The state tournament is now on the horizon.
Earlier today, the seeds and brackets for all four sections were officially released. Now, it’s time to look at the statewide rankings.
Another wild week has paved the way for two new teams to join the fray.
Scroll down to take a look at this week’s NJ.com Top 20 for May 18.
1-Christian Brothers (12-0)
It was another perfect week for the Colts, though they only played in two games. Both were against Marlboro. The first required a rally in a 20-25, 25-12, 25-22 victory. The next went a bit more smoothly in a 25-17, 25-21 victory. Christian Brothers landed the top seed in both the Shore Conference and Central Jersey tournaments.
Southern also went perfect over the past seven days with several wins over Top 20 squads. The Rams, who earned the top seed in the South Jersey sectional tournament, swept doubleheaders against Jackson Memorial, St. Joseph (Met.) and Central Regional. The Shore Conference Tournament will get underway later this week against Donovan Catholic.
3-Old Bridge (14-1)
The Knights took care of business as well last week with five wins. Two of those were against ranked opponents in St. Joseph (Met.) 25-21, 25-16 and Bridgewater-Raritan 25-21, 25-21. Old Bridge earned the No. 2 seed in the Central Jersey tournament.
4-Scotch Plains-Fanwood (18-0)
Scotch Plains-Fanwood remains one of the last standing undefeated squads after earning wins over Westfield, Piscataway, Summit and Union. The last win over Union was a thriller and went the distance 25-18, 18-25, 25-23.
The Raiders take one step up after a couple of big wins last week. A 25-23, 25-21 win over Bridgewater-Raritan led to a 23-25, 25-17, 25-20 win over East Brunswick. A two-set win over Watchung Hills closed the week. The Raiders earned the No. 4 seed in the Central Jersey tournament.
6-Fair Lawn (12-5)
The Cutters’ undefeated week coupled with losses to teams above it results in a four-spot climb. Of those five wins, the biggest came against Kearny (25-22, 25-17) and St. Joseph (Met.) (25-21, 25-18). Fair Lawn is the top seed in the North 1 tournament.
7-Hunterdon Central (13-2)
Hunterdon Central takes a dip after a 3-1 week. It started very strong with wins over Livingston (25-17, 21-25, 25-18), Rancocas Valley (25-23, 25-18) and Newark East Side (20-25, 25-18, 25-15). It closed on a tough note, however, with a 25-23, 21-25, 18-25 loss to Ridge.
8-West Milford (13-1)
West Milford jumps into the Top 10 after a week with three wins. The highlight was a come-from-behind 18-25, 25-17, 25-20 victory over Ridge. The next was a tight battle against Bergenfield but the team emerged with a 25-21, 25-22 win.
Ridge went 3-1 and climbs a few spots as a result in this chaotic stretch. The loss to West Milford came after wins against Watchung Hills and Summit. A major victory over Hunterdon Central (23-25, 25-21, 25-18) was a terrific bounce-back performance.
Kearny suffered its first loss of the season against Fair Lawn (22-25, 17-25). It was the only blemish in a week that featured wins over Dickinson, North Bergen and Snyder. The 11-1 mark helped the team secure the top seed in the North 2 tournament.
11-Jackson Memorial (8-2)
Jackson Memorial dropped two of its three games last week but both were against Southern. They took a set in the first one before losing in two in the second. A 25-21, 25-12 win over a strong Lacey squad ended the week on a high note.
The Panthers dropped each of their three matches, fell below .500 on the season and dropped to No. 12 as a result. They were all pretty close tilts too. One more big Skyland Conference battle is one the way against Hunterdon Central.
Jefferson drops after a 3-1 stretch last week. The wins came against Randolph, Dover (which required three sets) and Chatham. The loss was a 25-19, 18-25, 20-25 battle against Pope John. A plethora of conference matches are on the way before diving into the North 1 tournament.
14-Newark East Side (7-2)
The Red Raiders move up despite losing a game this week. It’s that kind of season, but only four of the bottom 16 teams went without a loss. The one loss was against Hunterdon Central but the team bounced back with a 25-17, 25-16 win against Livingston.
15-Payne Tech (15-0)
Welcome aboard, Payne Tech. This team has been on the edge of the Top 20 all season and finally jumps into it after a big 25-22, 27-25 win over Livingston. The team is now a perfect 15-0 with a tough battle against Newark East Side on Wednesday.
The Lancers picked up two wins but suffered three losses against ranked teams. The wins were against Belleville and Montclair Immaculate. The losses came against Hunterdon Central, Payne Tech and Newark East Side. The latter two were three days apart.
17-East Brunswick (11-6)
The Bears had one loss last week, a 25-23, 17-25, 20-25 decision against Hillsborough was sandwiched between wins over Colonia and Piscataway. East Brunswick will likely receive one of the higher seeds in the GMC tournament and earned the No. 5 spot in the Central Jersey tournament.
18-Rancocas Valley (16-2)
The Red Devils secured wins in three of its four games this week. Like Newark East Side, the only loss came against Hunterdon Central. Aside from that, Rancocas Valley downed Atlantic Tech, Burlington Township and Hopewell Valley and earned the No. 3 seed in the South Jersey tournament.
Wall defeated Freehold Borough twice and allowed more than 15 points in just one of the four sets. They drop because of surrounding teams picking up ranked victories. The group will have a chance to move up in the Shore Conference Tournaments.
The Bees have rebounded after a 2-3 start to the season and enter the Top 20 on the strength of an eight-game winning streak. Those three losses are strong ones against Christian Brothers, Newark East Side and Kearny. After a big 25-14, 20-25, 26-24 win over St. Peter’s Prep, Bayonne took the second seed in the Hudson County Tournament.
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