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Hamilton Southeastern volleyball moves to No. 5 after massive win

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Hamilton Southeastern's Tiffany Snook, right, celebrates with teammate Madison Evett during a regional final against McCutcheon on Saturday. (Alex Martin/Journal and Courier via USA TODAY NETWORK)

It was the match the Hamilton Southeastern (Ind.) volleyball team waited all season to play, and the Royals made the most of it.

After dropping the first set, Hamilton Southeastern battled back to win 3-1 (16-25, 25-21, 25-18, 25-19) over McCutcheon in a Class 4A regional final Saturday, sending the Royals to the semi-state round and extending their winning streak to 32 matches.

The win avenged Hamilton Southeastern’s season-opening 3-1 loss to the Mavericks on Aug. 13. It also guaranteed the end of McCutcheon’s reign as 4A state champion.

In Saturday’s match, Hamilton Southeastern matched a season-high in kills with 59. Duquesne University commit Avery Hobson led the way for the Royals, finishing with 14 kills and 16 digs. Lauren Harden added 11 kills and six blocks, while Breonna Goss chipped in 10 kills and six blocks. Sophie Ledbetter paced Hamilton Southeastern’s defense with 23 digs, and Macy Hinshaw contributed 24 assists and 11 digs. Tiffany Snook finished with seven blocks.

Purdue commit Chloe Chicoine, the No. 3 recruit in the Class of 2023, had a match-high 31 kills for McCutcheon, but it wasn’t enough to stymie the Royals, who used their size to their advantage and were dominant defensively.

The win over the Mavericks, who were previously ranked No. 3, vaults Hamilton Southeastern seven spots to No. 5 in this week’s Just Women’s Sports volleyball team rankings. The Royals will continue their quest for the 4A state title with a semi-state showdown against Lake Central on Saturday.

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

1. Cathedral Catholic (Calif.), 35-0

Another victory brings another sweep for the Dons, who have yet to drop a set this season. They conclude the regular season Thursday against Del Norte.

2. Cornerstone Christian (Texas), 55-2

Nayeli Gonzalez (573 kills) and Megan Fitch (495 kills) lead the Warriors’ high-powered offense, while Alex Manitzas has a team-leading 436 digs to pace the defense.

3. Mira Costa (Calif.), 35-3

The Mustangs had a .385 hitting percentage as a team in a sweep of Palos Verdes on Tuesday. They’ll conclude pool play in the California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section Division I Championships on Saturday against Mater Dei.

4. Westminster Christian (Fla.), 24-0

The Warriors defeated NSU University in straight sets Tuesday to advance to the Class 3A region semifinals. They’ll take on Riviera Prep on Friday, with a spot in the region final on the line.

5. Hamilton Southeastern (Ind.), 32-1

Until Saturday’s win over McCutcheon, the Royals hadn’t dropped a single set in more than a month of action.

6. Washburn Rural (Kan.), 40-1

The Blues eased past Dodge City and Manhattan on Saturday to claim a sub-state crown and will now turn their attention to the Class 6A state tournament, which begins with pool play on Friday.

7. Prestonwood Christian (Texas), 35-1

The Lions’ win over Ursuline Academy on Tuesday extends their winning streak to 23 matches. They wrap up their regular season Thursday against Liberty Christian.

8. Bloomfield Hills Marian (Mich.), 42-1

The Mustangs claimed the Catholic High School League Bishop Division tournament championship with ease, defeating Mercy 3-0 on Tuesday to clinch the title. They went 6-0 on Saturday, winning 12 straight sets to earn a spot in the final.

9. Highland Park (Texas), 39-2

Winners of 17 straight, the Scots wrapped up their regular season with a win over MacArthur on Tuesday. Led by 10 seniors, Highland Park will now turn its attention to the postseason.

10. Fayetteville (Ark.), 34-2

Stanford commit Brooke Rockwell finished the regular season with a team-leading 464 kills for the Bulldogs, who opened the Class 6A tournament Wednesday with a 3-0 win over Bentonville West. They’ll square off against Cabot on Thursday in the state semifinals.

