Girls Volleyball Shore 16- No. 1 and 2 Stay Atop While Major Changes Take Place Across
While some programs were bound for destiny from the start, others came into the season quiet and have quickly produced a roar. With a full week underway, there's been a lot of noise made throughout the Shore Conference for Girls Volleyball. Whether it's quad-matches with top teams in the state or former SCT Champions going head-to-head, there's been plenty of action to completely rebalance The Shore 16 rankings.
With another jam-packed week upcoming, there will be more room for teams to make significant jumps within the Shore 16. As volleyball continues to move at such a fast pace, so will the rankings.
1. Southern Regional (7-0, 3-0) Preseason: 1
Dismantling Old Bridge, No. 3 St. John Vianney and Williamstown is the most impressive résumé for Week One and what you would expect out of reigning Shore Conference Champions and perennial powerhouses like Southern. Starting out with three wins inside the division has the Rams in strong shape heading into the end of September. Senior Molly Regulski has been one of the best players in the conference, averaging 18.7 assists through Southern's 7-0 start.
2. Donovan Catholic (7-0, 3-0) Preseason: 2
Friday proved to be one of the biggest nights for the Donovan Catholic Girls Volleyball program. After taking down Union Catholic down in three sets, the Griffins beat 2022 South Jersey Group IV champions in Williamstown in the same fashion. The Griffins also defeated No. 6 Barnegat and Colts Neck in straight sets, proving to be one of the top contenders within the state.
3. St. John Vianney (5-2, 4-0) Preseason: 4
The Lady Lancers seemed to have found quite the future for both Sophomore Giavanna Sergi and Freshman Ayana Warren. Warren leads the team with 110 assists through their first seven games. Sergi broke the school record with 27 digs against divisional rival Raritan. Losses to No. 1 Southern and Williamstown won't drop the Lady Lancers after wins over No. 7 Raritan, No. 9 Red Bank Catholic and No. 13 Wall.
4. Marlboro (4-0, 4-0) Preseason: 10
The Mustangs have played four games and have won all four games on straight sets, led by Senior Cece Marino. Senior Jordan Chan has been a strong asset for Marlboro, leading the team in digs. Sophomore Michelle Bukachevskiy has a strong defensive role as Marlboro's leader in assists. The Mustangs have a huge week upcoming with No. 11 Central Regional, No. 5 Howell and No. 10 Pinelands all on the agenda.
5. Howell (3-0, 3-0) Preseason: 15
The highest jump for this weeks Shore 16 is the Howell Rebels. Jumping up 10 spots in the rankings, Howell took down numbers three and thirteen in the rankings, while taking care of business against divisional foe Middletown North. Junior Savannah Torres has gelled comfortably into 2023, leading the Rebels with 64 assists through three matches.
6. Barnegat (4-1, 1-1) Preseason: 9
Coach Dancisin has started off her first year as head coach on a strong note, guiding the Bengals to victories over No. 10 Pinelands and Rumson-Fair Haven to begin. Barnegat may have one of the deepest teams in the conference, getting strong performances from Sophomores Brooke DeGrazio and Annabella Fraim. When you throw in the talent the Bengals have from their Senior class, there is major circulation about a deep run this Fall.
7. Raritan (4-1, 2-1) Preseason: 11
The Rockets only blemish through their first five games was a three-set loss to No. 3 St. John Vianney. Raritan started out hot, claiming Shore 16 victories over No. 8 Middletown South and Rumson-Fair Haven. Alexis Amoedo, Annie Fanduiz and Scarlett O'Hea have been playing their final season at a high level. Raritan has also found a hidden gem in Freshman Sophie Papagiannakis leading the Rockets in digs.
8) Middletown South (4-1, 3-0) Preseason: 16
It was talked about in preseason that this Middletown South team may have a Cinderella run in store for them. After a tough loss to No. 7 Raritan, the Eagles have rattled off three straight wins, setting them up with a massive matchup against No. 5 Howell tomorrow.
9) Red Bank Catholic (4-1, 2-1) Preseason: 8
The Caseys had their hands full with No. 3 St. John Vianney earlier this week, but were able to finish off strong against Manasquan. Senior Kailie Zebick has been a force for Red Bank Catholic, leading the team with 76 assists. Junior Katherine Bauman has been a strong compliment with 28 kills thusfar.
10) Pinelands (3-3, 2-1) Preseason: 5
The Wildcats dropped two tough non-conference matches against after handling in-conference business against Lakewood and Toms River East. Pinelands is currently behind No. 6 Barnegat in the head-to-head advantage. Junior Olivia Shertenlieb has been the heart and soul of the team, leading with 118 assists. A big week begins at No. 4 Marlboro while wrapping up at No. 2 Donovan Catholic.
11) Central Regional (3-1, 2-1) Preseason: Not Ranked
After being handed the tall task of facing No. 1 Southern Regional on their opening day, the Golden Eagles came together and are currently riding a three-game winning streak. Junior Kate O'Blek continues her strong assault on the 2023 season, leading the team with 73 assists. Senior Nadine Ciltepe leads Central with 46 digs, helping the Golden Eagles fly into the Shore 16.
12) Brick Memorial (2-1, 1-1) Preseason: Not Ranked
Brick Memorial opened up strong with back-to-back victories over Brick Township and Manasquan. The schedule doesn't get any easier, as the Mustangs face No. 11 Central, No. 1 Southern and No. 13 Wall this week. Isabella McKelvey has been playing at a very high level, leading the Mustangs with 43 assists.
13) Wall (2-2, 2-2) Preseason: 12
After going on the road to No. 9 Red Bank Catholic, Wall came home and won back-to-back matches over Holmdel and Rumson-Fair Haven. Wall opens up with Colts Neck this week, who appears to be in a rebuild. Juniors Gemma Ferris and Ava Grant have shined for Wall, leading the team in kills and assists.
14) Jackson Liberty (2-1, 1-1) Preseason: Not Ranked
Jackson Liberty will be tested this week, going on the road to No. 6 Barnegat on Wednesday. After a tough opening day loss to No. 2 Donovan Catholic, Jackson Liberty responded back with wins over Manchester and Toms River East. Senior Olivia Luhn has been a strong contributor for the Lions, leading the team with 63 assists.
15) Brick Township (2-3, 1-2) Preseason: Not Ranked
Wins over No. 16 Point Beach and Toms River South have the Dragons inside the Shore 16. The Dragons need to take care of business over cross-town rival No. 12 Brick Memorial to have higher aspirations inside the 16. Junior Isabella Marinelli has been a huge part of the success so far for the Dragons, leading the team with 61 digs. Senior Marissa Witter has been playing every match like it's her last, being the team leader in assists with 84.
16) Point Beach (2-2, 2-0) Preseason: Not Ranked
The early frontrunner for the Class B-Central cracks the Shore 16 as the final spot, after taking an early division lead into the second week. After fighting for three sets and taking down Manasquan, the Garnet Gulls handled Trinity Hall with ease in two sets. Senior Molly Huvane leads the team in both assists and service points while being fourth on the team in digs.
Colts Neck (No. 3 Preseason, losses to Donovan Catholic, Freehold Boro, Howell, Marlboro)
Rumson-Fair Haven (No. 6 Preseason, losses to Barnegat, Holmdel, Raritan, Wall)
Trinity Hall (No. 7 Preseason, losses to Donovan Catholic, Point Beach)
Freehold Boro (No. 13 Preseason, losses to Howell, Marlboro, Middletown South)
Toms River South (No. 14 Preseason, losses to Brick Township, Central Regional, Toms River East)
Keep An Eye On:
Toms River East (2-3)