Best high school volleyball team in all 50 states

Aaron Williams | MaxPreps.com Tuesday, August 25, 2020 3:00pm

Perennial powerhouses and up-and-comers dot our cross-country look.

While not every state has returned to action on the court, the high school volleyball season is in full swing in a majority of states. And those championship dreams are taking hold despite social distancing, masks and ensuring equipment is sanitized.

Last week, MaxPreps took at look at the top high school volleyball player in each state and today we continue out cross-country look with the top team in each state.

There are state champions looking to add another banner to the gym, runners-ups looking to avenge last season's defeat, and teams who gained experienced last season and now look to put it all together. Sprinkled throughout the list of top teams are All-Americans, state Gatorade winners and a slew of All-State selections.
Graphic by Ryan Escobar
Alabama — Bayside Academy (Daphne)
Last year: 62-12, 4A champion
The Admirals are loaded with talent in a quest for a 19th straight state title. Senior setter Brelynn Dailey returns with 963 assists, and hitters Ella Broadhead (440 kills), Emily Buhl (424 kills) and Colton Thompson (255 kills, 629 assists) have enough to overcome the loss of the 587 kills from Jacque Martin, lost to graduation.

Last year: 58-10-3, 4A champion
The Wolverines lost three senior swingers, but have plenty waiting in the wings as they look for back-to-back state titles. Senior Cami Houser brings back 319 kills, while juniors Hanna Henrie and Kensey Schilke combined for nearly 400 more in 2019. Rising senior Emma McMillian dished up 536 assists for South.

Last year: 31-11, 5A quarterfinalist
The Huskies look to move further in 2020 as sophomore Kendal Murphy pounded 359 kills and tallied a team-leading 517 assists, while junior Kaden Young added 203 kills and 468 assists last year. Juniors Eden Driescher (198 kills), Taylor Johnson (197 kills) and Phoebe Stebner (459 assists) add depth to what was a young roster in 2019.

Last year: 31-6, 6A runner-up
A 3-1 finals' loss to Bentonville will no doubt fuel the Mavericks. Senior Hanna Hogue was five assists shy of the 1,000 mark last season and Avery Fitzgerald posted 414 kills. Junior Toree Tiffee (258 kills) and senior Aleigha Johnson (190) provide extra firepower.

California — Marymount (Los Angeles)
Last year: 33-5, Southern California Open Division semifinalist
Along with Texas, the Golden State is chock full of talent so picking one team is never easy. Cases could be made for Redondo Union (Redondo Beach), Aliso Niguel (Aliso Viejo) and perennial power Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) — all young teams last season. But the Sailors have the talent and experience to perhaps put a state-title run together with junior hitters Elia Rubin (420 kills) and Kerry Keefe (265 kills). Junior setter Kelly Belardi's 825 assists shows she can put it where hitters like. Caroline Altergott and Kathryn Kilroy add depth.

Colorado — Sterling
Last year: 29-0, 3A champion
The Tigers return every piece of the unbeaten title team save for Jade Feather (587 digs). Juniors Sydney Henry (388 kills, 418 digs) and Kaylee Johnson (298 kills, 142 digs) look to add to the win streak along with senior Valarie Allen (163 kills) and junior Emerie Rios (123 kills). Senior setter Allie Schumacher dished up 907 assists.

Connecticut — Greenwich
Last year: 19-3, LL quarterfinalist
The Cardinals got 244 kills, 189 digs and 49 aces from senior Lilly Saleeby while senior Cornelia Roach added 103 kills and 36 blocks. Junior Adele Sotgiu pitched in 241 digs and 257 receives.

Last year: 18-3, Division I champion
In addition to the state's top player, senior middle blocker Mackenzie Sobczyk, the Pandas also return junior setter, Audrey Lyons and senior defensive specialist/libero Colleen McClintock.

District of Columbia — St. John's (Washington, D.C.)
Last year: 33-3, DCSAA champion
The Cadets look for a three-peat with returning state Gatorade winner Rachel Richardson in the fold. The senior pounded 465 kills and added 253 digs for the WCAC champions. Junior Addie Gaskins looks to fill the void left by Maya Boykin. Sophomore Pamela McCune is a 6-0 middle hitter who tallied 151 kills and 63 blocks as a freshman. Samiha Foster brings her 160 kills back as well.

Last year: 24-8, 6A runner-up
Others such as Cardinal Mooney, Leon and Hagerty could also lay claim to the Sunshine State's top spot, but the Raiders are just plain deep. They have four hitters — juniors Carter Olivia Mogridge and Meredith Dixon along with senior Lilly Costigan and sophomore Zy'Aire Barr — who all posted more than 100 kills last season. Add Alyssa McBean (309 digs, 55 aces), Isabella Riquezes (190 digs), Erin Engel (524 assists) and Liah Perez (288 assists) and STA has talent across the board.

