High School Volleyball

Fort Worth-area volleyball preseason rankings: District 5-6A holds 3 of top 4 spots

Star Telegram 2018 volleyball all area team

Meet the area's offensive and defensive players of the year, the top setter and the best overall MVP from the 2018 high school volleyball season.
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Meet the area's offensive and defensive players of the year, the top setter and the best overall MVP from the 2018 high school volleyball season.

High school football in the state of Texas isn’t the only sport about to kickoff its season.

Volleyball across the state officially begins on Aug. 6.

Who is the best team in the greater Fort Worth area? Here’s are our preseason rankings.

1. Byron Nelson

Last season (42-2), District 5-6A champ, Regional Quarterfinal

Bobcats return two of the top hitters in the state in LSU commit Paige Flickinger (515 kills) and UCLA commit Charitie Luper (464 kills). Payton Chamberlain also returns (727 assists).

2. Southlake Carroll

Last season (40-10), Regional Final

The Dragons return top hitters in Minnesota commit Natalie Glenn (501 kills) and Stanford commit Annabelle Smith (544 kills, 157 blocks), the reigning all-area middle blocker of the year.

3. Lake Ridge

Last season (36-12), Area

Eagles have three Division I commits in Madison Williams (Texas, 463 kills), TCU beach commit Logyn Hinds, who has career marks of 2,321 assists, 813 digs and 151 aces, and Georgia commit Lyric Stewart (361 kills).

4. Keller

Last season (34-11), Bi-District

Indians return five of six starters, including Hawaii commit Kate Lang (2,432 career assists) and Kansas State commit Jayden Nembhard (960 kills over the past two seasons).

5. Birdville

Last season (41-8), Regional Final

Hawks are coming off their best season in program history and were a set away from the state tournament. All-area newcomer of the year Maya Duckworth set a school-record with 616 kills.

6. Burleson

Last season (31-11), District 5-5A champ, Area

Elks return all six starters, including top hitter Emily Rich, who was named all-area most improved last season (566 kills, 318 digs). Junior setter Mia Smalls has 2,024 career assists through two seasons.

7. Grace Prep

Last season (43-6-1), TAPPS District 3-4A champ, State champ

Lions captured their third state title in seven years. Five starters return, including UCLA beach commit Bonnie Davis (325 kills) and Lubbock Christian commit Sage Post (333 kills).

8. Boswell

Last season (24-21), Regional Quarterfinal

Pioneers have gone three rounds deep in the playoffs each of the past four seasons. Top all-around player returns in UNT commit Emily Ah Leong (509 kills, 647 digs, 82 aces). Nine players return overall.

9. Mansfield

Last season (35-14), Area

Tigers return five starters, but last year’s all-area POY Molly Phillips is now at Texas. All-district setter, UTA commit Mollie Blank (985 assists) is back along with Morgan Demuth (203 kills), Taylor Fanning (77 blocks) and Katie Le (820 digs).

10. Grapevine

Last season (34-11), District 7-5A champ, Regional Quarterfinal

Mustangs return three starters, including all-district blocker in Indiana commit Savannah Kjolhede (270 blocks in three seasons). Returning setters Marissa Mckelvey and Emmalee Drake combined for over 800 assists.

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Born and raised in Hawaii, Brian Gosset graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in journalism before coming to Texas in 2014. He’s covered high school sports — yes, pretty much every high school sport — for the Star-Telegram ever since.