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HIGHSCORE/AVCA Players of the Week - HIGHSCORE
MaxPreps/AVCA Players of the Week
MaxPreps/AVCA Players of the Week
For the week of April 12-18

Boys

Midwest Region
(Includes: Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, West Virginia, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota)

Matt Cosgrove, Parkway West (Ballwin, Missouri)
6'6 | Senior | OH

10 Games Played
Kills: 39
Kills/Game: 3.90
Digs: 22
Digs/Game: 2.20
Receptions: 42
Rcpt/Game: 4.20
Aces: 10
Blocks: 4

Clayton Roark, St. Xavier (Louisville, Kentucky)
6'4 | Junior | OPP

11 Games Played
Kills: 37
Kills/Game: 3.36
Digs: 8
Receptions: 8
Blocks: 3

Northeast Region
(Includes: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington D.C.)

Junior | S
16 Games Played
Assists: 128
Assists/Game: 8
Team Hitting%: 0.128
Digs: 34
Digs/Game: 2.125
Aces: 13
Blocks: 3

Max Jacobsen, Hall (West Hartford, Connecticut)
Senior | RS/MH

12 Games Played
Kills: 49
Kills/Game: 4.08
Digs: 17
Digs/Game: 1.42
Aces: 3
Blocks: 5

South Region
(Includes: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina,Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas)

Gabriel Blandin, Cypress Bay (Weston, Florida)
6'2 | Senior

16 Games Played
Kills: 66
Kills/Game: 4.13
Digs: 35
Digs/Game: 2.19
Aces: 4
Blocks: 3

Ignacio Brito, Columbus (Miami, Florida)
6'3 | Sophomore | OH/RS

10 Games Played
Kills: 65
Kills/Game: 6.50
Digs: 21
Digs/Game: 2.10
Receptions: 51
Rcpt/Game: 5.10
Aces: 3
Blocks: 3

West Region
(Includes: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming)

Trenton Moser, Gilbert (Arizona)
6'7 | Junior | OH

10 Games Played
Kills: 52
Kills/Game: 5.20
Digs: 26
Digs/Game: 2.60
Receptions: 60
Rcpt/Game: 6.00
Aces: 4
Blocks: 7

Max Pfeifer, Arbor View (Las Vegas, Nevada)
6'0 | Senior | OH/L

7 Games Played
Kills: 32
Kills/Game: 4.57
Digs: 5
Receptions: 13
Rcpt/Game: 1.86
Aces: 4
Blocks: 2

Girls

California
Ximena Cordero, Otay Ranch (Chula Vista)
5'10" | Freshman | OH
7 Sets Played
Kills: 43
Kills/Game: 6.14
Digs: 19
Digs/Game: 2.71
Receptions: 37
Rcpt/Game: 5.29
Aces: 6
Blocks: 1

Colorado
Tierney Barlow, Liberty (Colorado Springs)
6'2" | Junior | OH | MH

12 Sets Played
Kills: 77
Kills/Game: 6.42
Digs: 38
Digs/Game: 3.17
Receptions: 37
Rcpt/Game: 3.08
Aces: 2
Blocks: 6

Illinois
Juju Mize, Decatur Lutheran/Decatur Christian
5'2" | Sophomore | S

8 Sets Played
Assists: 108
Assists/Game: 13.5
Team Hitting%: 0.265
Digs: 40
Digs/Game: 5
Aces: 6

Massachusetts
Eva Haralabatos, Melrose
Senior | S

6 Sets Played
Assists: 70
Assists/Game: 11.67
Team Hitting%:
Digs: 6
Digs/Game: 1

New Jersey
Kasey Walsh, Summit
Senior | S | DS
5 Sets Played
Assists: 27
Assists/Game: 5.4
Team Hitting%: 0.186
Digs: 4
Digs/Game: 0.8
Aces: 3

New York
Jashawna Luke, Irondequoit (Rochester)
5'9" | Senior | OH

8 Sets Played
Kills: 49
Kills/Game: 6.13
Digs: 22
Digs/Game: 2.75
Receptions: 31
Rcpt/Game: 3.88
Aces: 5
Blocks: 4

Rhode Island
Ajeana Coleman, Woonsocket
Junior | OH

6 Sets Played
Kills: 15
Kills/Game: 2.5
Digs: 9
Digs/Game: 1.5
Receptions: 15
Rcpt/Game: 2.5
Aces: 13

Virginia
Ashley Stanley, Gate City
Junior | S/OH

9 Sets Played
Assists: 109
Assists/Game: 12.11
Team Hitting%: 0.395
Digs: 14
Digs/Game: 1.56
Aces: 7
Blocks: 3

Wisconsin
Molly Crneckiy, Royall (Elroy)
5'8" | Senior | S
12 Sets Played
Assists: 135
Assists/Game: 11.25
Team Hitting%: 0.162
Digs: 32
Digs/Game: 2.67
Aces: 2
Blocks: 2
High school girls basketball: No. 2 Westlake, No. 9 Paul VI advance to GEICO Nationals final - HIGHSCORE
High school girls basketball: No. 2 Westlake, No. 9 Paul VI advance to GEICO Nationals final
Fremont (Plain City, Utah) had all the momentum, cutting a 14-point deficit to three with a little over three minutes to go. But in a snap, like they had done all game, Raven Johnson and Ta'Niya Latson took it all away, lifting Westlake (Atlanta, Ga.) to a stirring 64-54 GEICO Nationals semifinal victory Friday at Suncoast Credit Union Arena in Ft. Myers, Fla.

