Santa Fe ranks No. 2 in regional volleyball poll

With district tournaments starting up next week in girls volleyball, many teams are getting geared up for the second season and ready to try to survive and advance.

But as we say goodbye to the regular season, one volleyball team has continued to dominate The Prep Zone Power Poll.

Two-time defending state champion Ponte Vedra saw its winning streak reach 51 matches dating back to 2019, before the Sharks finally dropped a game Oct. 2 to last year’s 3A state runner-up, Westminster Christian (Miami), in a tournament in Venice.

Despite this loss, the Class 5A Sharks (20-1) picked up wins in the last two weeks against 7A No. 7 Venice, 3A No. 11 Clearwater Central Catholic, and 3A No. 9 Community School of Naples.

Ponte Vedra received all five first-place votes to remain the unanimous top-ranked team in the all-classification regional rankings. The Sharks are also ranked No. 1 statewide regardless of classification and are third nationally, according to Max Preps.

Santa Fe (Alachua) is rolling towards the postseason as well.

The Raiders (22-3), who are ranked No. 1 in the state in Class 4A, won all eight of their matches the last couple of weeks, including wins over No. 3 Trinity Catholic (Ocala), then-No. 5 Forest (Ocala), Westminster Christian, 4A No. 8 Lake Highland Prep (Orlando), 3A No. 10 Cardinal Mooney (Sarasota), and then-No. 20T Gainesville.

Santa Fe, which is ranked No. 3 overall in Florida and 9th nationally according to Max Preps, switched spots with Trinity Catholic, as the Celtics (18-4) dropped to third.

Trinity Catholic was 6-2 over the past couple of weeks. Their only losses in that span were to Santa Fe and last year’s 7A state champion, Mater Academy (Hialeah Gardens).

The Celtics picked up wins over Forest, Venice, and No. 6 Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville), as well as Fort Myers and RV St. John Lutheran (Ocala).

Mandarin (Jacksonville) and Bartram Trail (St. Johns) are tied No. 4.

The Mustangs (20-2) won four out of five matches in the last two weeks, with the only loss coming to No. 14 Fletcher (Neptune Beach).

Bartram Trail (17-5) moves up three spots after winning nine out of 10 matches the last two weeks.

The Bears’ only loss in that span was to 5A No. 1 Merritt Island, and included wins over 5A No. 4 Jensen Beach, 2A No. 7 Orangewood Christian (Maitland), No. 7 Creekside (St. Johns), and No. 17 Ridgeview (Orange Park).

The second five consists of Bishop Kenny, Creekside, Weeki Wachee at No. 8, ninth-ranked Middleburg, and No. 10 Providence (Jacksonville).

Among the second 10 is No. 19 Episcopal (Jacksonville), which moves back into the rankings. The Eagles (15-7) were perfect over the last few weeks, including a win over No. 16 Trinity Christian (Jacksonville).

Falling out from the previous poll were Newberry, Gainesville, and St. Johns Country Day (Orange Park).

District tournaments start this Monday, Oct. 18. The next power poll will take place after the opening round of the regional playoffs.

The Prep Zone Power Poll ranks the top 20 high school football, volleyball, girls basketball, boys basketball, baseball and softball teams (regardless of FHSAA Classification) across 26 counties in North Florida (Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Citrus, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hernando, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lake, Levy, Madison, Marion, Nassau, Putnam, Sumter, St. Johns, Suwannee, Taylor, Union and Volusia counties). It is voted on weekly by sportswriters and sportscasters and it is powered by Anytime Fitness of Gainesville.

The Prep Zone Power Poll – 2021 Volleyball Poll #3

(School, city, classification, first-place votes, current record through Oct. 11, and total voting points)

1. Ponte Vedra (5A) (5) (20-1) – 100

2. Santa Fe (Alachua) (4A) (22-3) – 95

3. Trinity Catholic (Ocala) (3A) (18-4) – 90

4T. Bartram Trail (St. Johns) (7A) (17-5) – 82

4T. Mandarin (Jacksonville) (7A) (20-2) – 82

6. Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville) (4A) (15-8) – 71

7. Creekside (St. Johns) (7A) (12-5) – 64

8. Weeki Wachee (4A) (14-4) – 60

9. Middleburg (5A) (15-8) – 47

10. Providence (Jacksonville) (3A) (17-5) – 46

11. New Smyrna Beach (6A) (17-6) – 43

12. DeLand (7A) (16-8) – 42

13. Forest (Ocala) (6A) (12-9) – 41

14. Fletcher (Neptune Beach) (6A) (17-7) – 40

15. Aucilla Christian (Monticello) (2A) (16-1) – 31

16. Trinity Christian (Jacksonville) (3A) (15-8) – 28

17. Ridgeview (Orange Park) (5A) (11-7) – 23

18. The Villages (4A) (15-2) – 14

19. Episcopal (Jacksonville) (3A) (15-7) – 10

20. Christ’s Church (Jacksonville) (2A) (11-5) – 9

Receiving votes: Yulee (4A) (15-9) – 6; St. John Lutheran (Ocala) (2A) (13-5) – 4; St. John’s Country Day (Orange Park) (2A) (13-4) – 3; Gainesville (6A) (13-8) – 2; Clay (Green Cove Springs) (5A) (12-7) – 2; Taylor (Pierson) (1A) (16-3) – 1.

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