First-time No.1 pair highlight volleyball preseason standings
Spain Park and Homewood are in uncharted volleyball territory.
Class 7A Spain Park and Class 6A Homewood are ranked # 1 in the AL.com preseason volleyball rankings.
It is the first time in the history of the school that either team has achieved first place.
“The standings are just a number,” said Spain Park coach Kellye Jordan Bowen. “We have a lot to prove to each other and to everyone. We lost three influential seniors last year. I don’t think success is a continuum. I think you have to work hard every day and try to be better than the day before. The success of last year does not continue this year and this group must find its own identity.
The other # 1 teams are Class 5A Bayside Academy, Class 4A Montgomery Academy, Class 3A Trinity, Class 2A Addison, Class 1A Donoho, and AISA Glenwood.
Bayside Academy, Montgomery Academy, Trinity and Addison are the reigning state champions while Glenwood won AISA’s biggest class last season.
Bayside Academy’s incredible streak continues under coach Ann Schilling. The Admirals have won a state record of 29 championships – 19 in a row – including titles in Class 1A, Class 2A, Class 3A, Class 4A and Class 5A.
Bayside has been ranked No.1 in its respective class for 90 consecutive polls, dating back to 2008, and the Admirals regularly compete with the best teams in the state, regardless of class.
Spain Park has been a regular in the top 10 since 2016 under Bowen and the Jags finished second to sister school Hoover last season.
Spain Park has reached second place twice, once during the school’s first year of play in 2001 in class 4A and again in class 6A during the 2003 season. Both occurred when the Hoover’s current coach, Chris Camper, guided the program.
Spain Park was ranked third last season.
“In every practice and game there is a standard,” Bowen said. “The standard has been the same for eight years and that’s to improve by one percent every time you walk the ground physically and mentally. It’s a fun group to be around and I love to see them grow as a person, not just the volleyball players.
Homewood was sporadically ranked in the top 10 and earned the No.6 Class 5A spot in 2003. The Patriots haven’t been higher ranked since, but finished with a 30-18 record and the No.6 spot. ° 10 of class 6A in the final. 2020 ranking under freshman coach Andie Freedman.
AL.com Volleyball rankings
1. Spain Park
5. Vacuum cleaner
8. Oak Mountain
10. James Clemens
Teams to watch: Bob Jones, Company, Fairhope, Dothan, Vestavia Hills.
1. House wood
2. Strong Spanish
3. Mountain stream
Teams to watch: Arab, Buckhorn, Gulf Shores, Hazel Green, John Carroll, Muscle Shoals, Northridge, Saraland, Southside-Gadsden, St. James.
1. Bayside Academy
2. Christian of Providence
5. Madison Academy
6. Lawrence County
Teams to watch: Boaz, East Limestone, Leeds, Lincoln, West Point.
1. Montgomery Academy
4. Madison County
8. Westminster Christian
Teams to watch: Alabama Christian, Ashville, Central-Florence, Haleyville, New Hope, Priceville, Saint-Jean-Paul II, Saint-Michel, West Morgan.
3. Christian Prattville
7. Houston Academy
8. Catholic Montgomery
10. Pleasant valley
Teams to watch: Carbon Hill, Cottage Hill, Lauderdale County, Ohatchee, Susan Moore, TR Miller, Winfield.
2. GW long
4. Spring garden
5. Orange Beach
6. Sand rock
8. South East
Teams to watch: Athens Bible, Geneva County, Horseshoe Bend, Isabella, Lexington, Winston County.
2. Bayshore Christian
3. Lindsay Street
4. Pleasant house
6. Christian Alliance
7. Cedar bluff
9. Holy Spirit
10. Marion County
Teams to watch: Belgreen, Decatur Heritage, Waterloo.
2. Mâcon East
3. Edgewood Academy
4. Lee Scott
5. Southern Academy
6. Academy of Chambers
7. Coosa Valley
8. Hooper Academy
9. Pike Liberal Arts
10. Clarke’s Preparation
Teams to watch: Bessemer Academy, Cornerstone Christian, Patrician Academy, South Choctaw.