All Scores

Washburn Rural volleyball climbs 10 spots in JWS team rankings

Washburn Rural’s Brooklyn DeLeye throws her arms out to join her teammates for a hug after a point made over St. Thomas Aquinas during the first set of Friday’s match. (Evert Nelson/The Capital-Journal via USA TODAY NETWORK)

Last year taught Washburn Rural volleyball not to take anything for granted. The Blues entered the state tournament with a 38-0 record only to see their championship hopes dashed with a loss in the semifinals.

The good news: Washburn Rural returned plenty of talent from that team, which finished 40-2, including Kansas Gatorade Volleyball Player of the Year Brooklyn DeLeye.

The team is not a one-woman show, either. DeLeye, the No. 6 recruit in the country, is complemented by other experienced players: seniors Taylor Russell and Katie Borough plus juniors Zoe Canfield and Jada Ingram, among others.

With that array of talent and know-how, Washburn Rural has won 15 of its first 16 matches this season. But the players understand that a strong finish is more important than a fast start. For inspiration, they only have to look up in the rafters or turn to coach Kevin Bordewick, who guided the Blues to seven state titles from 2004-2012.

Washburn Rural appears to be rounding into form, winning seven matches in the last seven days, including the second defeat this season of No. 21 St. Thomas Aquinas. Thanks to that perfect week, the Blues have risen 10 spots to No. 9 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.), 27-0

A senior-heavy roster is leading the Dons to a perfect start to the season, with 58 sets played and 58 sets won.

2. Bloomfield Hills Marian (Mich.), 27-0

On Wednesday, the Mustangs beat Mercy for the third time this season. The Marlins have lost just two other matches.

3. Cornerstone Christian (Texas), 46-2

The Warriors haven’t dropped a set since falling to No. 6 Westminster Christian on Sept. 3.

4. McCutcheon (Ind.), 22-1

Similarly, the Mavericks have lost just one set since an early-season defeat.

5. Prestonwood Christian (Texas), 30-1

The Lions’ success this year bodes well for the future. They have just one senior on the roster.

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

The Warriors have a week off before resuming play with a matchup Friday, the precursor to a weekend tournament.

7. Fayetteville (Ark.), 22-1

Senior Brooke Rockwell, a Stanford Beach Volleyball commit, has surpassed 1,000 career kills, including 308 this season alone.

8. Mira Costa (Calif.), 17-2

Senior Drew Wright notched 27 kills in a five-set win over Redondo Union on Tuesday, extending her team-high total to 174.

9. Washburn Rural (Kan.), 15-1

The Blues first knocked off St. Thomas Aquinas before reeling off six more wins this past weekend.

10. Sierra Canyon (Calif.), 25-3

As the Trailblazers prepare for the stretch run of the season, Olivia Babcock, a Pitt commit, has more than 340 kills.

11. Highland Park (Texas), 31-2

The Scots have reeled off nine consecutive victories, all sweeps.

12. Tompkins (Texas), 28-3

Rice commit Cindy Tchouangwa has reached the 350-kill mark with a month of the regular season remaining.

13. Marymount (Calif.), 20-5

The Sailors appear to be getting hot at the right time, having won 10 of their last 11 matches. Their sole loss in that period came against Cathedral Catholic in the Durango Fall Classic championship.

14. Hamilton Southeastern (Ind.), 21-1

Senior Avery Hobson has 241 kills and a .359 hitting percentage, as the Royals continue to rack up wins following a season-opening loss to McCutcheon.

15. Mother McAuley (Ill.), 17-1

The Mighty Macs’ bid for an undefeated season ended, but they have a chance Thursday to defeat Kentucky powerhouse Assumption for the second time this season.

16. St. James Academy (Kan.), 17-1

The Thunder avoided another loss with a three-set win over Blue Valley Southwest on Wednesday and then closed out the invitational with a sweep of Blue Valley.

17. Oconomowoc (Wis.), 31-1

Behind Cordelia Kearns’ 314 kills and Lilly Wagner’s 759 assists, the Raccoons are eyeing a second straight state title.

