CathedralSan Francisco, Calif.31-7
3313KamehamehaHonolulu, Hawaii35-4
34NRChristianCedar Rapids, Mich.46-5
35NRNazareth AcademyLa Grange Park, Ill.31-5
36NRLa Costa CanyonCarlsbad, Calif.26-11
3750Immaculate HeartWashington Township, N.J.39-1
38NRChaparralParker, Colo.26-3
39NRNation FordFort Mill, S.C.46-7-1
40NRLong Beach PolyLong Beach, Calif.29-9
41NRProvidenceClarksville, Ind.33-3
42NRSt. Pius XAtlanta, Ga.42-5
4316Briarcrest ChristianEads, Tenn.40-2
445Walton Marietta, Ga.41-3
45NRLakeville SouthLakeville, Minn.29-5
4625North AlleghenyWexford, Pa.23-0
4727Teurlings CatholicLafayette, La.43-5
4832Padua FranciscanParma, Ohio27-2
49NRLos AlamitosLos Alamitos, Calif.26-14
50NRCorona del SolTempe, Ariz.29-4

The Rockets, who open their season this week, return the bulk of a lineup that finished 43-0 and was No. 1 in the 2018 final national rankings compiled by everyone, including the Flo50.

Ohio State-bound Rylee Rader was a national player of the year candidate and is back in the middle. She had a team-high 415 kills as a junior and hit at a more than .500 clip. Another returning with All-American honors from last year is Anna DeBeer. The Louisville-bound outside hitter was second on the team in kills (3.1 per set) and had 217 digs and 24 blocks.

Add the fact that Assumption often plays one of the nation’s toughest schedules with trips to the best invitational tournaments, plus the Rockets’ probably have the greatest coach in U.S. history in Ron Kordes (more than 1,100 wins and 21 state titles since 1989), and there’s just no other team to start at No. 1.

California has continued to tinker with its various state and section playoff formats, but the likelihood remains that the powerful volleyball state will see its top two teams come from the same place, the CIF Southern Section, and that those teams — defending CIF Open Division state champion Mater Dei (Santa Ana) and Redondo Union (Redondo Beach) — will play each other twice and maybe more.

For now, Mater Dei has been slotted at No. 1 in the state. The deep squad from last season will feature one of the best setters in the nation in Long Beach State-bound Mia Tuaniga (younger sister of 49ers’ legend Josh Tuaniga) with Meg Brown and Reagan Merk headlining the girls who will be hammering at the net. 

Redondo, which was a CIFSS D1 semifinalist last season, already has played this season. The Seahawks went to the Ann Kang Invitational in Hawaii and came home with a title, topping Byron Nelson of Trophy Club, Texas, in straight sets (25-19, 25-22) in the final match. They have just about everyone back from last season, including the best libero in California, Nalani Iosia (Texas recruit), and one of the best junior athletes in the state, Kami Miner. Redondo could drop a match or two when Miner is out playing for the USA junior national team, but in the playoffs down the stretch, it’s a group that could be the one to beat for the CIF Open Division crown.

CIF San Diego Section teams don’t face the depth of competition that Mater Dei and Redondo do, but at the top there are two teams that are close to those two. Cathedral Catholic was red-hot towards the end of last year (especially when the Dons knocked off national title contender Walton of Marrieta, Ga.) and returns a great nucleus. All-state Madison Endsley had 491 kills while Lindsey Miller is another powerful force up front. Defending San Diego Section Open Division champ Torrey Pines loses its best player to graduation, but also has a strong core of returning players. Whichever team wins the SD Open title this year figures to be a threat to the top teams from the Southern Section for the CIF Southern California Open Division regional crown.

Byron Nelson, the team that Redondo topped in Hawaii, is a squad that was in contention to be No. 1 in last year’s final rankings with just one loss entering the Class 6A state playoffs in Texas. The Bobcats got derailed from winning that title with an upset loss, but only have to replace the setter this season. Paige Flickinger, headed to LSU to play both beach and indoor there, has had more than 1,000 kills for the last two seasons.

The defending Class 6A state champ in Texas, Flower Mound, only had five seniors on its roster and is the choice by many there to repeat. Junior Kaylee Cox led the Lady Jags with 524 kills and was the Dallas Morning-News Player of the Year. Libero Sarah Martinez also comes back with all-state honors.

Two other Texas teams, Plano West (Plano) and The Woodlands, also start out highly ranked. It’s not really preseason for those teams since the Texas season starts much earlier than the rest of the nation and both Plano West and The Woodlands have begun without dropping a match in early tournaments. Plano West also has one of the state’s top players in 6-foot-2 UCLA-bound Iman Ndiaye.

In addition to Flower Mound and Plano West, it’s easy to see that another of the final four from Texas Class 6A last season, Ridge Point (Fort Bend), should be loaded. Only one senior was on Ridge Point’s roster. Unlike Plano West and The Woodlands, however, the Panthers do have some early losses that probably will drop them down in the first regular-season rankings.

Two other teams from beyond Assumption, California, and Texas to crack the preseason top 10 are No. 8 Sterling of Illinois and No. 9 New Castle of Indiana.

Sterling isn’t in the highest class of the Illinois state playoffs, but won the Class 3A title and has the most impressive returnees. It’s a family affair for the Golden Warriors as sisters Brooklyn Borum (a senior) and Bree Borum (a junior) are two of the top players in the state. They will miss older sister, Josi, now a freshman at Chicago State, but other returning players should fill in for that loss. Brooklyn also was one of the top 16-year-olds this summer nationally in AAU events.

New Castle has a family situation that fuels the excitement surrounding that program. Senior Melani Shaffmaster has committed to Minnesota and is the returning Indiana Gatorade State Player of the Year. Younger sister Mabrey, a junior, is committed to North Carolina and is regarded as one of the top Class of 2021 recruits in the nation.

On The Bubble

Archbishop MittySan Jose, Calif.24-17
AvonAvon, Ind.33-4
Benet AcademyLisle, Ill.36-6
CentennialAnkeny, Iowa41-3
East RidgeClermont, Fla.25-1
Marin CatholicKentfield, Calif.37-4
McIntoshPeachtree City, Ga.38-3
MillenniumGoodyear, Ariz.45-1
OviedoOviedo, Fla.28-4
Plainfield CentralPlainfield, Ill.27-9
Princess AnneVirginia Beach, Va.28-0
ProsperProsper, Texas35-10
Sierra CanyonChatsworth, Calif.31-7
St. Ursula AcademyCincinnati, Ohio16-10