Jackson volleyball ranked No. 17 nationally

With a large number of returning players, including The Herald’s 2011 Player of the Year Emmy Allen, the expectations of the Jackson girls volleyball team are high around the state.

It seems the rest of the nation has taken notice as well.

The Timberwolves are ranked 17th in the PrepVolleyball.com 2012 Century Club Pre-Season National High School Rankings, the highest Washington high school by nearly 60 spots. Mead, of Spokane, is the next Washington high school at No. 86 and Bellarmine Prep is in the “10 that just missed …” section. All three schools are 4A.

Jackson won a state championship in 2010 and finished fourth last season.

Here’s a link to the entire rankings.

Here’s what PrepVolleyball.com wrote about Jackson:

17. Jackson (Mill Creek, Washington)

Last year’s record: 27-5; 2011 final ranking: 369

There was a lot of hype – perhaps too much to handle – for Jackson last year in the wake of its 2010 Class 4A state title. The Timberwolves lost a couple of matches early, dropped from the national rankings and never threatened to repeat, finishing fourth with a 27-5 mark. All starters return for coach Ashley Allen, including three Division I seniors, outsides Emmy Allen and Miah Diirell and setter Haley MacDonald. MBs Hannah Hicks, a 6-2 junior, and Haley Thomas, a 5-10 senior, senior libero Taylor Mackay and 5-10 junior RS Payton Locknanealso are back for Jackson, which may have a freshman or two make an impact before all is said and done. 4A will be competitive, with the likes of Bellarmine Prep, Olympia, Mead, Snohomish and Newport all with strong teams, but Jackson should be at the head of the class.

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