Playing before a national ESPNU audience, Johnson and Latson were brilliant, combing for all but 13 of their team's points, lifting the second-ranked Lions into Saturday's 10 a.m. EST championship game against No. 9 Paul VI (Chantilly, Va.), which stunned No. 1 Lake Highland Prep (Orlando, Fla.) 52-49 in overtime, ending the Highlanders' 35-game win streak.

Johnson, a 5-foot-10 South Carolina commit, had 25 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and seven steals, while 5-9 junior Latson scored a game-high 26 points to go along with five rebounds, four assists and four steals as the Lions improved to 21-0.

"They did what they've been doing all season," Westlake coach Hilda Hankerson told ESPNU after the game. "They're good leaders and friends on and off the court. That chemistry between them is something you just can't coach. We're just so excited to have one more game."

All four teams in the event entered unbeaten, reigning state champions and ranked among the top 11 teams in the country. The two games didn't disappoint, each coming down to the wire.

Fremont (26-1), finally utilizing its height advantage, closed to within 53-50 on two free throws by 6-5 sophomore Maggie Mendelson (23 points, six rebounds) with 3:02 left.

In the next minute, Johnson and Latson combined for three steals and three breakaway layups. A short jumper by Misia McKinney made it 62-50 and just like that, this semifinal was over. Westlake, with superior quickness, forced 20 turnovers and turned them into 22 points. Latson and Johnson each played the entire 32 points and combined for only seven turnovers.

"Those two are definitely special in the open court," Hankerson said.

Emma Calvert, a 6-4 BYU commit, added 13 points and a game-high 11 rebounds for No. 11 Fremont, which was actually outrebounded 34-30.

Paul VI 52, Lake Highland Prep 49

It had been almost two months since the 14-time defending Virginia state champions had played a game — Feb. 9 — and with 21 turnovers and a 12 of 26 performance at the line, there were definitely signs of rust.

But the Panthers (11-0) made up for it with defense, forcing 28 turnovers and using balanced scoring, led by Jaelyn Talley (17 points), Duke signee Lee Volker (13 points, six rebounds, four steals) and Bella Perkins (10 points, five steals, four assists).

Alyssa Costigan scored all nine of her points in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter, leading a 10-2 run and giving the Panthers a 46-41 lead. Down 47-42 with 1:35 to go, Eleecia Carter (team-high 14 points) forced overtime for Lake Highland with a mid-range jumper than a 3-pointer.

In overtime a 3-pointer by Volker gave her team the lead for good. Paul VI completely locked down on the defensive end, not allowing a bucket in overtime, just two free throws by Alabama signee Kayla Blackshear (10 points, 12 rebounds).

Louisville commit Nyla Harris added 11 points and 10 rebounds, and Central Florida-bound Stefanie Ingram contributed nine points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals for the Highlanders, who hadn't lost since Dec. 28, 2019 — a 56-55 contest to Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.).

In addition to the turnovers, cold shooting did in the nation's No. 1-ranked team. The Highlanders made just 16 of 52 from the field (31 percent), including 4 of 22 on 3-pointers (18.2 percent).

GEICO Nationals schedule

Saturday, April 3
Game on ESPN2
10 a.m. (ET) — Paul VI vs. Westlake
High school girls basketball rankings: No. 1 Lake Highland Prep, other HIGHSCORE Top 25 teams waiting for GEICO bids - HIGHSCORE
High school girls basketball rankings: No. 1 Lake Highland Prep, other MaxPreps Top 25 teams waiting for GEICO bids
Last week, California was cleared to begin play its high school girls basketball season , but since then nothing much has happened. Facilities must be prepared, protocols must be put in place and testing must be arranged. But if all goes well, play might begin in mid-April and last for six weeks.

Yes, that would mean basketball would finish its season on Memorial Day, but that's early compared to Oregon, which right now is planning to play its last game on June 27.

And though other states are still in the TBA category (like California), 16 have completed their seasons, and 13 more will do so by next Monday.

Oh, and Hawaii and Nevada are the only two that have officially canceled their seasons.

Confused? Join the club — but crashing this year's MaxPreps Top 25 is going to get more and more difficult as teams wrap up their postseasons. For those knocking on the door, the hope is always for that dramatic postseason upset, and it's possible, if not likely, that a couple will occur.

