The Woodlands (Texas) ran the table in the 2013 season, finishing with a Texas 5A championship and a 45-0 record.
The Highlanders can now lay claim to the MaxPreps mythical national title as they edged St. James Academy (Lenexa, Kan.) and Granite Bay (Calif.) for the No. 1 spot.
"It's just amazing ... we are very honored," said The Woodlands coach Leslie Madison. "It's well deserved. This group deserves all the accolades it receives. They worked very hard."
Madison said the key to the team's success was its depth.
"We had a good player in every position and each played unselfish volleyball. We were a complete team," she said.
The Highlanders were also experienced with seven seniors and five juniors.
"This was the first time in 10 years coaching here that we did not have an underclassmen on the roster," said Madison, who holds the all-time assists record as a player at Southern Methodist University.
Madison knew her 2013 Highlanders would be good, but said she did not expect her team to go unbeaten.
"We knew we were talented, but never figured we wouldn't lose," she said. "Every time we play, the other team always brings their best game for us. But we knew it would be difficult for someone to beat us three times in a match. Honestly, I never figured we would go unbeaten."
It wasn't just the Highlanders varsity that went unbeaten — the junior varsity and freshman teams did not lose either. All totaled, The Woodlands volleyball teams were 176-0 in 2013.
The varsity team lost just one set in their final 19 matches and finished 2013 with a 117-5 set record.
No. 2 St. James Academy lost just once in 98 matches and finished with a 47-0 record. The Thunder has won 56 matches in a row and six straight Kansas state titles.
Unbeaten Granite Bay defeated Los Alamitos last Saturday night to win the California Interscholastic Federation's Division I state title and finish at No. 3.
Rounding out the Top 10 were state champions Bellarmine Prep (Tacoma, Wash.), East Troy (Wis.), Cardinal Gibbons (Raleigh, N.C.), Lafayette (Wildwood, Mo.), Mother McAuley (Chicago), Dike-New Hartford (Dike, Iowa) and Immaculate Heart Academy (Washington Township, N.J.).
New to the Top 25 this week is Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.), which was No. 2 in the final 2012 rankings and started 2013 ranked No. 5. Mitty jumped from unranked to No. 18 this week after it captured the California Division II title with a 3-0 win over previously unbeaten Santiago-Corona, a team that had dropped just one set all season.
Mitty, which has won a California-record 10 state volleyball titles, lost only to teams that won state titles this year.
MaxPreps Final 2013 Xcellent 25 National Volleyball Rankings presented by the Army National Guard1. (1 last week) The Woodlands (Texas), 45-0
The Highlanders won the Texas 5A title. 2. (2) St. James Academy (Lenexa, Kan.), 47-0
St. James won its sixth straight state title and has won 56 straight matches over the last two seasons.
3. (3) Granite Bay (Calif.), 45-0
Granite Bay defeated Los Alamitos, 3-1 (25-22, 14-25, 25-19, 25-17), to
win California's D-I championship
. In beating the Griffins (35-6), Maddy Deters
finished with 17 kills and 24 digs while teammate Nicolette Pinkney
pounded 18 kills and Taylor Nelson
passed for 48 assists.
4. (4) Bellarmine Prep (Tacoma, Wash.), 35-0
The Lions won their second straight state 4A title and were forced to only one five-set match during the season.5. (5) East Troy (Wis.), 44-0
The Trojans won the state D-2 title. 6. (7) Cardinal Gibbons (Raleigh, N.C.), 28-0
The Crusaders won their fifth consecutive N.C. High School Athletic Association 3A volleyball title, a state record. 7. (8) Lafayette (Wildwood, Mo.), 38-1-2
The Lancers finished with 29 straight wins and won their third straight state title. Lafayette's only loss was to No. 2 St. James Academy (Lenexa, Kan.).8. (9) Mother McAuley (Chicago), 40-2
The Macs won the Illinois State 4A title. 9. (10) Dike-New Hartford (Dike, Iowa), 45-1
Dike stretched their win streak to 39 and won the state 2A title for the third straight year.10. (11) Immaculate Heart Academy (Washington Township, N.J.), 47-2
Heart won the non-public state title and the New Jersey Tournament of Champions. 11. (12) Notre Dame Prep (Pontiac, Mich.), 62-2-1
The Irish won their final 20 matches and the Michigan state B title.12. (13) Loudoun County (Leesburg, Va.), 31-0
Loudoun County captured the 4A state championship for the second year in a row and sixth in seven seasons.13. (14) Avon (Ind.), 37-3
In winning its final 26 matches, Avon has won back-to-back state titles.14. (15) St. Francis (Wheaton, Ill.), 39-3
St. Francis won its third straight 3A title. All three Spartan losses this season were to No. 9 Mother McAuley (Chicago).15. (16) Assumption (Louisville, Ky.), 37-6
The Rockets won their fourth straight state title.
