Welcome to the inaugural SGVN all-encompassing girls volleyball top ten poll. For the first time, we’re ranking teams from the Whittier Daily News, Pasadena Star-News and San Gabriel Valley Tribune coverage areas to create a more prestigious and tougher-to-crack, girls volleyball top ten poll from our core readership at SGVN. With social media bringing us all closer together, we thought we’d share coverage beyond print boundaries to give you a more comprehensive feel of the San Gabriel Valley and Whittier. Keith Lair will update his rankings each week on the blogs, websites and newspapers.
Above: Emily Develle, left, Kayla Lund, and Sophia Coffey, are team members of Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy Girls Volleyball team Friday, August 22, 2014. (Photo by Walt Mancini/Pasadena Star-News)
By Keith Lair, Staff Reporter
It will be difficult for San Gabriel Valley and Whittier volleyball teams to top 2013.
La Salle and Whittier Christian high schools won CIF-Southern Section championships. Mayfield played
Whittier Christian for the 2A title. Flintridge Sacred Heart and St. Paul both went to the semifinals, the Tologs losing to eventual champion La Salle. Two other teams made it to the quarterfinals.
This season, however, could be just as successful. There are a lot of returning starters for the area’s top teams, but there are challenges: four of the teams in the Top 10 move up a division.
1. Flintridge Sacred Heart
The Tologs return five players who contributed heavily to the team’s CIF-SS semifinal run last year.
But coach Ernest Banaag still has questions.
“We are a lot younger that last year,” he said. “We do have a lot of experience and core knowledge.
But we’re young and that might show in some games.”
The Tologs graduated six seniors from a team that went 26-5 and lost to eventual division champion La Salle in four tough games in the semis. They return four seniors, four juniors and two sophomores who all played. Two freshmen will play this season.
“They have a lot of club experience within their age group, but they are 14-year olds now competing against 18-year olds,” Banag said.