Lately, though, the MaxPreps Top 25 has been remarkably stable, even including the fact that No. 16 has dropped out in each of the last three weeks. Coincidence? New Hope Academy, this week's No. 16, sure hopes so.

NOTE: Coaches and team personnel are encouraged to update schedules and results on MaxPreps – especially those in the mix for MaxPreps Top 25 consideration. For assistance or questions, please reach out to [email protected]
Fremont captured the Utah 5A title and could receive an invitation to the GEICO High School Nationals.
Photo by Dave Argyle
Fremont captured the Utah 5A title and could receive an invitation to the GEICO High School Nationals.
MaxPreps Top 25 Girls Basketball Rankings

Record: 19-0 | Last week: 1
It's still unclear when and where the GEICO High School Nationals will be played, but from all reports the Highlanders will be one of the four girls' participants — and thus make the GEICO a de facto national championship tournament.

2. Westlake (Atlanta)
Record:
19-0 | Last week: 2
The Lions are on track to join Lake Highland Prep at the GEICO High School Nationals, but first must take care of business in Friday's AAAAAA title game. Carrolton is 30-1, and well-coached, so it's far from a gimme.

3. Mount Notre Dame (Cincinnati)
Record:
26-0 | Last week: 3
After handling a very strong Wayne team 49-33, the Cougars draw Notre Dame Academy on Friday, a team it has beaten. But then Saturday, the likely opponent in the Division I title game is No. 12 Newark.

4. Hopkins (Minnetonka, Minn.)
Record:
12-0 | Last week: 4
Barring another COVID crisis — which canceled the much anticipated game with No. 20 Chaska last week — Hopkins will travel to unbeaten Becker on Friday before beginning postseason March 16.

5. Edison Academy (Detroit)
Record:
7-0 | Last week: 5
Arbor Prep will be the latest to challenge Pioneers' long-running domination of Michigan, but Edison will host the Thursday game.

6. Incarnate Word Academy (St. Louis)
Record:
24-0 | Last week: 6
There are two steps left in Red Knights' state title quest: First is Francis Howell Central on Wednesday, followed by the winner of 20-4 Rockbridge vs. 22-2 Holt in Saturday's championship game.

7. Cypress Creek (Houston)
Record:
32-0 | Last week: 7
The Cougars have played three games decided by fewer than 20 points all year, and none with a final margin in single digits. Thursday's 6A final at the Alamodome against No. 11 DeSoto promises to be much more competitive — and one has to wonder how CyCreek would respond in the final minutes of a close game.

8. Norman (Okla.)
Record:
16-0 | Last week: 8
The Tigers got past Putnam North, 41-39, and should the team get past Midwest City on Thursday. Either Union or Edmond North will be a serious obstacle to both a state title and an unbeaten season.

9. St. John-Vianney (Holmdel, N.J.)
Record:
14-0 | Last week: 9
The Lancers finished the season on a high note, rolling over talented Red Bank Catholic 61-34. That's it though, and we'll never know what might have happened if they'd met No. 19 Rutgers in the New Jersey postseason.

10. Paul VI (Chantilly, Va.)
Record:
10-0 | Last week: 10
We thought the Panthers' season was done, but it now appears there's a good chance PVI will play in the GEICO High School Nationals — and if so, it will be a great opportunity to stake a claim to the national title.

11. DeSoto (Texas)
Record:
26-2 | Last week: 11
The Eagles survived a grudge match with archrival Duncanville, 52-39, and then got past perennially strong South Grand Prairie 63-52. Now all that's left is unbeaten No. 7 Cypress Creek, which has not faced the same kind of tests DeSoto has this season.

12. Newark (Ohio)
Record:
27-1 | Last week: 12
After slipping past Dublin Coffman 75-73, only 19-3 Archbishop Hoben stands in the way of a dream Division 1 final against No. 3 Mount Notre Dame on Saturday.

13. Grandview (Aurora, Colo.)
Record:
14-0 | Last week: 13
Despite this ranking, the Wolves are the third seed in the Colorado 5A state playoffs, with unbeaten Valor Christian No. 1 and once-beaten Regis Jesuit (by Valor Christian) No. 2. It will all be settled on the floor come March 16.

14. Princess Anne (Virginia Beach, Va.)
Record:
10-0 | Last week: 14
Season complete.

15. Fremont (Plain City, Utah)
Record:
25-0 | Last week: 15
The Silverwolves are reported to be the Western representative to the GEICO High School Nationals after blowing open a close game in the second half of the 5A championship against Herriman. Though Fremont will be considered the underdog, don't forget that unheralded Central Valley from Washington state stunned the favorites a few years ago.