Last year: 36-1, AAAAA champion
The Chiefs enter 2020 already 5-0 on the young season and looking for their fourth straight Peach State title. Ngozi Iloh (301 kill and 64 blocks) joins rising junior Alexa Markley's 217 kills to offset the graduation loss of Erykah Lovett. The only thing McIntosh needs is to find a way to replace the 931 assists that graduated setter Jessie Doyal supplied.

Last year: 39-4, Division I champion
The Warriors graduated senior leaders Keonilei Akana, Bryanne Soares and Tara De Sa, but have the state's top player in Devin Kahahawai returning with her team-high 381 kills. Junior Maui Robins posted 228 kills, 70 blocks and 314 digs last season.

Last year: 34-14, 5A champion
The Titans, in their second year of existence, brought home a battle-tested state title. All five tournament games went at least four sets and Idaho's top player, Paige Clark steps into the limelight as the leading returning hitter with 236 kills, 207 digs and 729 assists.

Illinois — Sterling
Last year: 36-6, 3A champions
The Golden Warriors will rely on seniors Lexi Rodriguez and Breelyn Borum and Brooklyn Borum, plus sophomore Grace Egan. Egan had 360 kills in her freshman campaign and tied for the team lead with Brooklyn Borum. Bree Borum added 287 kills, while Rodriguez was all over the stat sheet in addition to leading the U18 US National team to a gold-medal performance in Egypt last September.

Indiana — New Castle
Last year: 35-1, 4A champion
The Trojans seeks a fourth state title — they own back-to-back 3A crowns before earning last year's 4A jewelry — and have leading hitter Mabrey Shaffmaster back in the fold. Older sister Melani graduated, but Laila Smith (340 kills), Bailey Cox (284 digs) and Nicole Wilkinson (117 kills) look to keep the Trojans rolling. Replacing Melani's 948 assists is first on the docket.
Laila Smith and Mabrey Shaffmaster lead New Castle in a quest for a fourth straight Indiana title.
File photo by Julie Brown
Laila Smith and Mabrey Shaffmaster lead New Castle in a quest for a fourth straight Indiana title.
Iowa — Valley (West Des Moines)
Last year: 38-5, 5A runner-up
Hayden Kubik had a monster sophomore campaign with 401 kills and 117 digs and looks to get help from senior Payton Lombardi (127 kills). The Tigers need to replace Olivia Curry's 537 assists.

Last year: 33-9, 5A playoffs
After an early exit in pool play, the Golden Eagles return with their top three hitters in Ella Larkin (341 kills), Riley Daugherty (236 kills) and Kenzie Dugan (139 kills). Daugherty posted 260 digs, while Larkin led the team with 290 digs and added  285 assists.

Kentucky — Mercy (Louisville)
Last year: 36-7, runner-up
Betting against perennial champion Assumption seems foolhardy, but the Jaguars return enough hitters in Fallan Lanham, Allison Holloway and Jaymison Summers to pair with setter Elana Scott (800 assists) and do-everything Eleanor Beavin (555 digs, 505 serve receives, 72 aces).

Last year: 20-4, Division II champion
The Rebels had little trouble winning their seventh straight crown, losing one set in the state tournament. Defending that title is now on the shoulders of Cicily Hidalgo — the state Gatorade Player of the Year recipient — in addition to senior libero Molly Webre and hitter Paige Guidry (497 kills, 438 digs).

Maine — Falmouth
Last year: 17-0, Class A champion
The Yachtsmen sailed to the unbeaten season and title behind the stellar play of two-time All-State Player of the Year and Gatorade selection Annika Hester, who posted 329 kills, 161 digs and 14 blocks. Senior Katie Phillips dished up 258 assists last year.

Last year: 23-3, IAAM A champion
Mary Grace Goyena, the state Gatorade Player of the Year and three-time All-IAAM first team selection posted 405 kills, 133 digs and 58 aces. Senior Chidinma Onukwugha and sophomore Kelenna Onukwugha supplied nearly 400 kills combined. The Sailor must replace Grace Wallace's 771 assists.

Massachusetts — Needham
Last year: 21-0, Division I champion
Rising seniors Karen Nie and Lila Carr combined for nearly 500 kills while Ellie Streeper had 251 digs in her sophomore campaign. The Rockets need to find a setter to replace Daly Johnson's 622 assists.

