Girls Volleyball Shore 16: Top Two Stay Untouched While Old and New Faces Shuffle
We're through two full weeks of the girls volleyball season and a lot has unfolded since the start. There have been records broken for a plethora of teams. Divisional races are starting to truly shape up. Teams are finding out who they really are while facing tough tasks.
Approaching the end of the month, teams are now fighting to win their division, earn as many power points for state races, and stay above .500 to make the Shore Conference Tournament. Another important week is upcoming with huge matches across the board. There's been some reconfiguration of the Shore 16, with old faces back in and some shuffling along the way.
Shore Sports Network Girls Volleyball Shore 16
1. Southern Regional (10-0, 5-0). Last Week: No. 1
The Rams were tested by a state-ranked Washington Township program late last week, but the heroics of seniors Jordyn Hamlin and Molly Regulski powered Southern in three sets. With 199 assists through 10 matches for Regulski, the sky is the limit for what the stat line will look like at the end of 2023. While the Rams will have some more tests throughout the season, the marquee matchup is when they travel to Donovan Catholic in two weeks. For now, Southern is safe at number one.
2. Donovan Catholic (11-0, 6-0). Last Week: No. 2
Another strong week for the Griffins after taking down No. 4 Howell, Lakewood, Manchester, and No. 13 Pinelands. Macayla Lindner set the Donovan Catholic school record with 195 career aces while joining the 300-kill club. Daniella Tischio reached 500 career assists, Shantel Starling is playing exceptionally well, and the Bowbliss sisters continue to gel. Caleigh Austin has stepped up in big-time situations. All the pieces are clicking as a date with No. 1 Southern in the near future awaits.
3. St. John Vianney (8-2, 5-0). Last Week: No. 3
The Lancers did what they needed to do and took care of business in week two. After taking down Holmdel in two sets, the Lancers traveled on the road and took down a strong Colonia program. Vianney finished up the week with a non-divisional win against Trinity Hall. Freshman Ayana Warren continues to make her mark as one of the best assets in the Shore. Warren now has 170 assists with 39 digs through her first 10 career games. The Lancers will be tested against No. 6 Raritan and No. 14 Rumson-Fair Haven later this week.
4. Howell (6-1, 5-0). Last Week: No. 5
The Rebels' season took a serious jump relatively early into the season after taking down No. 8 Marlboro in a massive Class A North matchup. Howell moved to 5-0 within the division, giving it an outright first-place lead. While Howell saw their first loss come from the hands of Donovan Catholic, they showed serious fight in both sets. Junior Savannah Torres continues to have a strong campaign for the Rebels, leading the team with 131 assists. Another three-game week ahead for Howell with a test on the road against No. 16 Freehold Borough.
5. Barnegat (7-1, 4-1). Last Week: No. 6
Sophomore Annabella Fraim leads Barnegat with 120 assists and is also currently second on the team with 40 service points. The Bengals took a huge two-set victory over No. 10 Jackson Liberty last week while finishing up the week with a win over Lacey. Barnegat plays four straight this week starting with Trinity Hall and ending with No. 13 Pinelands.
6. Raritan (6-1, 4-1). Last Week: No. 7
The Rockets are currently on a four-game winning streak without dropping a set and are one game behind No. 3 St. John Vianney in Class B North. Raritan starts the week off with No. 9 Red Bank Catholic in another divisional battle. Raritan will travel to Vianney on Friday, looking to continue to make noise and stay in play for the division title. Senior Alexis Amoedo continues strong play for the Rockets, leading the team with 55 assists.
7. Middletown South (6-2, 4-1). Last Week: No. 8
The Eagles started out with a tough three-set loss to No. 4 Howell to begin the week but ended strong with three-set wins over Colts Neck and No. 9 Red Bank Catholic. Senior Karolyna Bojko continues to play with intensity, leading the Eagles with 145 assists. Junior Cameron Kapler has made a serious impact in 2023, leading the team in both digs and kills. On the road with No. 8 Marlboro to start their week while wrapping it up with Brick Township. The Eagles look to stay within striking distance in Class A North.