16. New Hope Academy (Landover Hills, Md.)
Record:
12-3 | Last week: 17
New Hope's truncated season will very likely end with a game against very strong Westtown this Friday. There's a remote chance an invite to the GEICO High School Nationals will be forthcoming, but only if New Hope can find a way to win against Westtown.

17. Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)
Record:
21-2 | Last week: 18
Season complete.

18. Rutgers Prep (Somerset, N.J.)
Record:
13-0 | Last week: 19
Saddle River Day was supposed to give the Argonauts their toughest test, but the final was 81-54 – and Rutgers Prep's season will end on that high note.

19. American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.)
Record:
25-2 | Last week: 22
Given the strength of Florida this year, and the Patriots' tough schedule, the jump into the Top 20 seems completely justified.

20. Chaska (Minn.)
Record:
12-0 | Last week: 20
With the Hopkins game canceled, Chaska must now wait until postseason for a shot at the No. 4 team in the nation — but Minnesota is loaded this year, so there's no guarantee the two will survive to face each other.

21. Hazel Green (Ala.)
Record:
36-1 | Last week: 21
The Trojans cruised to the 6A title, cementing a spot in the Top 25.

22. Bearden (Knoxville, Tenn.)
Record:
29-1| Last week: 23
The Bulldogs begins the AAA playoffs Thursday with 20-2 Hardin County with 27-1 Bradley Central is the favorite in the other quarterfinal. And it takes wins over two teams of that caliber to get to Saturday's final.

23. Pius X (Lincoln, Neb.)
Record:
25-0 | Last week: 24
It's difficult to beat a good team twice, but the third game is exponentially more difficult. Players, rightly, believe they've already proved they're better and even coaches can fall prey to overconfidence. It wasn't easy, but the Thunderbolts avoided that trap in the Class A title game, downing Fremont for the third time this year, 56-52.

24. Crown Point (Ind.)
Record:
24-1 | Last week: 25
Season complete.

25. Zebulon B. Vance (Charlotte, N.C.)
Record: 12-0 | Last week: NR
If there was any doubt that to North Carolina's best — and given the abbreviated schedule, some doubt might have been justified — Vance terminated it with extreme prejudice by hammering an unbeaten team, 74-38, to win the 4A championship.

Dropped out:
No. 16 Ponchatoula (La.)
Best high school girls basketball team in all 50 states - HIGHSCORE
Best high school girls basketball team in all 50 states
Last week the initial MaxPreps Top 25 high school girls basketball rankings were released, highlighted by defending Florida Class 4A champion Lake Highland Prep (Orlando) at No. 1. Today, we expand our look at the nation's elite by highlighting the best team from all 50 states.

Uncertainty surrounds the season as coronavirus concerns are on the rise heading into the winter months, but optimism remains high we will see high school hardwood action in the near future.

From Alabama to Wyoming and every state in between, we searched coast-to-coast to find the best team from your state heading into the 2020-21 season.
Azzi Fudd, St. John's
File photo by Steven Ryan
Azzi Fudd, St. John's
Alabama — Hoover
Sophomore Reniya Kelly and junior Aniya Hubbard are the major returning pieces for the Buccaneers, but they're not alone. This is a deep and talented team, which is likely to improve on last season's impressive 32-3 record.

Alaska — Anchorage Christian (Anchorage)
Even though the Lions are a 3A school (tops is 4A), three state titles in recent years is a strong statement. And with sophomore Sayvia Sellers and senior Mykaila Pickard both back, another championship might be in reach.

Arizona — Valley Vista (Surprise)
It's no surprise the Monsoon are the state's best, as the No. 21 preseason ranking in the MaxPreps Top 25 suggests. Six-foot wing Jennah Isai and 6-1 power forward Marisa Davis (a Washington commit) make the defending state champs a favorite to repeat.

Arkansas — Northside (Fort Smith)
As a 6-5 perimeter player, Arkansas commit Jersey Wolfenbarger is one of the best players in the country (18.8 points per game, 6.1 rebounds, 3.9 assists) but she's not alone: 6-2 power forward Tracey Bershers (Oklahoma State commit) is the real deal as well.

California — Mater Dei (Santa Ana)
The annual gauntlet that is Southern California basketball seldom leaves any record unblemished, but with Stanford-bound Brooke Demetre anchoring a deep roster, the Monarchs have the best chance to emerge as the top team in the Golden State.
Brooke Demetre, Mater Dei
File photo by Gint Federas
Brooke Demetre, Mater Dei
Colorado — Grandview (Aurora)
Lauren Betts is 6-7 and skilled, and Addison O'Grady is 6-3 and skilled — that's a frontline any college would like to have. As proof, the Betts tops the 2023 recruit list and O'Grady has committed to Iowa.

Connecticut — Notre Dame Catholic (Fairfield)
Like so many teams, the Lancers were denied a shot at a state title when the playoffs were canceled, but coach Maria Conlon — who won three NCAA titles in four years at UConn — has junior guard Aizhanique Mayo to lead a team that looks to be the best in the Constitution State.