Michigan — Lowell
Last year: 55-4, Division I runner-up
A strong case could be made for both D-II champion Grand Rapids Christian and D-I champion Mercy, but the Red Arrows simply counter with Jenna Reitsma's 873 kills from last season along with 1,571 assists from Sophia Powell. Add in Emma Hall and sophomore Aubreigh Oswald and Lowell should be in position to challenge for the crown.

Minnesota — Eagan
Last year: 36-1, AAA runner-up
The Wildcats lost a five-set heartbreaking in the title game, after breezing through the schedule up to that point. They're led by Star Tribune and Gatorade state Player of the Year Kennedi Orr (170 kills and 269 assists), who is looking to avenge the title loss. The Nebraska commit will be joined by 6-2 middle hitter Abby Moe.

Mississippi — Jackson Academy (Jackson)
Last year: 43-3, MAIS champion
The Raiders are off to an 8-1 start and led by reigning Gatorade recipient Parker Bracken (648 kills, 517 digs last season) and setter Natalie Derusso (1,287 assists).

Last year: 34-4-1, Class 3 champion
Five of the Knights' top six hitters return in Ella Brinkman, Lily Brown, Lynsey Batson, Kaitlyn Patke and Caroline Glastetter. Junior Annie Arand looks to slide into the setter's role of graduated senior Abby Lynn.

Montana — Capital (Helena)
Last year: 33-0, Class AA champion
Seniors Paige Bartsch and Dani Bartsch combined for nearly 600 kills last season and pair with setter Audrey Hofer, who dished up nearly 900 assists.

Last year: 34-5, Class B champion
In addition to All-American Lindsay Krause (360 kills), the SkyHawks are deep all around with three other hitters — Ava Heyne, Cameron Cartwright and Abby Schomers — who posted more than 100 kills. Additionally, senior setter Allie Gray (1,225 assists) knows how to find hitters and defensive specialist Bre Skala added 501 digs.

Nevada — Boulder City
Last year: 41-5, 3A champion
The Eagles return Kamry Bailey's 481 kills as well as Kate Prior's 291 kills. Zoey Robinson and Ava Wright each notched more than 100 aces while Wright had 1,180 assists.

New Hampshire — Inter-Lakes (Meredith)
Last year: 19-0, Division III champion
Emily Weeks brings back her 402 assists and Devyn Vaal adds 157 digs and 72 kills. Emma Richardson contributed 143 digs last year.

Last year: 35-4, Non-Public champion, Tournament of Champions winner
The Blue Eagles lost Anna Morris, but have hitters Gianna Grigaliunas and Brookelyn Talmadge waiting in the wings. Junior Olivia Coughlin runs the offense well, dishing up nearly 500 assists in 2019.

New Mexico — La Cueva (Albuquerque)
Last year: 22-1, 5A champion
The Bears enter 2020 on a 22-game win streak after falling in their first 2019 match before running the table. Sidney McIntosh returns after posting 323 kills in her junior season, while Maalese Wallace and Isabella Harrison combined for 300 kills. Junior Erin Jones leads the offense having dished up 808 assists last season.

Last year: 44-6, Class A champion
The Spartans had a breakout year from incoming junior Carlie Rzeszotarski, who posted 523 kills and 278 digs in 2019. Callie Chevalier and Claire Isaksen, who each notched more than 145 kills and Isaksen (more than 1,000 assists).

Last year: 31-4, NCISSA 4A champion
The Knights lost kills leader Skylar Buckley, but Riley Buckley looks to step into that go-to role along with Arica Davis, Imani Lester and Kayla Hawkins, who all combined for nearly 800 kills. In addition to her second-high kill total, Riley Buckley also paced NRCA with 451 assists.

North Dakota — Fargo Davies (Fargo)
Last year: 33-2, Class A champion
Outside hitter Grace Solberg is back for the Eagles as they look for back-to-back title. Libero Justice Thilges also returns.

Last year: 25-3, Division I semifinalist
The Cougars return leading hitter Carly Hendrickson (442 kills) and assist leader Megan Wielonski (958 assists). Seniors Anna Currin (189 digs) and Anna Christman (155 kills) join the fray for MND.

Oklahoma — Norman North (Norman)
Last year: 21-9, 6A quarterfinalist
The Timberwolves return Ali Woodrow and are off to a quick 2-0 start in 2020.

Oregon — Jesuit (Portland
Last year: 25-4, Class 6A champion
The Crusaders were young en route to their state championship. Flashing much more experience, they return their top three hitters in Maddy Dowdall (288 kills), Amanda Henry (194 kills) and Tess Masingale (188 kills). Alison Bucholz also is back after a 281 dig-765 assist season.