8. Marlboro (5-2, 4-1). Last Week: No. 4
Marlboro had a week full of ranked matchups, losing to No. 4 Howell and No. 13 Pinelands, but capitalized with a strong win against No. 12 Central Regional. It doesn't get easier for the Mustangs, starting their week off at home against No. 7 Middletown South. Senior Cece Marino leads the team in both assists and kills. Marino is also 14 digs away from 300 career for her career
9. Red Bank Catholic (5-3, 3-2). Last Week: No. 9
Senior Kailie Zebick continues her high level of play for the Caseys, bringing her team-leading total in assists to 133. Junior Talia Snedeker has also been a strong force for the team with a team best 76 digs. The Caseys will be tested against No. 6 Raritan to start the week followed by two more road trips to Wall and Red Bank Regional.
10. Jackson Liberty (5-2, 3-2). Last Week: No. 14
The Lions jump up four spots in the rankings due to a strong three-win week. Wins on the road over Lacey and Toms River South followed by a home victory over Lakewood have Jackson Liberty climbing to the top in South Jersey Group II rankings. Senior Olivia Luhn leads the team with 116 assists while senior Steph Ramos leads the team with 122 digs. The Lions start their week off at No. 13 Pinelands.
11. Brick Memorial (5-2, 3-2). Last Week: No. 12
After opening last week with a loss at No. 1 Southern, the Mustangs rattled off three straight wins including a three-set thriller over No. 12 Central Regional. Isabella McKelvey sets a new season-high in assists every time she's out on the court, now leading the Mustangs with 127. Sophomore Emily Fitzgerald has played at a new level, leading the team with 47 kills.
12. Central Regional (5-3, 4-2). Last Week: No. 11
The Golden Eagles saw heartbreaking defeats at No. 8 Marlboro and at home against No. 11 Brick Memorial but were able to rally to close out the week with a win over Brick Township. The Golden Eagles start off at Point Beach followed by a matchup against No. 1 Southern Regional. Junior Kate O'Blek now has a team-high 166 assists after 8 matches, getting her 350th career assist last week.
13. Pinelands (6-4, 3-2). Last Week: No. 10
The Wildcats had wins vs. Lacey and at No. 8 Marlboro last week before being taken down in straight sets by No. 2 Donovan Catholic. After 10 matches, junior Olivia Shertenlieb now has an astounding 193 assists for the Wildcats. Junior Jill Becker leads Pinelands in both digs and kills. The Wildcats will start off the week with a divisional matchup against No. 10 Jackson Liberty.
14. Rumson-Fair Haven (5-3, 3-2). Last Week: not ranked
The pre-season No. 5 team returns to the rankings after a four-game winning streak. Wins over Colts Neck, Manasquan, and No. 9 Red Bank Catholic have the Bulldogs trending upwards. Sophomore Catherine Caulfield has been a force through eight games, leading the charge with 105 assists. Sophomore Madison Peter has been a key addition for the Bulldogs, leading the team in blocks and kills.
15. Toms River East (4-4, 4-2). Last Week: not ranked
Three of the Raiders' four losses have come in three sets while all four of their losses have been against ranked opponents. East took down a previously-ranked Brick Township team last week while fighting for a win against Toms River North. Senior Ava Casales is now up to 122 assists on the year to lead the team.
16. Freehold Boro (5-4, 3-3). Last Week: not ranked
Wins over Keyport, Long Branch, and Middletown North brought a strong week together for the Colonials. They seem to have found their groove heading into the mid-point of the season, as every player but two have double-digit service points on the year. The Colonials will travel to Asbury Park before a massive home match against No. 4 Howell.
Brick Township (2-6)
Point Beach (4-3)
Keep An Eye On:
Toms River South (3-4)