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McCutcheon volleyball rides 10-match win streak into top five

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McCutcheon (Ind.) celebrates after scoring during a match against Western Boone on Sept. 13 in Lafayette, Ind. (Alex Martin/Journal & Courier via USA TODAY NETWORK)

McCutcheon volleyball made history last year when it won the program’s first state championship. Coming off that monumental achievement with a roster full of returning talent, including the second-ranked recruit in the nation, the Mavericks entered the 2022 season in an unusual position as state title favorites.

The Mavs suffered a temporary setback in the opening month of the season, falling to 2020 state champion Yorktown, but McCutcheon has reeled off 10 consecutive wins since that defeat, including four this past week.

Purdue commit Chloe Chicoine, the aforementioned second-ranked recruit who was recently named JWS Player of the Week, leads the Mavericks with 289 kills (6.1 kills per set) and is second on the team with 148 digs. She classmate and Kansas commit Reagan Burns, the Mavs’ star libero who has 166 digs. Another Purdue commit, junior Allie Shondell, quarterbacks the Mavs’ offense, averaging more than 10 assists per set for a total of 448 this season.

The Mavs can rely on their postseason experience as they look to repeat as state champions, and thanks to that 10-match winning streak, they’ve risen to No. 5 in this week’s Just Women’s Sports volleyball team rankings.

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

1. Cathedral Catholic (Calif.), 25-0

The Dons passed another test with flying colors, winning the prestigious Durango Fall Classic tournament this weekend without dropping a set. They have yet to lose a set this season.

2. Bloomfield Hills Marian (Mich.), 23-0

The Mustangs aren’t quite at Cathedral Catholic’s level, but they have dropped just three sets all season and last lost a match over a year ago.

3. Cornerstone Christian (Texas), 44-2

The Warriors are full of senior talent, with Iowa State commit Nayeli Gonzalez notching a team-high 422 kills, Purdue commit Taylor Anderson compiling 653 assists and Notre Dame commit Alyssa Manitzas leading the team with 329 digs.

4. Dike-New Hartford (Iowa), 23-1

Since an early season loss, the Wolverines have dropped just two sets.

5. McCutcheon (Ind.), 16-1

McCutcheon is 3-0 in conference play as they prepare for another tournament this weekend.

6. Westminster Christian (Fla.), 12-0

The Warriors continue to dominate the opposition, notching a victory Wednesday in straight sets.

7. Prestonwood Christian (Texas), 27-1

Sophomore Macaria Spears leads a trio of attackers with more than 200 kills, with Camille Edwards (463 assists) and Taylor Cook (295 assists) playing providers and Gillian Pitts leading the defense with 387 digs.

8. Fayetteville (Ark.), 20-1

The Bulldogs tested themselves against top-tier competition at the Durango Fall Classic and finished third. Their sole blemish is a loss to reigning California state champion Marymount.

9. Mira Costa (Calif.), 14-2

The Mustangs continue to roll, having dropped just two sets in the last six matches, all wins.

10. Mother McAuley (Ill.), 17-0

The Mighty Macs begin conference play next week, and their remaining schedule includes a rematch with Kentucky powerhouse Assumption.

11. St. Thomas Aquinas (Kan.), 16-1

The Saints won the Missouri-Kansas Volleyball Invitational and then followed it up with two wins Tuesday over a pair of Kansas powerhouses, previously unbeaten St. James and reigning Class 6A state champion Blue Valley North.

12. Highland Park (Texas), 29-2

The Scots have opened district play with four consecutive sweeps.

13. Sierra Canyon (Calif.), 23-3

Olivia Babcock, a Pittsburgh commit, led the Trailblazers to fifth place at the Durango Fall Classic, nabbing a spot on the all-tournament team.

14. Tompkins (Texas), 26-3

The Falcons have not lost a set in the month of September.

15. Marymount (Calif.), 18-5

The Sailors appear to be rounding into form. After consecutive losses dropped them to 10-4, Marymount has won eight of its last nine matches. The sole loss was to Cathedral Catholic in the Durango Fall Classic championship, as the Sailors nabbed a second-place finish.

16. Santa Fe (Fla.), 12-1

The Raiders have dropped just three sets all season, two of them in a loss to Cornerstone Christian.

17. Mater Dei (Calif.), 17-4

The Monarchs bounced back from a qualifying loss in the Durango Fall Classic to claim the silver bracket title.

18. St. James Academy (Kan.), 12-1

The Thunder suffered their first defeat of the season, falling to St. Thomas Aquinas.

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

Washburn packed its early-season schedule with tough matchups, beating St. Thomas Aquinas before losing to St. James Academy. The hope is that those regular-season tests will lead to a deep postseason run.

20. Assumption (Ky.), 20-4

The Rockets’ four losses have all come against top-25 teams: Mother McAuley, Mater Dei, Marymount and Sierra Canyon.

21. Cypress Ranch (Texas), 31-2

The Mustangs’ two losses are to Tompkins and Cornerstone Christian.

22. Wayzata (Minn.), 10-1

The Trojans’ 61-match winning streak may have ended earlier this month, but the Trojans’ state championship dreams remain intact.

23. North Allegheny (Pa). 15-1

The Tigers notched three sweeps this past week.

24. Hamilton Southeastern (Ind.), 16-1

Since a season-opening loss to McCutcheon, the Royals are on a 16-match winning streak, dropping just four sets during that run.

25. Byron Nelson (Texas), 28-3

The Bobcats’ 18-match winning streak ended with back-to-back losses.

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.