All of our top 10 teams come from two area conferences, the MVC (5) and the Wamac (5).
Here we are at the midpoint:
1. MOUNT VERNON (20-0) — An easy choice at No. 1. The Mustangs have dropped two games (to Iowa City West and Williamsburg) and have been the cream of the area. Ranked No. 44 in the nation by prepvolleyball.com. The Mustangs have tremendous size, and their defense is much improved.
2. IOWA CITY WEST (20-2) — Face a challenge at Cedar Rapids Kennedy tonight. Both match losses are to Mount Vernon (at the West Extravaganza and Cougar Invitational). Rated No. 70 nationally by prepvolleyball.com. Jessica Gehrke is a D-I prospect in volleyball and track.
3. CEDAR RAPIDS PRAIRIE (17-2) — Hawks were on a serious roll after finishing second at the Warrior Invitational and winning the Linn-Mar Invite. They’ve had some idle time since then; will be it a recharger, or will the Hawks be rusty?
4. CEDAR RAPIDS KENNEDY (20-4) — Cougars seem to have their act together after winning the Dubuque Invitational. Knocked off 4A No. 1 Dubuque Hempstead in the final. Can build on that momentum with a win tonight vs. Iowa City West.
5. MARION (24-3) — Seriously, the Indians have already played 27 matches. They won six of them at the Mid-Prairie Invitational last weekend, and claimed the Marion/Benton Invite the previous Saturday. Brittney Thomas has gone into the 1,000-1,000 club for digs and kills in her career.
6. IOWA CITY HIGH (16-7) — Once Brittany Nelson is fully healthy, the Little Hawks will be a tough team to beat.
7. WEST DELAWARE (23-4) — Another solid year for the Hawks, who are relying more on scrap than size. Mystery is on their postseason assignment … they’ll probably have to beat Mount Vernon, Marion or Dubuque Wahlert to return to the U.S. Cellular Center.
8. BENTON COMMUNITY (20-7) — Bobcats are having their best season in quite some time. Still gets a shot at Marion in the Wamac West.
9. CEDAR RAPIDS WASHINGTON (11-5) — It will be a crime if Kari Lombardi isn’t the MVC coach of the year. Turned around a losing program in no time. Of course, the assistance of three talented Cedar Valley Christian players has upgraded the talent level immeasurably.
10. WILLIAMSBURG (15-5) — Like Mount Vernon, the addition of the Raiders has fortified the Wamac’s depth. Got a game off Mount Vernon in a Wamac crossover match.