Posted September 2, 2009 | comments Leave a comment

Sherando tops area volleyball rankings

The Northern Virginia Daily Sports staff collaborated to create a top 10 volleyball list. Each staffer voted, with 10 points being awarded to the top ranked team, nine to the No. 2 team and so on. Numbers in parenthesis indicate first place votes.

1. Sherando (2), 2-0, 0-0 Northwestern -- Though the Warriors graduated two of the area's best hitters in Haley Jacobsen and Lauren Carter, setter Taylor Henshaw and Megan Sirbaugh have led Sherando to impressive wins over Strasburg and Liberty.

2. Millbrook (1), 0-0, 0-0 Northwestern -- The Pioneers have a new coach in Kim Riordan, but return six seniors, including Anna Comer (82 blocks last season), Jordan Orndoff (556 assists) and Gennie McGuirk (226 kills).

3. Strasburg, 2-1, 0-0 Bull Run -- The Rams also return top players from last year: Jaclyn Ayers was an all-state first-teamer and Jenna Smoot led the team with 185 kills and 127 blocks. After starting the season with a loss to Sherando, Strasburg has knocked off two consecutive wins.

4. James Wood, 1-0, 0-0 Northwestern -- The loss of Heather Armel, Haley Smith and Sara Michael will surely hurt the Colonels this season, but the return of Emily Shannon (323 kills, 131 digs) should ease that pain.

5. Stonewall Jackson, 1-1, 0-0 Shenandoah -- A loss to group AA school Wilson Memorial doesn't change the fact that the Whitney Wilkins-to-Heather Stout combinations will be hard to deal with for many teams in the Shenandoah district.

6 (tie). Clarke County, 1-1, 0-0 Bull Run -- Eagles coach Mary Brune is installing a new offense, and working with a vastly changed group of players this season. Clarke narrowly edged out a 3-2 win over Warren County to start the season.

6 (tie). Handley, 0-0, 0-0 Northwestern -- The offensive-minded Judges have left behind their defense-only philosophy, but will it be enough to compete with Millbrook, Sherando and James Wood for the district crown?

8. Central, 0-1, 0-0 Shenandoah -- The Falcons have moved from one tough district to another, trading Millbrook and Sherando of the Northwestern District for Stonewall Jackson and Page County of the Shenandoah District. Head coach Allison Huckstep and her team will certainly have their hands full this season.

9 (tie). Skyline, 1-3, 0-0 Northwestern -- After winning their first match in straight games, the Hawks lost three matches in a row.

9 (tie). Warren County, 0-1, 0-0 Evergreen -- With more than a week between their first-match loss to Clarke County and their second game against Page County, the Wildcats should have plenty of time to iron out some of their kinks.

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