Shore Sports Network Girls Volleyball Preseason Shore 16
Shore Sports Network Girls Volleyball Shore 16 Rankings
Southern Starts as the Shore’s top team with the Griffins Lurking Behind
As 37 teams are set to begin their seasons in the upcoming weeks, there’s only one who can hold the top spot in the Shore 16.
The Shore Conference brings back State Champions, All-State Division I prospects and unsung heroes all throughout. Jordyn Hamlyn and Molly Regulski come back for Southern Regional as one of New Jersey’s best duos. Donovan Catholic returns all but one player which includes the best server in the Shore in Macayla Lindner. Colts Neck reigned in glory with their incredible state playoff run. The Shore Conference breeds talent and is returning a large amount of that talent in 2023.
With the fall approaching soon and a lot of training put into programs throughout the summer, Shore Sports Network opens up the first edition of the Shore 16 for Girls Volleyball.
1) Southern (Last Season: 31-1)
Why They’re Here: The reigning Shore Conference champions come into the fall with earning the top spot in the SSN Shore 16. Jordyn Hamlin and Molly Regulski return for the Rams as two of the strongest players in the entire state. Head Coach Eric Maxwell may very well be the best coach in New Jersey volleyball history, if not one of the best in the country writ large. While Southern defeated Williamstown in the regular season, the Rams hearts were crushed after losing the South Jersey Group IV finals to the Braves. Southern has one of the deepest teams returning and the Rams come in with a vengeance as the number one team.
2) Donovan Catholic (Last Season: 21-4)
Why They’re Here: The Griffins come into 2023 with only losing Chloe Colaner, while returning their leaders in every category. The Bowbliss sisters are both spectacles on the court. The Griffins have the Shore’s best server in Macayla Lindner. Seniors Shantel Starling and Daniella Tischio are perennial favorites to be on All-Shore teams. Their only major blemishes last season came after losing in the Shore Conference Finals to Southern and losing in the Non-Public semi-finals to Paul VI. While the Rams start off at number one, the reigning B-South champions come in looking for an opportunity to be the new number one.
3) Colts Neck (Last Season: 23-6)
Why They’re Here: It’s going to be an early test for the Cougars with losing stars Madison McSorley, Alex Foley, Ashley Jordan, and Sophia Koval. That being said, this is a Colts Neck team that won the Central Jersey Group III sectional title and was two sets away from winning the group. This team returns juniors Stacey Mancino and Savannah Butz, in who both played significant time in their state championship run. There’s no rebuild on the horizon for Head Coach Gregory Hope’s group, as the Cougars look to have a roaring season just as they did last fall.
4) St. John Vianney (Last Season: 17-7)
Why They’re Here: The Lady Lancers have won five consecutive divisional titles under the Gadalata Coaches and they don’t look on stopping here. Sophomores Genevieve Millett and Taylor Sofilkanich come into the year as some of New Jersey’s top rising stars. It’s only a matter of time to see what they do together over the next three seasons. The Lady Lancers were semi-finalists in the Shore Conference Tournament, being bested by Southern Regional. A plethora of young talent returns back for St. John Vianney, as the program looks to rise to the next level.
5) Pinelands (Last Season: 19-9)
Why They’re Here: Pinelands has a strong argument for being ranked 4, but ultimately SJV knocking Pinelands on their home court in the Shore Conference Tournament landed them in the No. 5 spot. The Wildcats got off to a blazing start last fall, going 11-1 in their first twelve games before somewhat cooling off. Pinelands ended up making a nice run into the Shore Conference Tournament Quarterfinals before their real season began. Pinelands ended up defeating Toms River East and South in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds of the South Jersey Group III sectional tournament. The Wildcats lifted up the sectional title with a defeat over Mainland, bringing home the trophy to the Pine Barrens. With Juniors Jill Becker, Madison Houseworth, and Olivia Shertenlieb all set to return, the upcoming campaign should be a fun one for the South Jersey Group III reigning sectional champions.
6) Rumson-Fair Haven (Last Season: 15-8)
Why They’re Here: Rumson-Fair Haven brings back a loaded, constructed roster for Coach Calvin Williams. The Bulldogs will look to lean on Senior Cayla Kuo, as she comes into the season with 340 career digs and 263 career service points. Juniors Peyton Campanella and Ella Langenberger look to take over the shoes that graduates Taylor Crow and Jacee McGinnis left. While being quarterfinalists in both the Shore Conference Tournament and state tournament, this roster has the experience to get off on the right foot quickly. While St. John Vianney is the opening favorite for the B-North, look for the Bulldogs of Rumson-Fair Haven to be fighting alongside all season long.
7) Trinity Hall (Last Season: 10-5)
Why They’re Here: Head Coach Dirk Walker and Trinity Hall come in as the opening favorites to win the B-Central after last season’s successes. As the program did share the title with Point Pleasant Beach the last two years, Trinity Hall is looking for their fourth consecutive B-Central title. With only four graduating from last year's class, the Monarchs need to get off to a hot start. They need to garner key power points early and quickly while being not only competitive but dominant within their division. If this is the case, look out for the Monarchs to be a sneaky program heading into the Shore Conference Tournament.
