Photo: Prep Dig, Josiah

Posted On: 09/8/20 8:04 AM

Every week during high school season, we adjust our top five to accommodate each team’s success and the player or players that helped them get there. These rankings are based solely on what they’ve done, both in the strength of schedule and the strength of victory. Zach McCrite and his website IndianaPrepVolleyball.com has been the major contributor to this series of articles; if you’re at all interested in Indiana high school volleyball, check it out.

#5: Hauser, 6-0 

Previous ranking: NR

The Jets have dropped exactly one set this season, getting our attention for the first time. One thing Hauser has in abundance is exceptional female athletes. Most of these kids play multiple sports every year, and excel at all of them. One in particular that’s catching our eye is Hannah Johnson (’21, 5-10, MB), leading the Jets in both kills and blocks while hitting over .300 on this young season. Hauser’s true test comes this Thursday against 4A Shelbyville.

#4: Covington, 5-0

Previous ranking: NR

Another new team to our 1A team rankings, the Trojans can one-up Hauser by claiming that they haven’t dropped a set this season. Their test comes tonight against Parke Heritage and recent IUPUI commit Atlantis ClendeninAtlantisClendenin5'9" | OHParke Heritage | 2021StateIN. For the Trojans, we like the junior pair of Holly LinvilleHollyLinville5'9" | MBCovington | 2022StateIN (’22, 5-9, MB/OH) and Amber CruserAmberCruser5'11" | RSCovington | 2022StateIN (’22, 5-11, RS). Both are in the top three in kills, blocks and aces for Covington, and both will need to be exceptional in this stretch run to stay in our top five. #3: Pioneer, 10-2 Previous ranking: NR I’d like to note that the sheer number of new teams to these lists is more of a credit to the kids on these teams than the kids on previous teams. The Panthers, although not undefeated, have a quality schedule that includes a win over Columbus North (4A), and losses to Illiana Christian (whom we’ll see here soon) and Martinsville (another 4A school). They’ve also knocked off Parke Heritage and Lafayette Central Catholic, both heavy hitters in 1A volleyball. We’re especially fond of Madison BlickenstaffMadisonBlickenstaff5'11" | OHPioneer | 2021StateIN (’21, 5-11, OH/MB), and look forward to seeing them in action at the Harrison Classic on Saturday. #2: Springs Valley, 10-0 Previous ranking, #3 Three wins last week, including a four-set toughie against Rock Creek Academy and Ligia WilliamsLigiaWilliams6'3" | MBRock Creek Academy | 2021StateIN (’21, 6-3, MB), a Cincy commit. The real test comes tonight at 2A #3 Barr-Reeve, who has aspirations for a state championship nearly every year. We mentioned Leigh Carnes (’24, 5-7, OH) last week, so how about the kid responsible for getting her the ball? Insert Aerie Acuff (’21, 5-8, S), one of the setters in the Blackhawks modified 6-2. Aerie is also top three on the squad in assists, aces and digs, and is fourth in kills. Four seniors on this team, and Miss Acuff is the best of them. #1: Trinity Lutheran, 10-3 Previous ranking, NR There’s a simple explanation for the Cougars being unranked last week. At the time, they were 5-2, but their losses were to Providence (4A top 5) and Bloomington South (4A top 10). TL then goes 5-1 this past week, with their lone loss to Barr-Reeve, 2A #3. They also had wins over 4A Terre Haute South and knocked Loogootee out of last week’s rankings. This squad is the epitome of playing anyone, anytime and anywhere, and have the wins and mileage to prove it. Kennedy Hoffman (’21, 5-11, OH/MB) leads the Cougars in more ways than one, Averaging four kills per set, hitting over .300, and is second in blocks and fourth in aces. 

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