Delaware — Conrad Science (Wilmington)

With UMass commit Stefanie Kulesza back to fire from long range, the Red Wolves are primed to claim the state title that COVID may have prevented.

District of Columbia — St. John's (Washington, D.C.)
UConn signee Azzi Fudd is back and fully healthy — she was recovering from a torn ACL through much of last season — and St. John's is both back in the national rankings and at the top of the list in Washington, D.C.

Florida — Lake Highland Prep (Orlando)
With eight players returning from the Florida 4A championship team — including top prospects Kayla Blackshear (a senior committed to Alabama) and junior Nyla Harris — the Highlanders are not only the preseason pick in Florida, but the entire country.

Georgia — Westlake (Atlanta)
The Lions may have dropped down a division this year, but the Atlanta school is still the state's best. In fact, led by South Carolina commit Raven Johnson, they're No. 7 in the country.

Hawaii — 'Iolani (Honolulu)
The Raiders return all but one player from a 23-2 team, including sisters Lily Lefotu Wahinekapu and Jovi Lefotu, who combined for nearly 29 points a game.

Idaho — Mountain View (Meridian)
Yes, senior Trinity Slocum (Hawaii commit) is the younger sister of NCAA star Destiny Slocum, but more relevant is that she and junior Naya Ojukwu are the one-two punch for this Mountain View team — which was 29-4 last year and might be better this time around.

Illinois — Simeon (Chicago)
Senior Aneesah Morrow, a DePaul commit, averaged 23.0 points, 12.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists last season, and will lead a senior-dominated team coming off a 35-2 season.

Indiana — North Central (Indianapolis)
As always, Indiana is a very competitive state, but the preseason rumblings indicate the Panthers, led by junior guard Tanyuel Welch and senior Meg Newman (Arizona State commit), are the best of a solid group.
Meg Newman, North Central
File photo by Julie Brown
Meg Newman, North Central
Iowa — Waukee
Without a senior on the roster, Waukee went 23-2 last year. Point guard Katie Dinnebier, who will play for Drake next year, is back to run the show again.

Kansas — Derby
The two top scorers for last year's 23-2 team were freshmen, so it's reasonable to assume that Maryn Archer and Addy Brown will be even better this time around — which makes it reasonable to assume the Panthers will be the best in the Sunflower State.

Kentucky — Anderson County (Lawrenceburg)
Not many 29-4 teams carry an eighth-grader on their roster, but Anderson also had a seventh-grader — emblematic of a very young team that lost only one senior to graduation. And top player Amiya Jenkins is just a junior.

Louisiana — Ponchatoula
The Green Wave are a perennial power in Louisiana girls' basketball, and return four starters from a team that lost in overtime in the state finals. LSU commit Amoura Graves is the big gun, averaging 23.5 points last season.

Maine — Portland
Cousins Gemima Motema and Amanda Kabantu are refugees from the Congo who found a home on the basketball court in Maine — and they lead a roster that returns a lot of firepower from a 19-4 team.

Maryland — Bishop McNamara (Forestville)
Not surprisingly, the No. 2 team in the country is the No. 1 team in Maryland, as Bishop McNamara, loaded with talent, is expected to dominate most of its in-state opposition. Things will be tougher in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, however.

Massachusetts — Bridgewater-Raynham (Bridgewater)
Led by 6-3 junior Shay Bollin, a verbal commit to Duke, the Trojans look to build off a 21-4 season and claim a first state title since 1990.

Michigan — Edison Academy (Detroit)
It's possible the Pioneers will drop off a little after going 23-0 last year — it's also possible, led by junior Ruby Whitehorn and senior Damiya Hagemann (committed to Michigan State), that they will be even better.

Minnesota — Hopkins (Minnetonka)
The wheels keep turning for the Royals, even though coach Brian Cosgriff retired and star Paige Bueckers moved on to UConn. There's still a boatload of talent in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and smooth sailing ahead.

Mississippi — Meridian
Even though five seniors graduated from a 29-2 team, with junior Debreasha Powe leading the way, Meridian is expected to be the Magnolia State's best.

Missouri — Incarnate Word Academy (St. Louis)
Let's see, the Red Knights were 27-4 last year and return three major contributors: 5-11 senior Jaiden Bryant, 5-6 junior point guard Saniah Tyler and 6-2 sophomore Natalie Potts. To put it another way, IWA will be really good again.

Montana — Capital (Helena)
Twins Dani Bartsch and Paige Bartsch are 6-1 and 6-3, respectively, and will carry much of the load for a team that was 20-1 last year. Capital was denied a shot at the AA title due to COVID, but could well get another chance this year.

Nebraska — Pius X (Lincoln)
The defending state champs bring back 6-3 Nebraska signee Alexis Markowski and point guard Jillian Aschoff, so a changing of the guard is unlikely.