11. Tompkins (Texas), 36-3

The Falcons knocked off Paetow in straight sets Tuesday to conclude the regular season. Cindy Tchouangwa has 487 kills to lead Tompkins, which has won 16 in a row entering the playoffs.

12. McCutcheon (Ind.), 33-2

Chicoine had 549 kills to wrap up her final varsity season, after the Mavericks were stunned by Hamilton Southeastern in a Class 4A regional final on Saturday.

13. Oconomowoc (Wis.), 35-1

The Raccoons opened the playoffs with a win over Neenah on Saturday and will take on Watertown on Thursday in a Division 1 sectional final. They’re led by Florida Tech commit Cordelia Kearns, who has 363 kills.

14. Marymount (Calif.), 30-7

The Sailors fell to Newport Harbor 3-2 in pool play of the CIF Southern Section Division I Championships on Tuesday but will try to stay alive when they face Sierra Canyon on Saturday.

15. Cypress Ranch (Texas), 41-2

The Mustangs have won 25 straight and will wrap up their regular season Friday at Fulshear. Texas A&M commit Bianna Muoneke leads Cypress Ranch with 742 kills on the season.

16. Sierra Canyon (Calif.), 31-4

The Trailblazers are 2-0 in pool play of the CIF Southern Section Division I Championships after knocking off Huntington Beach in straight sets on Tuesday. Now, they’ll wrap up pool play and try to avenge a loss from earlier this month when they take on Marymount on Saturday.

17. St. Thomas Aquinas (Kan.), 35-3

The Saints claimed a sub-state title on Saturday and will now head to the Class 5A state tournament, which begins with pool play on Friday.

18. Yorktown (Ind.), 33-2

The Tigers avenged an early-season loss when they knocked off Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory 3-1 on Saturday. They followed that up by defeating Brownsburg in straight sets to claim the regional crown. Yorktown continues its quest for a Class 4A title when it takes on Floyd Central on Saturday in the semi-state round.

19. Mother McAuley (Ill.), 33-3

The Mighty Macs ended their regular season with a straight-set win over Argo on Tuesday. The sectional round awaits, as Mother McAuley begins postseason play Thursday against Lane Tech.

20. ‘Iolani (Hawaii), 23-5

The Raiders won their 10th in a row after sweeping Kapolei on Wednesday. The win advances them to the Division I semifinal round, where they’ll take on Mililani on Thursday.

21. Dike-New Hartford (Iowa), 43-2

The Wolverines claimed the Class 2A Region 4 title with a 3-0 win over Grand View Christian on Wednesday. Payton Petersen has 430 kills to lead Dike-New Hartford, which continues its quest for a third straight state championship Tuesday in a state quarterfinal match against Kuemper Catholic.

22. Buford (Ga.), 36-5

The Wolves downed East Coweta in straight sets Tuesday in the state quarterfinals, extending their winning streak to 16 matches. The win moves Buford into the final four in Class 7A, with a matchup against North Gwinnett slated for Saturday.

23. Mater Dei (Calif.), 29-7

Straight-set wins over Palos Verdes and Lakewood send the Monarchs into a crucial battle of pool-play unbeatens in the CIF Southern Section Division I Championships. On Saturday, they’ll face Mira Costa, with whom they split a pair of matches earlier this season.

24. Saint Francis (Calif.), 28-0

The Lancers remain unbeaten after knocking off Archbishop Mitty in a 3-2 decision Tuesday. They begin action in the CIF Central Coast Section tournament this weekend.

25. St. James Academy (Kan.), 34-3

The Thunder swept Leavenworth and Spring Hill to claim a sub-state title in Class 5A. They begin pool play at the state tournament on Friday.

Trent Singer is the High School Editor at Just Women’s Sports. Follow him on Twitter @trentsinger.