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The boys volleyball season is nearing an end, with most teams playing two or three more games down the stretch. Most of the work has been completed heading into the May 7 postseason.
A team's pedigree is essentially known. State title contenders have been established. There can be a team or two that rises to the occasion, but for the most part the top teams have separated from the rest of the pack.
Or maybe not.
Division I has shown a lot of parity this year outside of Boulder Creek, which has lost once all year to an Arizona squad (in three sets to Desert Vista without Liam Santa Cruz) with a couple of impressive tournament wins.
"This is one of the first years in my 13 years where there's not a top tier," Desert Vista coach Ryan Tolman said. "There's Boulder Creek and then there's 10 teams down below there that can give you a game."
The advent of a second division this year has given 16 more teams, the size of the field for both state tournaments, a chance to find a way into the playoffs. Seton Catholic and Cienega have stepped to the forefront.
Here is a look at the top five teams in the power ratings through Thursday's action:
School, Record, Power rating
1. Desert Vista (Phoenix)
2. Boulder Creek (Anthem)
3. Desert Ridge (Mesa)
4. Perry (Gilbert)
5. Corona del Sol (Tempe)
10-3 13.5449Division II
1. Seton Catholic (Chandler)
2. Cienega (Vail)
3. Horizon Honors (Phoenix)
4. Ironwood (Glendale)
5. Mountain View (Tucson)
Jason P. Skoda, a former Arizona Republic sports writer and current Prep Sports Director for Times Media Group, is a 20-year sports writing veteran. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.