The defending Division 4 state champion Jackson Center Lady Tigers are the No. 1-ranked team in Ohio in that division, according to the first Ohio High School Volleyball Coaches Association poll released this week.
The Lady Tigers were off to a 7-0 start to the season heading into a game Thursday night against Fairlawn. They are coming off a 29-1 season that ended with the state championship. And there are key players returning from that squad for longtime coach Kim Metz.
The Lady Tigers garnered 23 first-place votes.
Jackson Center is joined in the top 20 by five other county/area teams in the first rankings of the season.
The New Bremen Lady Cardinals, 6-2 on the year, are the No. 4-ranked team, and Fort Loramie, 6-3 so far, is tied for the No. 5 spot.
Marion Local, 5-1 with the only loss to Jackson Center, is ranked No. 8, and Minster, 4-3 on the year, is No. 11 in the first poll. New Knoxville, 6-2, is ranked 16th.
In Division 3, meanwhile, Versailles is ranked 12th in the first poll, and the Anna Lady Rockets, 5-4 on the year, are ranked 18th.
Ohio High School
DIVISION 3 — 1. Gilmour Academy, 2. St. Henry, 3. Coldwater, 4. Tuscarawas Valley, 5. Huron, 6. Highland, 7. Utica, 8. Buckeye Trail, 9. Newark Catholic, 10. Miami East, 11. Adena, 12. VERSAILLES, 13. (tie) Eastwood, Fairbanks, 15. Independence, 16. Cleveland Lutheran West, 17. Madeira, 18. (tie) ANNA, Ursuline, Newton Falls.
DIVISION 4 — 1. JACKSON CENTER, 2. Arlington, 3. McComb, 4. NEW BREMEN, 5. (tie) FORT LORAMIE, Norwalk St. Paul, 7. Tuscarawas Central Catholic, 8. MARION LOCAL, 9. Delaware Christian, 10. Hardin Northern, 11. MINSTER, 12. Leipsic, 13. Monroeville, 14. (tie) Old Fort, Buckeye Central, 16. NEW KNOXVILLE, 17. Antwerp, 18. Ottoville, 19. Portsmouth Notre Dame, 20. Hopewell-Loudon