18. Santa Fe (Fla.), 13-1

The Raiders’ match Tuesday against Forest was canceled due to Hurricane Ian.

19. Cypress Ranch (Texas), 33-2

Texas A&M commit Bianna Muoneke racked up 19 kills in a sweep Friday, bringing her season total to 560.

20. Assumption (Ky.), 21-4

With star outsider hitter and Texas commit Sydney Helmers not playing this season, junior Charlotte Moriarty leads the Rockets with 236 kills, and senior Whitney Woodrow has racked up 860 assists.

21. St. Thomas Aquinas (Kan.), 18-2

The Saints’ two losses have come at the hands of Washburn Rural, and they bounced back with two wins Tuesday.

22. ‘Iolani (Hawaii), 17-5

The Raiders have tested themselves against top-tier competition, beating Sierra Canyon and other teams from the mainland. More than half their losses have come against Top 25 competition.

23. Mater Dei (Calif.), 19-5

Following an upset loss to Santa Margarita, the Monarchs have reeled off back-to-back league victories. Now, they turn their attention to the prestigious Tournament of Champions this weekend.

24. Benet Academy (Ill.), 19-1

The Redwings’ 12-match winning streak will be put to the test Thursday against Skutt Catholic out of Nebraska.

25. Dike-New Hartford (Iowa), 26-2

The Wolverines suffered a second loss this weekend but bounced back with three consecutive wins.

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.

Cameron Brink likes Caitlin Clark for 2024 WNBA Rookie of the Year

Cameron Brink poses with Caitlin Clark at 2024 wnba draft in new york
Cameron Brink poses with fellow draftee — and possible WNBA ROY —Caitlin Clark. (Photo by Emily Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images)

Cameron Brink already has her rookie of the year pick for the upcoming WNBA season, and it’s Indiana-bound star Caitlin Clark

In the latest edition of Kelley on the Street, host Kelley O'Hara caught up with Brink in New York hours before the Stanford phenom went No. 2 overall to the Los Angeles Sparks at the 2024 WNBA Draft. When O’Hara asked who would win the WNBA's rookie of the year, she answered without pause.

"Caitlin Clark," she said, while a fan commented that she thought Brink would take home the award. Brink later added that the extra foul granted to WNBA players will be "good for me."

"I hope it’s me," Charisma Osborne, who was later drafted by the Phoenix Mercury, said when asked her ROY prediction. "But, I don’t know — we’ll see."

Watch more of Kelley on the Street:

Dash winger Maria Sanchez confirms trade request a day shy of NWSL deadline

María Sanchez of Houston Dash during a NWSL game
In December, Sanchez signed a new three-year contract with the club worth $1.5 million including bonuses and an option year. (Photo by Marcus Ingram/Getty Images)

Maria Sanchez issued a statement on Thursday, confirming recent reports that she has requested a trade from the Houston Dash. 

In it, she revealed that the club has been aware of the request "since late March."

"This has all taken a toll and isn’t an easy thing to talk about, but I want to confirm that I’ve requested an immediate trade," she wrote. "My expectations and reasons have been clear. I trust that my current club’s management will honor my decision in a timely manner and proceed with accepting a trade."

"I’m eager to refocus and dive back into what I love most: playing football," she concluded.

Reports of Sanchez's trade request first surfaced on ESPN last week, and were later confirmed by multiple sources. 

In December of last year, Sanchez signed a three-year contract with the Dash valued at $1.5 million including bonuses and an option year. It was the largest contract in NWSL history at the time — a figure that would be eclipsed by multiple contracts in the following months. 

Sanchez spent the offseason as a restricted free agent, meaning that Houston could match any other team's offer to retain her rights. Should the Dash trade Sanchez, her current contract terms would remain intact, limiting potential buyers to teams able to afford to take on an inking of that size.

The Dash has yet to address the trade, instead reiterating to ESPN that Sanchez is "under contract, a choice she made in free agency at the end of 2023." 