16. (18) Bettendorf (Iowa), 37-2
Bettendorf won the state large school title for the second straight year.17. (19) Kamehameha (Honolulu), 30-2
Kamehameha won the Hawaii D-1 state title.18. (NR) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.), 42-4
Mitty defeated Santiago (Corona, Calif.), 3-0, to win the California D-II state title for the second straight season. Led by Clare Powers
with 16 kills, Alexa Dryer
with 12 kills, Shirin Tooloee
with 11 kills and setter's Kelsey Crawford's
37 assists, Mitty ran its win streak to 17. It was Mitty's 10th state title, most of any school in California. Three of Mitty's four losses in 2013 were to state champions.19. (17) Barnstable (Hyannis, Mass.), 23-0
The Red Raiders won their fourth Division 1 state title in a row and 10th in 11 years. 20. (20) Churchill (San Antonio), 47-3
Finish as Texas 5A runner-up, losing to No. 1 The Woodlands.21. (21) Eagan (Minn.), 30-2
Eagan won Minnesota's large schools title.22. (22) Winter Park (Fla.), 30-3
Winter Park recorded its second-straight 8A state title.23. (23) Mercy (Louisville, Ky.), 37-2
State runner-up to No. 16 Assumption.24. (24) Grandview (Aurora, Colo.), 27-2
The Wolves captured the 5A state title. 25. (25) Sutherland (Pittsford, N.Y.), 40-2
The Knights won the New York State large school title.The Best of the Rest26. (6) Santiago (Corona, Calif.), 40-1
California D-II runner-up — lost to No. 18 Archbishop Mitty.27. Padua Franciscan (Parma, Ohio), 29-1
State 3A champion.28. St. Ursula Academy (Toledo, Ohio), 33-1
State runner-up.29. Carmel (Ind.), 37-2
State runner-up to No. 13 Avon.30. Los Alamitos (Calif.), 35-6
California D1 runner-up – lost to No. 3 Granite Bay.
31. Benet Academy (Lisle, Ill.), 36-6
Lost to No. 9 Mother McAuley in state finals.32. Carroll (Southlake, Texas), 46-2
Lost only to No. 1 The Woodlands and No. 20 Churchill.
33. Menomonee Falls (Wis.), 48-4
Won state's large schools title.34. Lewis-Palmer (Monument, Colo.), 27-2
Won state title.35. St. Joseph's Academy (Baton Rouge, La.), 45-1
Won state large school title.36. Ravenwood (Brentwood, Tenn.), 56-4
Captured state title.37. Bishop Moore (Orlando, Fla.), 28-4
Won second straight state title.
38. New Trier (Winnetka, Ill.), 31-3
Reached state semis and lost to No. 9 Mother McAuley.39. Cedar Park (Texas), 38-3
Lost in state 4A semifinals.40. Mount Notre Dame (Cincinnati), 26-3
Won state title.41. Torrey Pines (San Diego), 33-4
Reached D1 quarterfinals.42. Notre Dame Academy (Park Hills, Ky.), 26-8
All losses came against nationally ranked teams.43. Carson (China Grove, N.C.), 34-1
State runner-up.44. West Albany (Albany, Ore.), 27-3
Won second straight 5A state title.45. Xavier College Prep (Phoenix), 33-7
Won state 5A title.46. Horizon (Scottsdale, Ariz.), 37-3
State 5A runner-up.