8) Red Bank Catholic (Last Season: 15-9)
Why They’re Here: The Caseys of Red Bank Catholic bring in a team with high hopes but right in the middle of the B-North juggernaut division. The Caseys will be very dependent on Senior Kailie Zebick, as she led the team in assists and service points. Junior Kennedy Miller comes in as last year’s team leader in blocks while Junior Katherine Bauman returns as the team’s leader in kills. Ava Kelly and Skylar Zolek are both experienced players that bring a sense of leadership to the team. The Caseys are deep with experience. The ceiling is very high for Coach Redmond and Red Bank Catholic this fall.
9) Barnegat (Last Season: 14-7)
Why They’re Here: Barnegat comes off last year’s high after making it to the South Jersey Group II semifinals while only losing three graduates. The Bengals brought in a new coach in Coach Emily Dancisin, a multi sport athlete from Pinelands who also played softball at Ocean County College. She is raring to bring Barnegat to that next level, and with Cassidi Van Horn coming back for her Senior year, the Bengals are one of those programs you should not sleep on. Van Horn led the Bengals in assists, while having over 100 digs last season. Seniors Ashley Berger and Taralynn Charland come in to help fortify this roster after having large roles in their successful 14-win campaign. Sophomore Brooke Degrazio comes into the season as one of the Shore Conference’s surging sophomores after a breakout freshman year. With a team returning that’s familiar with playoffs, the Bengals open up in the nine spot with a lot of potential on the horizon.
10) Marlboro (Last Season: 12-11)
Why They’re Here: Marlboro gallops into the fall campaign as the number ten in the Shore 16. Senior Cece Marino is one of the top multi-threats all throughout the Shore Conference, leading in both digs and assists. Seniors Layla Berger and Amy Fitzpatrick return as strong talents that gave the Mustangs the edge in so many of their close victories last fall. Junior Sophie Lysyak returns after having 93 kills and 74 service points during a strong sophomore season. Coach Walsh will have newcomers answering to the call as well with a great opportunity to make some early noise and disrupt the Shore Conference hopefuls.
11) Raritan (Last Season: 13-11)
Why They’re Here: If there’s any team within the Shore Conference to drastically improve on an above .500 record with a window to go really deep into the fall, it’s the Raritan Rockets. Head Coach Tom Shockley returns nine players from their 13-win season in 2022. Senior Bri Daly, who led the squad in both kills and blocks last year, looks to be the X-Factor for the program. Senior Alexis Amoedo will be a huge part in the successes 2023 brings, as she had 137 digs and 108 assists last fall. Seniors Scarlett O’Hea and Anna Shea need to shape out the Rockets, as they’ve done throughout the first three years of their careers. Being in the B-North could be the Rockets best friend, especially with the roster that Shockley is working with.
12) Wall (Last Season: 18-6)
Why They’re Here: You would think that last year's Shore Conference Tournament Quarterfinalists and Central Jersey Group II Finalists would be a little higher than twelve in the rankings to open up the year. Head Coach Dan Leonard is losing five major components that helped lead the Crimson Knights to where they were in 2022. The Crimson Knights return a little bit of crimson in Junior Ava Kelly, who led the team in assists with 338 last season. Junior Gemma Ferris and Senior Lauren Davenport will need to help out Kelly in order to compete for a division and state championship. All can change in a matter of the first week as Wall looks to continue the peak of their successes from just a season ago.
13) Freehold Boro (Last Season: 13-9)
Why They’re Here: Seniors Audrey Sousa and Juliana Manrique look to be the pivotal forces that’ll have Freehold Boro playing deep into October. Having the talents of Sousa and Manrique with the coaching tutelage Jennifer Brzucki provides may just have Freehold Boro thinking beyond the A-North. Senior Brianna Cies looks to help out to shape out a “big-three.” Look out for Sophomore Michaela Aiello to have a breakout campaign, looking to make her mark on the entire Jersey Shore.
14) Toms River South (Last Season: 16-9)
Why They’re Here: Coach Kimberly Williams and the Indians of Toms River South have a compelling argument to be higher to start the season, as they bring back a formidable core that helped lead this program all the way to the South Jersey Group III Semifinals last fall. While the Indians lose kills leader in Jordyn Motyka, assists leader Senior Jordyn Lynch looks to fill that role quickly. Lynch had a strong junior campaign, as she was third on the team in digs as well. Sophomores Sofia D’arcangelo and Giana Denino played a lot during their 25-game season last fall, only benefitting the potential run that could be in store for Toms River South. Some shoes need to be filled early, but with all components gelled together, a special fall could be in store.
15) Howell (Last Season: 12-9)
Why They’re Here: Howell has one of the strongest returning rosters not just within the A-North but potentially the entire Shore Conference. The Rebels are filled with varsity experience. Juniors CC Socha-Soares and Kiera Mullen are a part of that, both being strong contributors to a strong 2022 team. Look out for sophomore Gabia Grigaliunas to have a monster season for Coach Preston and the Rebels. There are a lot of question marks that surround this team coming into the season but with a lot of question marks throughout the A-North, Howell can make a statement early.
16) Middletown South (Last Season: 8-11)
Why They’re Here: Coach Lisa Thorne is only losing three graduates after a respectable 8-11 campaign last fall. Seniors Karolyna Bojko, Sophia Loucopoulos and Regan Murphy come in as the core looking to lead the way for the Eagles. Alyexa Cappadona and Shannon Crosby are both juniors with a ton of talent, looking to make a name for not only themselves but for Middletown South as well. There’s a strong mix of juniors and seniors that have Coach Thorne and Middletown South excited about 2023. There’s a strong chance the Eagles can take off soaring and be on the right side of .500 early.