Volleyball Power Poll ranks Santa Fe, Newberry

The more things change, the more they stay the same for high school volleyball teams in The Prep Zone Power Poll.

The thing staying the same is the dominance of the Ponte Vedra Sharks (11-0), who are ranked No. 1 in the state of Florida and No. 4 nationally by Max Preps.

The Sharks, who have won two straight state titles and three of the last four, have won 47 matches in a row dating back to October of 2019.

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Not surprisingly, Ponte Vedra is the unanimous top-ranked team, receiving all five first-place votes after starting with wins over No. 3 Santa Fe (Alachua), No. 10 Bartram Trail (St. Johns) and No. 16 Episcopal (Jacksonville). They have also beaten state-ranked teams Steinbrenner (Lutz), Plant (Tampa) and Florida High (Tallahassee).

Coming in second is defending 3A state champion Trinity Catholic (Ocala).

The Celtics, who captured their second state title in three years in 2020, have started this season 7-3 with wins over Cardinal Mooney (Sarasota), Hoover (AL), and RV Vanguard (Ocala), which advanced to the 5A state semifinals a year ago.

Santa Fe Raiders volleyball - team huddle

Santa Fe is ranked third.

The Raiders, who advanced to the state championship game in 2018 and 2019, were knocked out by eventual 4A state champion Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville) in the region final round last fall.

This year’s Santa Fe team is off to a 10-2 start with wins over defending 6A state champion Mater Academy (Hialeah Gardens), Vanguard and RV Ridgeview (Orange Park), with their only losses to Ponte Vedra and state-ranked Berkeley Prep (Tampa).

Speaking of Bishop Kenny, the defending state champs are fourth.

So far in 2021, the Crusaders (8-4) have wins over No. 6 Providence (Jacksonville). No. 19 Yulee, Bolles (Jacksonville) and RV Fernandina Beach. Their losses are to Spain Park and Hoover from Alabama, along with setbacks to 7A Dr. Phillips (Orlando) and powerhouse Canterbury (Fort Myers).

Forest (Ocala) rounds out the top five.

The Wildcats (7-2) were undefeated a season ago all the way to the Region 2-6A final, where they were knocked out by St. Petersburg. Forest has defeated No.16 Gainesville twice and RV New Smyrna Beach, with their only losses to Santa Fe and Venice.

Leading off the second five are two Jacksonville teams tied for sixth in Mandarin and Providence (10-2).

The Mustangs (9-0) already own wins over Bartram Trail, Yulee, Ridgeview, and RV Fletcher (Neptune Beach).

The Stallions have beaten No. 9 Trinity Christian (Jacksonville), which is the Conquerors’ only loss, No. 14 Christ’s Church (Jacksonville), Episcopal, and Yulee, with their only losses to Bishop Kenny and No. 11 Creekside (St. Johns).

Weeki Wachee (8-3) comes in eight, while Trinity Christian and Bartram Trail round out the top 10.

Among the second 10 is last year’s 1A state runner-up Newberry. The Panthers (7-5), who have had to basically replace their entire starting lineup from 2020, are 15th.

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 (Sept. 21)

(School, city, classification, first-place votes, final 2020 record, current 2021 record, and total voting points)

1. Ponte Vedra (5A) (5) (27-0) (11-0) – 100

2. Trinity Catholic (Ocala) (3A) (18-6) (7-3) – 91

3. Santa Fe (Alachua) (4A) (21-9) (10-2) – 88

4. Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville) (4A) (21-8) (8-4) – 86

5. Forest (Ocala) (6A) (16-1) (7-2) – 81

6T. Mandarin (Jacksonville) (7A) (11-10) (9-0) – 61

6T. Providence (Jacksonville) (3A) (14-4) (10-2) – 61

8. Weeki Wachee (4A) (17-1) (8-3) – 59

9. Trinity Christian (Jacksonville) (3A) (8-7) (6-1) – 57

10. Bartram Trail (St. Johns) (7A) (14-8) (4-3) – 54

11. Creekside (St. Johns) (7A) (17-3) (4-2) – 38

12. The Villages (4A) (5-6) (7-0) – 32

13. DeLand (7A) (16-7) (9-5) – 31

14. Christ’s Church (Jacksonville) (2A) (13-7) (4-4) – 25

15. Newberry (1A) (23-4) (7-5) – 20

16T. Aucilla Christian (Monticello) (2A) (15-2) (8-0) – 18

16T. Episcopal (Jacksonville) (3A) (9-4) (7-4) – 18

16T. Gainesville (6A) (12-8) (4-2) – 18

19T. New Smyrna Beach (6A) (16-8) (7-4) – 13

19T. Yulee (4A) (16-6) (5-4) – 13

Receiving votes: Union County (Lake Butler) (1A) (12-11) (6-2) – 12, St. Johns Country Day (Orange Park) (2A) (16-2) (5-2) – 11, Vanguard (Ocala) (5A) (15-3) (4-7) – 11, Fernandina Beach (4A) (4-14) (6-2) – 9, Ridgeview (Orange Park) (5A) (14-10) (4-4) – 9, Fleming Island (Orange Park) (6A) (14-8) (3-4) – 7, Oak Hall (Gainesville) (2A) (6-10) (5-3) – 6, Nature Coast Tech (Brooksville) (4A) (5-8) (6-2) – 5, Fletcher (Neptune Beach) (6A) (17-3) (5-4) – 1.

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