Prep Volleyball

Iowa high school volleyball preseason rankings: Western Dubuque, Mount Vernon earn No. 1 slots

Bobcats lead a 1-2-3 area contingent in 4A; Mustangs chasing title repeat in 3A

Western Dubuque's Meredith Bahl (4) hits as Sergeant Bluff-Luton's Elle Sneller (7) and Regina Rogers (13) block her dur
Western Dubuque's Meredith Bahl (4) hits as Sergeant Bluff-Luton's Elle Sneller (7) and Regina Rogers (13) block her during the 2019 Class 4A state championship match at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

Western Dubuque came out of nowhere to reach the Class 4A finals at last year’s state volleyball tournament.

The Bobcats will sneak up on nobody this season.

With six starters back from a runner-up squad, Western Dubuque is No. 1 in the 4A preseason rankings, released Monday by the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union.

Two of last year’s champions — Mount Vernon (3A) and Western Christian (2A) — start the new season on top. Also ranked No. 1 are West Des Moines Valley (5A) and Fort Madison Holy Trinity (1A).

Valley was 42-5 and the 5A runner-up to Cedar Falls last year. Four starters are back for Valley, led by junior hitter Hayden Kubik.

Iowa City Liberty (34-3), which made its state-tournament debut last year, is No. 2 followed by Ankeny, West Des Moines Dowling and Cedar Falls. Liberty has five starters back.

Western Dubuque was a modest 20-13 entering the postseason last year, but shocked Dubuque Wahlert in the regional semifinals, then tripped Cedar Rapids Xavier and Marion on the way to the championship match before bowing to Sergeant Bluff-Luton. Hitter Meredith Bahl and setter Madison Maahs are returning all-staters.

Xavier (28-7) and Marion (31-11) are second and third. The Saints bring back veterans Eve Magill, Jazmine Yamilkoski and Katy Garrison; the Indians counter with setter/hitters Elise Mehaffy and Avery Van Hook, along with libero Trinity Zika.

West Delaware is fifth, Clear Creek Amana seventh.

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An already deep 3A got deeper with the addition of Osage and Clarion CGD, state-tournament teams last year in 2A. But Mount Vernon (36-10) is the favorite with six starters back led by University of Iowa commit Lauren Schrock and libero Jorie Randall. The addition of North Cedar transfer Sydney Dennis — another future Hawkeye — further bolsters the Mustangs.

Unity Christian is ranked fourth, Union Community is No. 5.

With 18 state titles, Western Christian (41-5) is a logical No. 1 in 2A. Dyersville Beckman (42-9) was the runner-up to the Wolfpack last year and, led by junior Kiersten Schmitt, opens at No. 2. Dike-New Hartford, Wilton and Boyden-Hull round out the top five.

Holy Trinity (29-11) was a 1A semifinalist last year and returns its entire starting lineup. Wapsie Valley was the 1A runner-up in 2019 and starts at No. 2, then it’s Council Bluffs St. Albert, New London and Janeville. Springville is sixth, Belle Plaine eighth.

IGHSAU preseason volleyball rankings

CLASS 5A

1. West Des Moines Valley (42-5)

2. Iowa City Liberty (34-3)

3. Ankeny (37-6)

4. West Des Moines Dowling (32-12)

5. Cedar Falls (44-1)

6. Pleasant Valley (30-6)

7. Waukee (35-12)

8. Ankeny Centennial (18-15)

9. Dubuque Hempstead (20-14)

10. Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln (38-4)

11. Urbandale (20-17)

12. Ottumwa (23-18)

13. Bettendorf (22-14)

14. Cedar Rapids Prairie (17-22)

15. Indianola (27-18)

 

CLASS 4A

1. Western Dubuque (24-14)

2. Cedar Rapids Xavier (28-7)

3. Marion (31-11)

4. Sergeant Bluff-Luton (37-3)

5. West Delaware (40-6)

6. Glenwood (30-13)

7. Clear Creek Amana (23-15)

8. Gilbert (32-13)

9. North Scott (28-6)

10. Waverly-Shell Rock (46-7)

11. Dubuque Wahlert (24-12)

12. Pella (18-19)

13. Winterset (17-12)

14. Carroll (23-14)

15. Bondurant-Farrar (18-18)

 

CLASS 3A

1. Mount Vernon (36-10)

2. Osage (37-7)

3. Clarion CGD (30-7)

4. Unity Christian (24-11)

5. Union Community (31-12)

6. Davenport Assumption (32-6)

7. Nevada (33-10)

8. West Liberty (31-8)

9. MOC-Floyd Valley (26-9)

10. Carroll Kuemper (37-5)

11. Roland-Story (29-11)

12. Sioux Center (25-10)

13. Independence (29-12)

14. Des Moines Christian (24-7)

15. Red Oak (34-7)

 

CLASS 2A

1. Western Christian (41-5)

2. Dyersville Beckman (42-9)

3. Dike-New Hartford (29-15)

4. Wilton (35-4)

5. Boyden-Hull (25-10)

6. Hudson (31-8)

7. Underwood (30-6)

8. East Sac County (28-7)

9. Grundy Center (32-9)

10. Jesup (22-14)

11. Denver (27-15)

12. Sumner-Fredericksburg (17-19)

13. West Branch (21-16)

14. Lake Mills (30-10)

15. Nodaway Valley (20-7)

 

CLASS 1A

1. Fort Madison Holy Trinity (29-11)

2. Wapsie Valley (25-16)

3. Council Bluffs St. Albert (24-10)

4. New London (29-9)

5. Janesville (33-12)

6. Springville (20-17)

7. Le Mars Gehlen (25-8)

8. Belle Plaine (27-13)

9. Coon Rapids-Bayard (23-10)

10. Edgewood-Colesburg (26-10)

11. Grand View Christian (23-21)

12. Gladbrook-Reinbeck (27-9)

13. Newell-Fonda (26-11)

14. Clinton Prince of Peace (22-17)

15. Sidney (38-6)

Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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