47. Hillcrest (Simpsonville, S.C.), 57-5
Won state 4A title.48. Valley Christian (San Jose, Calif.), 35-8
Captured 3A state title.49. Ursuline Academy (Cincinnati), 22-3
Reached state quarterfinals.50. Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), 33-8
Reached state semifinals.51. Cy-Fair (Cypress, Texas), 45-4
Reached regional semifinals.52. Central Catholic (Portland, Ore.), 41-3
Lost in state 6A finals.53. New Castle (Ind.), 28-4
Reached regional finals.54. Osseo (Minn.), 30-2
Finished third at state.55. Yorktown (Ind.), 30-3
Eliminated in playoffs by No. 53 New Castle.56. Coppell (Texas), 42-5
Lost in area playoffs.57. Walton (Marietta, Ga.), 46-6
Won large schools title.58. Olathe East (Olathe, Kan.), 38-5
State large schools champion.59. Wayland (Mich.), 57-5-5
Lost in state finals to No. 11 Notre Dame Prep.
60. Northwest (Grand Island, Neb.), 38-1
Third place state finish.61. La Salle (Pasadena, Calif.), 32-6
Eliminated in playoffs by state runner-up Los Alamitos.62. St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), 29-2
Reached state semifinals.63. Brentwood (Tenn.), 57-4
State large school runner-up — all four losses to state champion Ravenwood.64. Millard West (Omaha, Neb.), 36-3
State 6A runner-up.65. Central Valley Christian (Visalia, Calif.), 36-4
State 3A runner-up.66. Park Hill South (Kansas City, Mo.), 35-3-1
Lost in state finals.67. Vanguard (Ocala, Fla.), 28-4
Won state title.68. Bayside Academy (Daphne, Ala.), 57-8
Won 12th straight state title.69. Hempfield (Landisville, Pa.), 41-3-5
Won state title.70. Heritage (Colleyville, Texas), 43-6
Lost in state semifinals.71. Arapahoe (Centennial, Colo.), 25-3
Large school runner-up.
72. Glenbard West (Glen Ellyn, Ill.), 34-4
WSC Silver Regional champs.73. Jupiter (Fla.), 25-3
Reached state semifinals.74. Western Christian (Hull, Iowa), 44-3
State runner-up.75. Parker (San Diego), 27-5
Back-to-back state champion.76. Jonesboro (Ark.), 30-3
Won state title.77. Lewiston (Idaho), 35-1
Won state title.78. Ransom Everglades (Miami), 30-3
Won state title.79. P.K. Yonge (Gainesville, Fla.), 30-2
Lost in state quarterfinals.80. Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville, Fla.), 26-3
Lost in semifinals to state champion Bishop Moore.81. Reagan (San Antonio), 40-7
Lost to No. 20 Churchill in playoffs.82. McIntosh (Peachtree City, Ga.), 42-6
Won state title.83. South (Crystal Lake, Ill.), 37-3
Lost to No. 31 Benet in state semifinals.84. Dulaney (Timonium, Md.), 24-1
Won state title.85. Bishop England (Charleston, S.C.), 38-7
Won 14th straight state title.86. East Grand Rapids (Mich.), 23-2-2
Won state title.87. Coronado (Henderson, Nev.), 31-6
Won large school state title.
88. Langley (McLean, Va.), 26-3
Won state title.89. Great Oak (Temecula, Calif.), 27-2
Lost to No. 50 Mater Dei in playoffs.90. Harlan (Iowa), 38-3
Won state title.91. Hillsboro (Kan.), 43-1
State champion.92. Burlington-Edison (Burlington, Wash.), 32-2
Won state title.93. Padua Academy (Wilmington, Del.), 21-0
Won state title.94. Menlo (Atherton, Calif.), 32-5
Won state title.95. Redondo Union (Redondo Beach, Calif.), 29-7
Lost in section quarterfinals to No. 89 Great Oak.96. Lakeridge (Lake Oswego, Ore.), 23-2
Won large schools state title.97. Bishop Miege (Shawnee Mission, Kan.), 34-10
State champion (22nd overall).98. Delone Catholic (McSherrystown, Pa.), 33-1-1
Won state title and lost only to No. 69 Hempfield.99. Veterans Memorial (Mission, Texas), 40-1
Reached regional finals.100. Goodpasture Christian (Madison, Tenn.), 48-0
Won state title.