Nevada — Centennial (Las Vegas)
When the Bulldogs wins another state championship, a bunch of seniors graduate and everyone thinks the reign is over. They probably think that way this year, too.
Taylor Bigby, Centennial
File photo by Doug Stringer
Taylor Bigby, Centennial
New Hampshire — Bishop Guertin (Nashua)
The Cardinals haven't lost to a New Hampshire team since January 2018 — and with 6-0 sophomore Meghan Stack topping a young and talented roster, there's no reason to expect that 45-game winning streak to end.

New Jersey — St. John-Vianney (Holmdel)
New Jersey, as always, is loaded with talent, but the Lancers' combination of solid coaching, a deep roster (headed by Madison St. Rose) and a tradition of excellence looks to be the best of a very good group.

New Mexico — Hobbs
The Eagles went 29-1 and won the 5A championship last year, and with sophomore Wisdom Anthony and senior Elise Turrubiates returning, a repeat would not be a surprise.

New York — Christ the King (Middle Village)
It was definitely a down year for perennial power Christ the King, but in 2020-21, a young roster will be boosted by newly eligible transfers and the Royals are expected to begin a climb back to the glory days.

North Carolina — Southeast Raleigh (Raleigh)
After a 27-1 season and a state title, graduation took a toll on Southeast Raleigh, but with junior Bobbi Smith topping a deep roster, the Bulldogs look like the best in the Tar Heel State once more.

North Dakota — Century (Bismarck)
Though Century didn't finish the season as well as expected, the Patriots were still 21-4 – and with sophomore guard Logan Nissley back, they could be better this year.

Ohio — Reynoldsburg
The Raiders were 18-8 last year in a state known for strong girls basketball. But a pair of transfers — Alexia Mobley (bound for Louisville) and Imarianah Russell — will add enough to an already solid roster to make them the preseason favorite.

Oklahoma — Norman
All of the firepower is back from a 24-1 team, including Texas Tech commit Chantae Embry, a power forward who controls the paint, and sharpshooter Kelbie Washington (42 percent from three-point distance).

Oregon — West Linn
With 6-4 Aaronette Vonleh inside and Audrey Roden on the perimeter, the Lions have the foundation for a top-notch offense — but they also have everyone back from a 21-6 team and that makes them a clear preseason favorite.

Pennsylvania — Archbishop Wood (Warminster)
The Vikings were once known as a classic Philly pass-the-ball-10-times team, but no more. Now the talent gets up and down the floor, and there's a lot of it on the roster — which makes them very tough to beat.

Rhode Island — South Kingstown (Wakefield)
Despite losing six seniors from a 20-2 team, the Rebels — led by 5-11 junior Jamisen Hill — are expected to reload and remain the best in state.

South Carolina — Cardinal Newman (Columbia)
The Cardinals finished the season on a 22-game winning streak, and with Ashlyn Watkins and Tanaja Kennedy both back, there's every reason to believe the train will keep rolling.

South Dakota — Washington (Sioux Falls)
With 6-5 senior Sydni Schetnan and 6-1 junior Ndjakalenga Mwenentanda, Washington has a one-two punch no other team in South Dakota can deal with — and maybe a lot of other states, too.

Tennessee — Ensworth (Nashville)
Though graduation hit 28-0 Ensworth hard, the Cambridge sisters — Jaloni Cambridge, who starred as an eighth-grader last year, and Kennedy Cambridge, now a junior — should keep the Tigers ahead of the pack in 2020-21.

Texas — Duncanville
The definition of "perennial power" has to include a reference to mighty Duncanville, which year in and year out, not only is one of the best in Texas, but is also one of the best in the nation. This year, sadly for Lone Star State rivals, will not change that perception.

Utah — Fremont (Plain City)
With senior Emma Calvert and junior Timea Gardiner back for another go-round, the Silverwolves are primed to improve on a 24-3 record from last season, erase the bitter taste of a postseason upset and claim a state title.
Timea Gardiner, Fremont
File photo by Terry Cullop
Timea Gardiner, Fremont
Vermont — Rice Memorial (South Burlington)
Rice Memorial's young players were thrown into the fire last season, playing the toughest schedule in the state, and with some talented transfers, are expected to take a great leap forward in 2020-21.

Virginia — Paul VI (Chantilly)
The Panthers moved their campus from Fairfax to Chantilly but the school's rule over Virginia won't be affected. Led by Duke commit Lee Volker, deep and well-coached Paul VI will once again be the class of the Old Dominion.

Washington — Chiawana (Pasco)
The Riverhakws, as usual, are a state title threat, and with Oregon State-bound Talia Von Oelhoffen (26.2 ppg) leading the way, could claim that so-far elusive championship.

West Virginia — Huntington
The focus of West Virginia girls basketball fans will shift to Huntington this season, as transfers and a veteran roster should lift the Highlanders above the competition.

