With only two weeks left in the regular season, the Arizona High School Volleyball Playoffs are fast approaching. As the contenders begin to separate themselves from the pack, here’s a look at The Republic’s top 10 teams in the state, regardless of conference, through April 14:
1. Sandra Day O’Connor, 12-0
Once ranked as the best team in the country, O’Connor have been dominant, giving up only one set so far this season. With wins over the top five 6A teams of Highland, Brophy Prep and Perry, the Eagles have firmly positioned themselves as title favorites after a second-place finish last year.
2. Highland, 11-1
Highland had a busy week, going 3-0 and winning every game in straight sets. Since suffering their only loss of the season to O’Connor on March 31, the Hawks have won five consecutive games in comfortable fashion, establishing themselves as obvious threats in Conference 6A.
3. Brophy Preparation, 10-2
Brophy Prep hasn’t played a game since beating Chandler and Perry last week, but returns to play on Monday in a three-game week, which includes rematches against Wolves and Pumas. The Broncos lost to Highland and O’Connor in early March, but are now on a nine-game winning streak.
4. Perry 9-3
The defending 6A champions beat Hamilton to bounce back from a loss to Brophy Prep the previous week. Despite the losses of the three teams listed above them, the Pumas remain in contention for the 6A state title.
5. Cienega, 13-0
Cienega, a runner-up last year in 5A, won three matches in three days this week to remain unbeaten. With notable victories over Casteel, ALA Gilbert North and Salpointe Catholic, the Bobcats are among the favorites to win the 5A State Championship this season.
Gilbert won both of their matches this week in straight sets to remain undefeated, establishing themselves as one of the top teams in Conference 5A. The Tigers play four games in four days next week, including clashes against Higley and Casteel, whom they beat in straight sets on April 5.
7. Castel, 10-3
Casteel, the defending 5A champion, won both of his matches this week in straight sets and is currently on a four-fight winning streak. The Colts face off against a Gilbert side that beat them in straight sets earlier this month on Tuesday, but they remain in the conversation for the 5A title.
8. ALA Gilbert North, 12-1
ALA Gilbert North, one of the top teams in Conference 4A, won three games this week and is currently on a 10-game winning streak. The Eagles hit the road on Monday when they take on defending 4A ALA champion Queen Creek, whom they defeated in five sets on March 8.
9. Salpointe Catholic, 12-1
Salpointe Catholic have won three games in three days this week, including a 3-2 win over defending 4A ALA champion Queen Creek on Wednesday. The Lancers have won six straight games and are gaining ground heading into the playoffs.
10. Sunrise Mountain, 13-1
Sunrise Mountain has won each of its three matches this week in straight sets. Currently on a nine-game winning streak, the Mustangs continue to hold their own in a tough 5A conference with a playoff just around the corner.
Others to watch out for: Northwest Christian, Chandler, ALA Queen Creek, Higley, Canyon View, Corona del Sol, Desert Vista, Deer Valley, Ironwood.