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Boys Volleyball: New season, Rankings

The new boys volleyball season is upon us, which gives rise to some pressing questions at the start of the year. Here are five of them.

1. Just how good is Campolindo?

There is a reason they are the top ranked team to start the season. They lose very little and return so many talented underclassmen from a team that won the Division II title. They can beat you from anywhere on the court, which makes them the most dangerous team the East Bay has to offer to start the year.

2. Is it a down year for De La Salle?

Hardly. They lost some absolute studs, there is no doubt, but De La Salle will have the horses to compete, which is why I still have them ranked in the top two. It will be some new faces that step up, but don’t look for this team to be down. Still the favorite in Division I.

3. Which EBAL team can compete with DLS for the title?

Ranking the other EBAL teams before the season starts is hard. Amador Valley, California and Foothill are always going to be competitive and make a run for the league and NCS title, but this year the top competitor could be San Ramon Valley. The team has been pretty young at a lot of positions the last couple of years and this could be the year they take off.

4. How’s the MVAL looking this year?

I expect MSJ and Logan to be the top teams, and even though I am waiting to see what American and Kennedy do to start the year before ranking them, they will be in the rankings at some point. This league was very competitive last year, and with the American and Kennedy programs getting better, look for that to continue this year.

5. What about the BVAL?

Deer Valley, once basketball season ends, will be the force in the BVAL and compete for an NCS title once again. They are the heavy favorites in the league, with several studs returning. The Heritage program is getting better, and is a team to keep an eye on in this league.

Rankings

The Campolindo Cougars open the season as the top ranked team, becoming the first Division II team to top the first poll of the season. The reason for this is that they return talent from all over.
The usual suspects round out the next two spots, with SRV perhaps being the challenger in the EBAL.
Northgate is at No. 5 as they will be a very good team this year, with returners and incoming players, and it will be a great battle with College Park for the DVAL crown.
A team to watch out for in the DVAL is No. 15 Berean Christian. This team was young last year and got a lot better as the season went on.

1. Campolindo
2. De La Salle
3. Deer Valley
4. San Ramon Valley
5. Northgate
6. College Park
7. Amador Valley
8. Mission San Jose
9. California
10. Logan
11. Foothill
12. Dougherty Valley
13. Valley Christian
14. Heritage
15. Berean Christian

Matt Smith

  • Prep Fan

    I agree with Campo #1 to start the season. If Lee plays this year, DV will win D1. Cal will likely be out of the top 15 quickly as they have lost almost everyone and their top returnee had recent shoulder surgery and will miss this season.

  • Men’s Volleyball

    I don’t agree why Mission San Jose, which went to NCS finals is put at rank 8. They’re still a very strong competitive team as always. Also, I feel that American should be ranked above Logan since Logan has lost so many players from last year and that American has a strong core group this year.

  • Lumberjack

    March Tournaments:
    UC Davis Tournament 3/2/13
    Deer Valley Tournament 3/16/13

  • Matt Smith

    MSJ is in transition with a new coach, and some key seniors departing. I’m waiting to see how they react.

  • Lumberjack

    More March Tournaments to note…

    NorCal #1 at Vallejo 3/16/13
    Dougherty Valley 3/23/13
    NorCal #2 at Drake High 3/23/13
    NorCal #3 at Redwood High 3/30/13

  • VolleyLife

    Is SPSV not accounted for in these rankings? I thought they were returning some talent.

    I also don’t understand how DLS (losing, what, 9 seniors?) is still ranked above an amazingly talented Deer Valley team.

    Prep Fan: Which Cal player had shoulder surgery? They only had 2 returning players!

  • Matt Smith

    @VolleyLife I have to explain this every year that I am restricted by the boundaries of the Bay Area News Group coverage area from ranking St. Pat’s. It’s unfortunate, but I can’t do it.
    Also, have you ever known a De La Salle team to be hit hard by graduation? They reload every year.
    We’ll see how it shakes down. I know DV is going to be great, assuming Lee is playing this year. But someone from Division I needs to beat DLS before I move them down. It was hard enough to not rank them No. 1 overall again.

  • EBAL

    Matt, what are your thoughts on the EBAL as things start to unfold? Regarding the top 3 (DLS, Amador, SRV) I am expecting to see some really great action. Who do you think gets the edge?

  • ebvbfan

    I think you have too much faith in the DLS program. They lost almost everyone from last year’s team and the JV team was mediocre. Amador Valley has the best player in the league so they will be a threat. SRV has most of it’s returning starters back so should be competitive. No way DLS should be ranked #2

  • Matt Smith

    @Ebvbfan I’ve learned never to count DLS out in any sport, so we’ll see.

    @EBAL Expect quite a battle with those three teams and don’t count Foothill out, ever. Nobody will go undefeated in that league, that’s for sure. I’ll be completely honest that I have a hunch that AV is the team to beat, though I have to say in my rankings that its DLS until someone beats them.

  • ebvbfan

    Matt, you may be right. DLS did have a lot of players participating in club volleyball, I just don’t know their level, but one thing that will prove to be true again is that top to bottom the EBAL will again be the toughest league. Deer Valley and College Park are very good, but their leagues just don’t rate.

  • Prep Fan

    VolleyLife, Higby from Cal had shoulder surgery after football season and is most likely out for the year for volleyball. He would have been the 3rd returnee. Although they have been a strong program, Cal faces the greatest losses this year with just 2 players coming back and a weak JV team last year.

  • Wrestlingandvolleyball

    SPSV vs DLS @ St.Pats varsity starts @ 6pm.