Wisconsin — Beaver Dam
Though Beaver Dam may have lost a little from its 25-3 team of 2019-20, there's lot of talent coming back — and little reason to expect much of a drop off. In short, look for Beaver Dam to be the Badger State's best once again.

Wyoming — Thunder Basin (Gillette)
Thunder Basin won the 4A state title in 2019 — in its second year of varsity play — and was on track for another championship in 2020 before COVID canceled the playoffs. So it's no surprise the Bolts are expected to the best in Wyoming again this season.
High school volleyball: Sizing up HIGHSCORE National Player of the Year candidates - HIGHSCORE
High school volleyball: Sizing up MaxPreps National Player of the Year candidates
While some states are well into their high school volleyball seasons, others are just warming up. Schools in the Midwest and South have eyes on the postseason while some programs in Texas are inching into double-digit contests.

States forging ahead with a traditional calendar, coupled with COVID-19 delays and later starts have made tracking players and teams a unique challenge.

We've assembled a list of 25 players who are into their seasons — some deep — while realizing those who've played longer will have the more appealing numbers. We'll update this list several more times throughout the school year and plan to add those schools with spring starts as well.
Averi Carlson, Lovejoy
Photo by Michael Horbovetz
Averi Carlson, Lovejoy
MaxPreps National Player of the Year watch list

Ally Batenhorst | Sr. | OH | Seven Lakes (Katy, Texas)
The Spartans are off to a 9-0 start and the Nebraska commit is a big reason why. She's posted 200 kills (6.5 per set) in 31 sets this season. She's added 144 digs and 10 aces as large school volleyball in Texas is ramping up.

Eleanor Beavin | Sr. | L | Mercy (Louisville, Ky.)
With 301 digs (8 per set) and 222 serve receives in an 11-2 start for the Jaguars, the Kentucky commit is leading the way for Matt Thomerson's squad. Beavin is closing in on 1,500 digs for her career at Mercy.

Julia Bishop | Sr. | S | Mercy (Farmington Hills, Mich.)
The Michigan State commit has 593 assists (10.6 per game), 107 digs, 46 aces and 85 kills as the Marlins are 23-0 on the year. Bishop came into the season needing two assists to pass the 1,000-career mark and has now surpassed 1,500.

Clara Brower | Sr. | S | The Woodlands (Texas)
The Highlanders dropped their first match of the season on Tuesday, but the Georgia commit became the school's leading setter and now has 3,608 career assists. Brower has 256 assists (8.8 per set) on the season in 29 sets, while adding 97 digs and 37 kills. She also passed the 1,000-dig mark and sits at 1,035.

Riley Buckley | Jr. | MH | North Raleigh Christian Academy (Raleigh, N.C.)
The Knights are 11-1 as Buckley has posted 94 kills, 85 digs, 138 assists on the young season.

Averi Carlson | Jr. | S | Lovejoy (Lucas, Texas)
The Leopards are 3-0 after having to cancel the first two weeks of the season due to district COVID-19 policies. Now in action, the Baylor commit and MaxPreps Freshman of the Year two seasons ago is starting hot with 71 assists (7.9) thus far. She dished up 31 alone in the season-opening straight sets win over The Colony.

Payton Chamberlain | Sr. | S | Byron Nelson (Trophy Club, Texas)
Like her fellow Texans, the Bobcats are just beginning and have started 5-1. The Wyoming commit has posted 186 assists (8.9 per set) to go with 25 blocks and 53 digs.

Kaylee Cox | Sr. | OH | Flower Mound (Texas)
The Jags are off to an 8-0 start and the preseason All-American is one reason why. Cox has 56 kills and 37 digs in 10 sets on the young season. A few more reasons why Flower Mound might be the team to beat in Texas — setter Caroline Dykes and hitters Angelique Cyr and Izabella Ortiz.

Shaye Eggleston | Sr. | OH | Brentwood (Tenn.)

The Alabama commit is looking to win her fourth state title — and the school's eighth straight — as the Bruins are off to a 31-3 start. Eggleston has 364 kills, 172 digs, 28 aces and 26 blocks while hitting at 33 percent clip.

Ashlyn Goolsby | Sr. | S | Walton (Marietta, Ga.)
A freshman when the Raiders were named the 2017 MaxPreps National Champion, Goolsby has come into her own and leads the team with 408 assists (10.2 per set). She's also tallied 86 digs and 42 kills as fellow senior Emery Dupes also helps pace 16-1 Walton.

Rylee Gray | Sr. | MB | Elkhorn South (Omaha, Neb.)
Hitting at a 47 percent clip for the 22-1 Storm, the Nebraska commit has 262 kills, 29 aces and 71 blocks in what's turning out to be an ultra-competitive season in the Cornhusker State. Junior setter Madi Woodin is also shining with 726 assists on the season.

