All Scores

Marymount volleyball ascends to No. 10 in bounce-back campaign

The Marymount volleyball team poses with the trophy after finishing second at the Dave Mohs Tournament last weekend. (Photo courtesy of Amanda Zamani)

Marymount volleyball’s season has been anything but predictable.

Coming off an undefeated season, the Sailors checked in at No. 2 in the first Just Women’s Sports team rankings of the 2022 season. Then they lost four of their first 14 matches, including their first Mission League defeat in five years.

Suddenly, the Sailors were unranked heading into the prestigious Durango Fall Classic tournament, and that’s when the turnaround began.

Behind the all-tournament play of outside hitters Torrey Stafford and Kate Martin and libero Lexi Trapani, the Sailors finished second — their sole blemish was a loss to top-ranked Cathedral Catholic.

The Sailors nabbed another top-three tournament finish this past weekend at the Tournament of Champions Southwest, losing to No. 3 Cornerstone Christian in the semifinals. Since that 10-4 start, Marymount has won 17 of its last 19 matches, and this Tuesday, it avenged that Mission League defeat to Sierra Canyon with a four-set victory over the Trailblazers.

Marymount has the talent to make a postseason run with Pittsburgh-bound Stafford and Trapani, a Santa Clara commit, but just to get back to this point has been an accomplishment after the Sailors lost five Division I players from last year’s roster.

Thanks to their hot play and strenuous schedule, which includes four wins over ranked opponents, Marymount checks in at No. 10 in the latest JWS rankings, rising three spots.

Check out the complete rankings below, and click here to view last week’s rankings.

1. Cathedral Catholic (Calif.), 28-0

The Dons notched a three-set sweep Tuesday and still haven’t dropped a set, with the GEICO Girls Volleyball Invitational looming this weekend.

2. Bloomfield Hills Marian (Mich.), 28-0

The Mustangs celebrated Senior Night with a three-set sweep Wednesday.

3. Cornerstone Christian (Texas), 53-2

After finishing second at Tournament of Champions Southeast earlier this season, Cornerstone Christian got its TOC title, beating Marymount and Mira Costa en route to the Southwest crown.

4. McCutcheon (Ind.), 26-1

The Mavericks won on back-to-back nights as Chloe Chicoine accumulated 30 combined kills between the two matches.

5. Westminster Christian (Fla.), 14-0

The Warriors have dropped just three sets all season and continued to roll with two more sweeps this past week.

6. Prestonwood Christian (Texas), 30-1

The Lions have more than a week off to prepare for the final month of regular-season play.

7. Mira Costa (Calif.), 25-3

The Mustangs tested themselves against top-tier competition at TOC Southwest, beating some of the top teams from Arizona and Nevada. They defeated Mater Dei in the semifinals and won a set off Cornerstone Christian before falling in the championship.

8. Washburn Rural (Kan.), 20-1

The Junior Blues won the Centennial League Championship this past weekend, with coach Kevin Bordewick picking up his 1,000th win in the process. They followed it up with a win over a solid Olathe Northwest team on Wednesday.

9. Highland Park (Texas), 33-2

Since falling to Prestonwood Christian on Aug. 27, the Scots have not dropped a set.

10. Marymount (Calif.), 27-6

Two-thirds of the Sailors’ losses have come against teams ranked in the top 10.

11. Fayetteville (Ark.), 28-2

The Bulldogs suffered their second defeat of the season this past weekend, falling to Liberty North at the Blue Springs South Invitational, but they finished 4-1 on the day.

12. Tompkins (Texas), 30-2

The Falcons picked up two more district wins, with Cindy Tchouangwa notching 21 kills and Tendai Titley adding 15 in a four-set victory Friday.

13. Hamilton Southeastern (Ind.), 26-1

After their regular-season finale, the Royals will turn their attention to the postseason.

14. St. James Academy (Kan.), 23-1

The Thunder won the Janice Van Gorp Volleyball Classic and then added two more wins Tuesday.

15. Mother McAuley (Ill.), 24-2

The Mighty Macs lost a rematch against Assumption but bounced back to win the prestigious ASICS Challenge tournament for the first time since 2016.

16. Sierra Canyon (Calif.), 26-4

After beating reigning state champion Marymount earlier this season, Sierra Canyon lost the rematch Tuesday.