Both the NWSL trade window and transfer window close tonight, April 19th, at 12 a.m. ET. The window will stay closed through the next 11 regular season games, reopening on August 1st, 2024.

Seattle Storm debut state-of-the-art $64 million practice facility

Jewell Loyd #24 of the Seattle Storm during warms up during practice on July 11, 2020 at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida
Jewell Loyd, seen here practicing at Florida's IMG Academy, and her team are in for a major upgrade this season. (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)

The four-time league champion Seattle Storm unveiled their new practice facility on Thursday, with Storm co-owner Lisa Brummel dubbing Interbay's Seattle Storm Center for Basketball Performance the team’s "new home."

"It's just such a special space," Brummel told Fox 13 Seattle. "I think when the players get here, it's gonna be overwhelming."

The sprawling 50,000-square-foot, $64 million property is just the second designated practice facility to be designed and built expressly for a WNBA team, with the Storm further noting that 85% of all design and engineering team members involved in the project's construction were women and people of color. The finished product holds two professional indoor courts, two 3x3 outdoor courts, a state-of-the-art locker room, and players' lounge, plus designated areas for strength and conditioning, kitchen, dining, and nutrition, and recovery. 

"This facility reflects our commitment to providing our athletes an exceptional environment that supports their growth, health, and performance," said Storm co-owner Ginny Gilder in an official team release. "It’s built for women, by women, embodying our dedication to leading the way in professional women’s sports."

For their part, the team can't wait to make the faciilty their own.

"It's amazing," Storm guard Jewell Loyd told Fox 13. "Not having to drive everywhere around, knowing you have access anytime of the day to get into the gym, to workout." 

Head coach Noelle Quinn said she predicts the team is "never going to leave this building."

"Which is a good thing for me," she continued. "You talk about having an edge in performance. We want our athletes to not only perform on the court, but get whatever they need."

All of the Storm's staff and operations will now live under one roof, and the team also has plans to launch a youth basketball program operating out of the building.

Mystics relocate game to accommodate Caitlin Clark fans

Maya Caldwell, Erica Wheeler, and Lexie Hull of the Indiana Fever celebrate Caitlin Clark
Get ready — Caitlin Clark is coming to town. (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Caitlin Clark effect is quickly making its mark on the big leagues, as WNBA host teams around the country rush to upgrade their Fever games to larger arenas in order to accommodate surging ticket sales.

With Clark mere weeks away from her Indiana Fever debut, both the Las Vegas Aces and Washington Mystics have officially relocated their scheduled home games with head coach Christie Sides' squad. On Thursday, the Mystics became the latest to adjust their plans, moving their June 7th matchup from Entertainment & Sports Arena in Southwest DC to the more centrally located — and much larger — Capital One Arena "due to unprecedented demand."

The Mystics home court's capacity taps out at 4,200, while Capital One Arena — home to the Wizards, Capitals, and Georgetown Hoya's Men's Basketball — can fit nearly five times that crowd at some 20,000 spectators.

"The move to Capital One Arena will allow for additional fans in the stands as well as premium hospitality options, including Suites and the all-new all-inclusive courtside Hennessy Lofts," the team announced via Thursday's press release.

The Aces were one of the first teams to switch venues, aiming to take on the Indiana Fever in front of as many as 20,000 fans inside T-Mobile Arena on July 2nd. That’s a sizable a boost from their home venue, which holds just 12,000.

For those still planning to face the Fever in their home arenas, ticket prices have skyrocketed. Previously scheduled construction has already forced the LA Sparks to relocate their first five games — including their May 24th clash with the Fever — to Long Beach State's Walter Pyramid. The temporary venue is quite the downsize, holding just 4,000 in comparison to Arena's near-19,000. As of Friday, the get-in price for that game started around $400.

Despite fans launching a petition urging relocation, the Chicago Sky say they're unable to move their June 23rd Fever meeting from Wintrust Arena's 10,000-seat facility to the 23,500-seat United Center due to a concert. Tickets for that game start around $325 as of Friday.

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