Lauren Harden | Fr. | OH | Hamilton Southeastern (Fishers, Ind.)
The lone freshman on the list, Harden is leading a quartet of hitters for the 20-0 Royals. She's notched 216 kills, 83 digs, 23 aces and 24 blocks in 59 sets. Harden has double-digit kills in 15 of 20 matches.
Lauren Harden, Hamilton Southeastern
Photo by Julie Brown
Lauren Harden, Hamilton Southeastern
Sydney Helmers | So. | OH | Assumption (Louisville, Ky.)
Another in the next line of standout hitters for Ron Kordes, the 6-3 sophomore leads the 9-1 Rockets with 118 kills (4.9 per set) on the young season.

Carly Hendrickson | Sr. | OH | Mount Notre Dame (Cincinnati)
Has 301 kills (7.0 per set) on the season for the 12-1 Cougars and it closing in on 1,000 career kills. The future Florida Gator has 10 matches this season with at least 19 kills and a high of 35 in a four-set win over Seton.

Ali Hornung | Sr. | L/OH | Providence (Clarksville, Ind.)
Leading a quartet of hitters with more than 100 kills for the 18-6 Pioneers, the Purdue commit has 341 kills (4.4), 280 digs and 378 receives. She's hitting at a 38 percent clip.

Ngozi Iloh | Sr. | MH | McIntosh (Peachtree City, Ga.)
The preseason All-American is getting it done for the 24-0 Raiders, pounding out 327 kills (5.9 per set), hitting at 45 percent. The Duke commit also has 32 blocks and 18 aces for Georgia's top-ranked squad.

Lindsay Krause | Sr. | MH/OH | Skutt Catholic (Omaha, Neb.)
The 6-3 Nebraska commit has 201 kills (5.4 per set) for the 15-1 Skyhawks. In 37 sets, Krause also has 41 aces and 116 digs while posting double-digit kills in all but two matches. Setter Allie Gray is also having a standout season thus far with 453 assists (12.2 per set).

Brooke Cirigliano | Sr. | MH | Padua Franciscan (Parma, Ohio)
The Miami (Ohio) commit leads the 15-0 Bruins with 163 kills (3.4 per set) while adding 71 blocks and 13 aces. Cirigliano is hitting nearly 50 percent and leads four senior hitters (Maria Futey, Kate Mihacevich and Jordan Chessar) with at least 100 kills.

Sophia Powell | Sr. | S | Lowell (Mich.)
One of two Red Arrows on the watch list, Powell has dished up 699 assists (10.1 per set) while also adding 94 kills and 165 digs for her 18-3 squad. Powell has tossed up double-digit assist in every match this season with highs of 51, 45 and 40.

Bergen Reilly | So. | S | O'Gorman (Sioux Falls, S.D.)
The Swiss Army knife has done a bit of everything for the 14-0 Knights this season. Reilly has 203 kills (5.2 per set), 20 aces, 37 blocks, 144 digs and 62 assists for the South Dakota squad. In 2238 sets for her young prep career, she has 1,114 assists, 586 digs and 457 kills.

Jenna Reitsma | Sr. | OH | Lowell (Mich.)
The Marquette commit is leading the Red Arrows with 491 kills (7.1 per set), in addition to 243 digs and 36 aces. She's notched 30 kills in a match three times this season and has double-digit kills in all but one match.

Ellee Stinson | Sr. | OH/L | Yorktown (Ind.)
The Tigers are 20-0 and the 5-3 senior is a big reason. The Northwestern commit has 203 kills and 313 digs and provides a great 1-2 punch with 6-0 senior Jaylynn Dunsmore (212 kills, 44 blocks).

Paris Thompson | Sr. | OH | Fort Myers (Fla.)
Headed to Notre Dame, Thompson surpassed 1,000 kills in her career with a 19-kill performance Wednesday in a sweep of Port Charlotte. the 6-3 hitter has posted 288 kills (5.8 per set) this season with 140 digs, 30 aces and 16 blocks.

Mabrey Shaffmaster | Sr. | OH | New Castle (Ind.)
The North Carolina commit set the school record for kills on Sept. 30, passing the 2,000 mark with a 46-smash night (also a record). She's got 409 kills on the year (6.3 per set) to go with 47 aces, 26 blocks, 244 digs and 397 serve receives as the Trojans look for a fourth straight state title. For her career, Shaffmaster has 2,166 kills and 893 digs.

Addie VanderWeide | Sr. | OH | Christian (Grand Rapids, Mich.)
The Eagles are 16-0 and the 5-11 captain is a big reason why. She's posted 232 kills (5.3 per set), along with 165 digs and 19 aces. She's hit double-digit kills in 13 matches thus far with a high of 27 this week in a five-set win over Byron Center.
Mabrey Shaffmaster, New Castle
Photo by Julie Brown
Mabrey Shaffmaster, New Castle