17. Oconomowoc (Wis.), 32-1

Lilly Wagner racked up 32 assists as the Raccoons cruised to a three-set sweep Tuesday and stretched their winning streak to 26 matches.

18. Cypress Ranch (Texas), 35-2

Bianna Muoneke is one of the nation’s leaders in kills with nearly 600, and the Mustangs haven’t lost since August.

19. Santa Fe (Fla.), 14-1

Following an extended break due to Hurricane Ian, Santa Fe returned to action Tuesday with a victory in straight sets.

20. Assumption (Ky.), 26-6

The Rockets avenged a loss to Mother McAuley but couldn’t keep the momentum going in tournament play, losing twice in the ASICS Challenge.

21. Benet Academy (Ill.), 20-1

The Redwings dropped the first set but bounced back to defeat reigning Nebraska state champion Skutt Catholic in a tight three-set match.

22. ‘Iolani (Hawaii), 19-5

The Raiders end the regular season one win shy of 20, but with victories over California powerhouses Sierra Canyon and Redondo Union.

23. Dike-New Hartford (Iowa), 28-2

Payton Petersen leads the Wolverines with 258 kills and is second with 174 digs, while her twin, Jadyn Petersen, has a team-high 189 digs and ranks second on the team with 175 kills.

24. Mater Dei (Calif.), 24-7

The Monarchs snagged fourth place at the TOC Southwest tournament and now look to finish the regular season on a high note.

25. Liberty North (Mo.), 26-1

The Blue Jays are new entrants into the top 25, with sisters Ashley and Abigail Mullen leading the way. Ashley, a senior, has 762 assists and is averaging nearly 10 per set, and Abigail, a sophomore, has a team-high 294 kills.

Phillip Suitts is a contributing writer at Just Women’s Sports. He has worked at a variety of outlets, including The Palm Beach Post and Southeast Missourian, and done a little bit of everything from reporting to editing to running social media accounts. He was born in Atlanta but currently lives in wintry Philadelphia. Follow Phillip on Twitter @PhillipSuitts.

New Washington Spirit Head Coach Jonatan Giráldez Arrivin DC

head coach Jonatan Giráldez
Jonatan Giráldez joins the NWSL from FC Barcelona Femení. (Ramsey Cardy/UEFA via Getty Images)

Five months after announcing that the Washington Spirit had hired Barcelona Femení coach Jonatan Giráldez as the team's new head coach, Giráldez has joined the club in Washington, DC.

Giráldez is coming off of a successful season with the Spanish side, having won UEFA Women's Champions League, Copa de la Reina, Supercopa, and Liga F in his final season to complete a lauded Quadruple.

While Giráldez was finishing out his tenure in Europe, Adrián González filled in as Spirit interim head coach. González has also seen success, leading the team to its third-place standing with a 9-3-1 record through 13 games.

“I’m thrilled to join the Spirit and begin this next chapter with the club,” Giráldez said in an official team statement. “To be part of the vision Michele Kang has for the Spirit and women’s soccer globally is an exciting opportunity.”

Giráldez has worked at Barcelona since 2019, initially coming on as an assistant coach before moving up to head coach in 2021. The team went 30-0-0 on the season under Giráldez during his first year as manager.

He brings along with him Andrés González and Toni Gordo, who will serve as the Spirit's Fitness Coach and Club Analyst, respectively.

US Track & Field Olympic Trials Touch Down in Oregon

Sha’Carri Richardson competes in the women’s 200-meter preliminary round during the USATF Outdoor Championships
Sha’Carri Richardson will have some competition this week as athletes vie for an Olympic berth. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The US Olympic Track & Field Trials begin on June 21st, kicking off a 10-day quest to determine who will represent the US in Paris this summer.

The crucial meet will take place in Eugene, Oregon, where the top three finishers in each event will punch their ticket to the 2024 Olympics. As with this past week's US Swimming Trials, even the most decorated athletes must work to earn their spot — and one bad performance could undermine four years of preparation.

Reigning 100-meter World Champion Sha'Carri Richardson headlines this year's field, as the 24-year-old looks to qualify for her second Olympic Games and compete in her first. Richardson is a world champion in both the 100-meter and 200-meter sprint, but missed the Tokyo Olympics due to testing positive for THC shortly after the last US Olympic Trials.