Pennsylvania — Parkland (Allentown)
Last year: 31-11-3, 4A semifinalist
Top hitter Brynn Dreisbach is back for the Trojans after notching 515 kills in 2019. Sydney Esquieres also returns more than 100 kills from last season and senior Jackie Malitzki averaged nearly 10 assists per set on her way to posting 1,169 for the season.

Rhode Island — North Kingstown
Last year: 25-0, Division I champion
The Skippers haven't lost since Nov. 19, 2016 and roll into 2020 looking for a fourth straight unbeaten season. Senior setter Ava Mattiucci, senior hitter Cadia Greene and senior libero Jaime Harrington lead the charge for a fourth straight title.

South Carolina — Dorman (Roebuck)
Last year: 34-7-2, 4A semifinalist
The Cavaliers return their four top hitters and setter after losing in 2019 to eventual champion Nation Ford. Grace Metcalf dished up 925 assists to the likes of juniors Lauren Mims (342 kills), Savannah Freeman (306 kills) and seniors Ally Eggert (193 kills) and Brantley Chipley (127 kills).

South Dakota — O'Gorman (Sioux Falls)
Last year: 26-5, Class AA runner-up
The Knights return most of last year's squad led by the state's top player in Bergen Reilly (503 assists, 225 kills and 47 aces). Sister Raegen Reilly also returns along with her 411 assists and 222 kills. Libero Emma McKay (327 digs) joins Grace Bengford as key returners.

Tennessee — Brentwood
Last year: 54-3, Class 3A champion
Shaye Eggleston, the Volunteer State Gatorade winner, returns as the Bruins seek their fourth straight AAA title. The Alabama commit recorded 856 kills, 444 digs, 80 blocks and 87 aces last year and is joined by Hollye Tate (267 kills). Brentwood must replace Piper Drazek's 1,746 assists.

Texas — Flower Mound
Last year: 41-4, 6A quarterfinalist
The Lone Star State is overflowing with talent and Lovejoy, Byron Nelson, Guyer or Hebron could easily supplant the Jaguars for the No. 1 spot. But with Caroline Dykes, Kaylee Cox and Angelique Cyr all back, the senior leadership is undeniable. Cox and Cyr posted nearly 1,000 kills together, while Dykes added 936 assists and junior Megan Farris added 579 of her own. Flower Mound needs to have its big three fill the leadership void left by Sarah Martinez.

Utah — Lehi
Last year: 21-12, 5A runner-up
Avery Shewell (443 kills) leads a quartet of hitters returning for the Pioneers. Senior Macey Faddis (185 assists) must fill in the setter role vacated by Eliza Gibson. Libero Bailee Holland added 295 digs for Lehi last season.

Last year: 26-1, Division I runner-up
The Hornets' lone loss in 2019 came to Champlain Valley in the title match. Essex returns All-State picks Jessie Rose, Molly Ardren and Jazmin Munson, along with second-team pick Amanda Lyon and honorable mention selection Kayla Boutin.

Virginia — Flint Hill (Oakton)
Last year: 31-1, VISAA Division 1 champion
Seeking their fourth straight state title, the Huskies lose all-around player Sydney Reed, but return Elayna Duprey (264 kills) and sophomore Sydney Bryant (112 kills). Additionally, Zoe Huang is back for her senior season after putting up 542 assists (6.2 per game) last season. Flint Hill is a combined 98-2 over the last three seasons.

Washington — Graham-Kapowsin (Graham)
Last year: 19-6, 4A semifinalist
The Evergreen State is wide open and the Eagles look poised to step to the forefront with sophomore Hailey Brockway returning after a 472-kill freshman season. Senior Makenna Jackson added 150 kills and 300 digs last season and Madison Brockway contributed 401 digs. The setter position needs to be filled after losing Raedyn Goudreau's 646 assists to graduation.

Last year: 58-2-2, Class 3A champion
The Patriots are loaded with returning swingers as five of the top six from last year are back — Camryn Hughes (505 kills), Nyla Birch (369), Maya Harris (259), Molly Grimm (155) and Faith Smith (137). The biggest loss is Julia McClanahan's 1,563 assists.

Last year: 36-9, Division I section quarterfinalist
Mckenna Wucherer returns with her 592 kills, 346 digs and 46 blocks from last year, as does junior Morgan Daugherty (186 kills). Junior Tatum Kebisek will set up the hitters after posting 1,176 assists last season.

Wyoming — Rock Springs
Last year: 25-11, 4A quarterfinalist
Leading hitter Brenli Jenkins (286 kills, 258 digs) and Cali Pollastro (third-best 128 kills) both return for the Tigers. Rising junior Emily Taucher tallied 737 assists last year (8 per game).
Angelique Cyr, Flower Mound
File photo by Jim O
Angelique Cyr, Flower Mound