Volleyball rankings: Rock Canyon among preseason No. 1 teams

Rock Canyon Legend volleyball

Rock Canyon leads the 5A volleyball preseason poll. (Ray Chen/ArrayPhoto.com)

After a wild finish at the 2015 state volleyball tournament, it looks like the fun is going to continue in 2016.

Three defending champions sit at No. 1 in the CHSAANow.com volleyball rankings while two other squads are coming into the year with heavy expectations being placed on their shoulders.

After cruising through pool play only to fall in the semifinals, Rock Canyon comes in at No. 1 in the Class 5A volleyball rankings to start the year.

The Jaguars lost two seniors from last year's team, but outside hitter Keeley Davis and libero Kendall Hanak both return.

Defending state champion, Cherokee Trail comes in at No. 5 to start the year with Fairview, Chatfield and Denver East filling the spots in between.

After being the first team in Colorado to take down two-time defending champion, Lewis-Palmer, Cheyenne Mountain claims the top spot in the 4A rankings. The Indians received 12 of 13 first place votes as the Rangers took the other one. That helped them take the No. 2 spot behind their league rivals.

Evergreen and Ponderosa take the next two spots in the poll after each team advanced to last year's semifinals.

At No. 10, Pueblo West comes in as the only ranked 4A team that did not make last year's state tournament.

Eaton volleyball team

Eaton leads the 3A poll. (Matt Daniels/MattDanPhoto.com)

In 3A, someone is going to have to knock off Eaton before anyone will be convinced the Reds should not be the No. 1 team in the state.

Eaton has rattled off three straight state titles and have not lost a match since Sept. 14, 2014. The No. 1 ranking is a clear message to the 3A field: to be the champ, you have to beat the champ.

The 3A rankings are also filled with a lot of familiar names over the last few seasons. Valley (No. 2), University (No. 3), Colorado Springs Christian (No. 4), Platte Valley (No. 6) and Manitou Springs (No. 8) all carried over success from last season into this year's rankings.

After beating Resurrection Christian (a 3A team from here on out) in last year's state title match, Yuma comes in as the top team in the 2A rankings.

The Indians have played for the 2A title for the last two seasons and by taking six of 11 first place votes, they come in as a favorite to advance to the title match for the third-straight year.

With Resurrection Christian now out of 2A, Paonia (No. 2) and Lyons (No. 3) now become the most likely to contend with Yuma for the 2A title.

At No. 10, Byers is the only ranked team in 2A that did not make last year's state tournament.

After making the semifinals but failing to advance to the title match, Fleming comes in as the No. 1 team in 1A.

Defending champion Otis will come in slightly under the radar to start this year, sitting at No. 7, with state runner-up Idalia sitting right behind the Bulldogs at No. 8.

Briggsdale (No. 5) and Caliche (No. 9) are the two teams ranked in the preseason that did not make last year's state tournament.

The rankings, voted upon by coaches and select media members, are the official polls of the Association. Polls are released each Monday.

Complete rankings for all classes are below.

CHSAANow.com Volleyball Polls

Voted upon by coaches and media members around the state. New voters can sign up by emailing rcasey@chsaa.org. These rankings have no bearing on postseason seeding.

Go to: 5A | 4A | 3A | 2A | 1A

Class 5A
RK TEAM W-L PTS
1 Rock Canyon (4) 0-0 89
2 Fairview (2) 0-0 79
3 Chatfield 0-0 66
4 Denver East (2) 0-0 63
5 Cherokee Trail (2) 0-0 61
6 Chaparral 0-0 50
7 Grandview 0-0 38
8 Cherry Creek 0-0 32
9 Arapahoe 0-0 21
10 Fossil Ridge 0-0 12
Others receiving votes:
Mountain Vista 11, Legend 9, Castle View 4, Fruita Monument 4, Lakewood 3, Coronado 2, Highlands Ranch 2, Regis Jesuit 2, Doherty 1, Rampart 1.

Class 4A
RK TEAM W-L PTS
1 Cheyenne Mountain (12) 0-0 129
2 Lewis-Palmer (1) 0-0 117
3 Evergreen 0-0 81
4 Ponderosa 0-0 80
5 Montrose 0-0 52
6 Longmont 0-0 48
7 Windsor 0-0 47
8 Holy Family 0-0 43
9 Berthoud 0-0 28
10 Pueblo West 0-0 22
Others receiving votes:
Mead 18, Valor Christian 11, Palmer Ridge 7, Air Academy 6, Battle Mountain 6, Silver Creek 6, Erie 4, Steamboat Springs 3, The Classical Academy 3, Mullen 2, Niwot 2.

Class 3A
RK TEAM W-L PTS
1 Eaton (11) 0-0 110
2 Valley 0-0 87
3 University 0-0 66
4 Colorado Springs Christian 0-0 64
5 Lutheran 0-0 49
6 Platte Valley 0-0 43
7 Coal Ridge 0-0 34
8 Manitou Springs 0-0 30
9 Resurrection Christian 0-0 25
10 St. Mary's 0-0 21
Others receiving votes:
Alamosa 14, Delta 14, Pagosa Springs 12, Faith Christian 7, Middle Park 7, Sterling 6, Grand Valley 4, Bishop Machebeuf 3, La Junta 2, Salida 2, Skyview Academy 2, Bennett 1, Centauri 1, Jefferson Academy 1.

Class 2A
RK TEAM W-L PTS
1 Yuma (6) 0-0 100
2 Paonia (4) 0-0 95
3 Lyons (1) 0-0 84
4 Limon 0-0 51
5 Union Colony 0-0 48
6 Fowler 0-0 38
7 Colorado Springs School 0-0 35
8 Dayspring Christian 0-0 34
9 Ridgway 0-0 32
10 Byers 0-0 18
Others receiving votes:
Sargent 14, West Grand 14, Highland 8, Simla 8, Akron 5, Hoehne 5, Merino 4, Vail Christian 3, Clear Creek 2, Soroco 2, Custer County 1, Front Range Christian 1, Haxtun 1, Meeker 1, Wiggins 1.

Class 1A
RK TEAM W-L PTS
1 Fleming (7) 0-0 79
2 Prairie (1) 0-0 60
3 Kit Carson 0-0 57
4 La Veta 0-0 48
5 Briggsdale 0-0 30
6 Springfield 0-0 28
7 Otis 0-0 25
8 Idalia 0-0 18
9 Caliche 0-0 17
10 Flagler 0-0 16
Others receiving votes:
McClave 14, Heritage Christian 7, Sangre De Cristo 7, Cheyenne Wells 6, Genoa Hugo/Karval 6, Nucla 6, Eads 5, Holly 5, Weldon Valley 4, Jim Elliott 2.