Other standouts include 400-meter Olympic gold medal-winning hurdler Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, who's currently the most decorated athlete in the active women's US Track & Field pool. McLaughlin-Levrone qualified to run in the 200-meter and 400-meter flat races alongside the 400-meter hurdles at the Olympic Trials, but opted to focus solely on her signature event.

800-meter specialist Athing Mu will also be a huge draw this week, as the Olympic gold medalist looks to shake off a lingering hamstring injury while pursuing her second Summer Games. Gold medal-winning pole vaulter Katie Moon will also attempt to qualify for her second-straight Olympic Games.

Ole Miss star McKenzie Long could be Richardson's greatest competition in the 100-meter and 200-meter events, as well as Richardson's Worlds teammate Gabby Thomas in the 200-meter. In field events, watch for Oregon senior Jaida Ross going head-to-head with reigning world champion Chase Jackson in the shot put, as both push for their first Olympic team berth.

Regardless of why you tune in, the US Olympic Trials are a perpetually thrilling and sometimes brutal qualification process. If you're able to make your way to the head of the pack, a shot at Olympic glory might just be waiting at the finish line.

Fans can catch live coverage throughout the Trials via NBC, USA, and Peacock.

Top Teams Square Off in NWSL Weekend Slate

NWSL Orlando Pride forward Barbra Banda
Orlando Pride, led by forward Barbra Banda, will take on Utah in this weekend's NWSL action. (Nicholas Faulkner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

As the NWSL season continues, a few top-performing clubs will have a chance to boost their standings this weekend.

First-place Kansas City will travel to Providence Park to take on fifth-place Portland, as the Current look to keep their unbeaten streak intact. And in New Jersey, third-place Washington will take on fourth-place Gotham FC, with both teams attempting to extend multi-game unbeaten streaks.

A six-point gap has opened between the fifth and sixth spot on the NWSL table — with just six points also separating the league's top five. Kansas City, Orlando, Washington, Gotham, and Portland have recently proven themselves to be a cut above the rest of the competition. With eight postseason spots up for grabs and half the season behind us, a pattern is forming that indicates the playoff race could come down to spots six through eight on the NWSL table.

Of those top five teams, only Orlando faces an opponent in the bottom half of the league this weekend: The Pride will take on 14th-place Utah, who nonetheless are coming off a win — just their second of the season — over Bay FC last weekend.

But despite Kansas City and Orlando having yet to lose a game, Gotham might be the squad coming into the weekend with the most momentum.

Clutch goals from Rose Lavelle and rookie Maycee Bell gave the Bats a 2-0 midweek win over San Diego on Wednesday, in a rematch of the 2024 Challenge Cup. Gotham's unbeaten streak dates all the way back to April, as rising availability and sharpened form have honed this year's superteam into a contender.

Bottom line? As the NWSL season passes the halfway mark, some matches might begin to feel more like playoff previews than mere regular season battles.

Chelsea Gray Returns From Injury in Aces Win Over Seattle

las vegas aces chelsea gray and kelsey plum celebrate a win over the seattle storm
Gray has been sidelined with a foot injury since the 2023 WNBA Finals. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Chelsea Gray made her return to the basketball court on Wednesday, helping the Aces to a 94-83 win over the Seattle Storm. 

The lauded point guard missed the first 12 games of the season, having been injured in last year’s WNBA Finals. The left foot injury caused her to miss Game 4 of the championship series, and she’s continued to rehab it through the beginning of the 2024 season. 

Her return on Wednesday was capitalized by the fact that she needed just 20 seconds to make an impact and record her first assist. While she finished with just one point, she had seven assists, four rebounds, and two blocks to go alongside it in 15:30 minutes. Gray's contributions on the night brought her career assist record up to 1,500.

"I probably went through every emotion leading up to today," Gray said after the game. "I was a little anxious all day. It's been a long time since I've been out on that court. But the fans were amazing from the time I came out to warm up to the time I checked in the game. It was a rush and a feeling I missed a lot."

It’s been a roller coaster of a season so far for Las Vegas, who have lost five of their last seven games. Gray, who averaged 15.3 points, 7.3 assists, and 4.0 rebounds in 2023, has proven herself a much-needed addition to the team’s lineup.

"Felt like my heart," Aces coach Becky Hammon said when asked how she felt hearing the crowd erupt for Gray's return. "She's the leader of our team. I thought she did a wonderful job too."

Start your morning off right with Just Women’s Sports’ free, 5x-a-week newsletter.