  • Lumberjack

    Matt, Are you covering the DLS v SPSV match tonight. It would great to get some early coverage on print.

    Local teams at the UC Davis Tourney…
    College Park, Alhambra, Clayton Valley, St. Joseph N.D.

  • dprimero

    @Wrestlingandvolleyball: St Pat’s/DLS JV match starts at 5:30. Varsity to follow. Probably closer to 6:30.

    @Lumberjack: Bentley will also be at Davis this Saturday.

  • Matt Smith

    @Lumberjack I’m not at that one tonight. My law school internship has a clinic on Tuesday night’s that I have to go to for another few weeks.

  • True

    Matt…. Where is LL?

  • Matt Smith

    @True I wasn’t sure what to expect from LL this year. Do you know much about them?

  • Mark Fremont

    Hello,

    Irvington HS in Fremont is starting a boys volleyball team this year.
    We are looking for teams to scrimmage this season. Depending on how the boys develop this year, we are hoping to enter into league play next year.
    We are also looking for any tournaments that we can enter.

    Thanks,
    Mark Fremont
    Irvington HS Boys’ VB Coach

  • Lumberjack

    @dprimero…you are correct. Bentley will at UC Davis this weekend.

    Other noted NCS teams who will be at Davis…Marin Catholic, El Molino and Terra Linda.

  • Matt Smith

    Logan beats Alhambra 3-0.

    @Mark Fremont Email me. mhsmith78@gmail.com

  • Matt Smith

    Livermore 3-0 over Antioch

  • EBAL

    SRV 3-0 over Heritage.

  • Wrestlingandvolleyball

    SPSV 3-1 over DLS.

  • dprimero

    @Matt

    LL will be strong this year. They showed well at the Campo Jamboree last Saturday. They will compete with Dougherty Valley for 2nd in the DFAL.

    They will be making your rankings and moving up as the season progresses.

  • Matt Smith

    MV beat American 3-0.

    @Wrestlingandvolleyball Looks like St. Pat is still very strong and DLS will be a little down.

  • True

    Yes LL will compete with the bottom half of 15 teams. I see DLS drop to bottom half. Don’t see them compete with SRV, CP and Campo just a few teams

  • Jeffrey

    Matt, if you want to see what DLS will be like go over to Diablo Valley’s website and check their rosters. Look at the guys on College Park, and then at the guys on DLS. CP are the clearcut D1 favorites unless Lee plays for Deer Valley and then it’s a bit of a tossup. Campo is not the top team, CP is better because they are just so much more physical. Campo lost their big pin in Henrikson, and while they will have unbelievable ball control they just do not have the terminators, in the middle or at the pins, to hang with CP. CP has great middles who will absolutely wreck Campo, and very solid outsides, a good setter and a good libero. They aren’t near DLS from last year because they don’t have the same kind of firepower at the pins, but they will run over a lot of teams just because they are so big and have so many guys who can put the ball away.

  • Matt Smith

    I will keep my eye on Las Lomas, and thanks for the input.

    I’ve been hearing CP may be the team to beat. I know they graduated Bo, so I wasn’t sure if they’d be the top team, but I will monitor that closely as well.

  • dprimero

    @Matt

    Too bad your schedule won’t allow, Campo is going to CP next week Tuesday. Should settle a few things!

  • True

    Cp and campo are at james Logan tonight staring at 5:00

  • Matt Smith

    @Dprimero It just so happens that I don’t have my clinic next Tuesday :)

  • VB

    #1 Campo at #6 College Park, along with #4 SRV at #3 DV both next tuesday. Both matches with big potential! Predictions Matt?

  • Matt Smith

    @VB DV will still be without Lee, right? I say SRV as of right now.
    I gotta stick with my guns and say Campo, but I’m hearing great things about CP.

  • Jeffrey

    My rankings:
    1. College Park
    2. SPSV (I know Matt can’t rank them)
    3. Campolindo
    4. Amador Valley
    5. Deer Valley (W/o Lee)
    6. MSJ
    7. Monte Vista
    8. De La Salle
    9. San Ramon Valley
    10. Dougherty Valley
    11. Las Lomas
    12. Acalanes
    13. American
    14. Heritage
    15. Northgate

    Teams that I’m not sure about, and honorable mention:
    Bentley, Foothill, Washington, Clayton Valley, Alameda, Berean, Valley Christian,

  • Jordan

    Woah woah woah woah hold up… I like ur list but, LL is not there are gunna be good this year.

  • Master

    Watch LL this year ( Redo ur list )

  • VBLover

    @Jeffrey, did you forget about Logan or did you not rank them on purpose? Logan defeated your #7 Monte Vista last week in 4. Monte Vista didn’t look good except for a couple of outside hitters.

  • Matt Smith

    American beats Livermore 3-1 in four very close games.

  • True

    It is too early to say and I don’t take the first ranking too seriously. We will find out the next two weeks. Mean while just sit tight.

  • Jeffrey

    @VBLover: I didn’t think Logan would be very good this year, I’m very surprised by that result. I hadn’t seen it when I made my rankings. MV returned everyone and Logan certainly did not, so I wonder whether MV was missing some guys or just getting young guys playing, but if that is not the case they are either much worse than I thought or Logan is much, much better than I expected.

  • Matt Smith

    @True Great post. Definitely can’t take the first ranking too seriously. Gotta let it sort itself out.

    Here are some scores…

    Dougherty 3-0 over Livermore
    Kennedy 3-0 over Terra Linda

  • VB Fan

    College Park wins UC Davis tournament