GRAYSVILLE - To be in the top 20 in the state of Ohio is no easy task for a high school volleyball team, especially for a team in the southeastern part of the state.
So, it comes as a small surprise to coaches when three teams from the Pioneer Valley Conference are all ranked in the top 15 in the Ohio High School Volleyball Coaches' Association state poll.
"To have three teams in the PVC that are ranked in the state, to me the PVC has come a long way," said Monroe Central volleyball coach Troy Baker.
In the most recent weekly poll, released Sunday, the Buckeye Trail Lady Warriors are eighth in Ohio Div. III with 141 points while the Shenandoah Lady Zeps are 10th with 73 points and the Monroe Central Lady Seminoles are 14th with 32.
Buckeye Trail even received one first place vote from state coaches after the 12-1 Lady Warriors picked up wins over both Monroe Central and Shenandoah.
All three schools have been ranked in the top 15 all three weeks the poll has been released. The top 20 schools are ranked for each of the four divisions.
Ohio High School
Rank Team Points
(first place votes in paranthesis)
1 Miami East (15-1) (17) 324
2 Dalton (15-0) (10) 287
3 Pleasant (13-0) (2) 206
4 Adena (13-3) 200
5 Edison (Milan) (11-1) (5) 155
6 Gilmour Academy (8-1) (4) 146
7 Bishop Ready (11-3) 142
8 Buckeye Trail (12-1) (1) 141
9 Tuscarawas Valley (9-1) (1) 138
10 Shenandoah (10-1) 73
11 Bloom-Carroll (10-1) 64
12 Bishop Fenwick (8-5) 48
12 Waterloo (12-1) 48
14 Monroe Central (9-1) 32
15 Tri-County North (9-1) 27
16 Ridgewood (11-2) 26
17 Evergreen (11-1) (1) 25
17 Williamsburg (11-1) 25
19 Lima Central Catholic (10-3) 19
19 Girard (10-3) 19
Shenandoah has held the highest ranking as the Lady Zeps climbed to sixth in the state in the poll released Sept. 18 while being 12th in the original poll and currently 10th.
The Lady Zeps ranking is bound to change, however, after falling to Buckeye Trail in four games and then to the Lady Seminoles in five games Monday evening at Skyvue Elementary School.
"I'd feel a little better about the rankings if we could've beat the other two state ranked teams," lamented Shenandoah volleyball coach Shannon Leasure.
This week is a tough one for the Lady Zeps, as Shenandoah not only had to face Monroe Central on Monday, but hosted the Lady Warriors Wednesday night. Results of Wednesday's game were not available at press time.
Buckeye Trail has picked up key victories over Div. I Wheeling Park, Div. II Zanesville before falling to Indian Creek on Saturday, 26-24, 25-21.
Buckeye Trail was initially ranked 13th in the state before moving up one spot to 12th in the poll released Sept. 18. This week's poll has the biggest jump as the Lady Warriors climbed into the top 10 and currently sit eighth.
Monroe Central's Lady Seminoles were 10th in the original poll released on Sept. 11 before falling to 11th the following week.
The Lady 'Noles loss to Buckeye Trail, which also came in five games, on Sept. 20 dropped Monroe Central back to 14th this week.
Monroe Central's victory over Shenandoah should certainly help the Lady Seminoles as they look to climb higher in the rankings.
"It's nice that the PVC can represent itself that way. Hopefully we can continue to do that," Baker said.
Monroe Central and Shenandoah meet again in Sarahsville on Oct. 13 at 5:30 p.m. The Lady Seminoles and Lady Warriors meet on Saturday at Skyvue Elementary School for a scheduled 5:30 p.m. start.
In the end, no matter who wins and how high they climb in the rankings all the coaches are happy to see a league in Appalachian Ohio boasting three of the state's best teams.
"It does feel good that we get recognition," Leasure said.
Other teams ranked in the state across other divisions in the area include the Eastern Lady Eagles, who are 10th in Ohio Division IV.
In Division II, two new opponents of Marietta's Lady Tigers in the East Central Ohio League are ranked as Dover is eighth while New Philadelphia is 11th in the most recent state poll.
Like the Lady Zeps, Lady Seminoles and Lady Warriors, each of those three schools have been in the state poll all three weeks.