BOYS VOLLEYBALL: Initial rankings coming next week

March 24, 2015 by Andy Morales, AZPreps365

Amanda Larriva has Tucson heading in the rigth direction.
(Andy Morales/

The initial MaxPreps/AIA boy's volleyball rankings will be released next Wednesday, Mar. 31 so let's take a look at where some teams stand from Southern Arizona before most get deep into section play:

There will be a 24-team bracket come state playoff time (May 7) with the top three teams from each of the six sections earning an automatic bid.  The remaining six spots will be determined by ranking. The top three teams from each section will be based on section standings.

Section I power Tucson Rincon/University (4-1, 0-0) has yet to play a sectional match and will not do so until they play at Tucson Sabino (2-3, 0-0) on April 7. The Rangers visited Section III favorite Tucson (4-1, 0-1) on Tuesday night in an important divisional match with early ranking implications with Tucson coming out on top 3-1 ( 19-25, 25-22, 25-22, 25-20).

Amanda Larriva was a standout hitter at Tucson Amphitheater and helped to turn around the culture of boy's volleyball while at the helm of Tucson Sunnyside before moving over to coach the Badger's two years ago.

Larriva inherited standout outside hitter Damian Lumm and helped shaped him into one of the state's best at his position. While most hitters either give way to a substitute when vacating the front or disappear when they aren't the focus of an attack, Lumm recorded an incredible 27 kills and 14 digs against the Rangers as proof that he is valuable at all spots on the court.

Lumm scored the winning point in each set with his most dramatic performance coming in the third set when Rincon went on a 6-to-0 run to erase a 22-15 deficit. Lumm scored to break the streak to give Tucson a 23-21 lead and then Nik Bolivar followed with another kill to widen the lead back to 24-21.

Rincon also has a standout hitter in Nick Ogden and Ogden responded with a kill to make the score 24-22 but Lumm ended it moments later with a devastating hit down the middle.

Ogden finished with 25 kills to lead the Rangers and he was almost unstoppable on the left side. Scott Norrix added 11 kills and Rodrigo Silva-Mendoza had 40 assists. Norrix led Rincon with 14 digs and Juan Figueroa added 12 more.

For Tucson, Keegan Biggers came up big with 14 kills.  The Badgers controlled the passing game with three players collecting double-figure digs. Devin Strayhorn had 13 and Joseph Ornelas had 14 to match Lumm's total. Emilio Anaya had 41 assists.

The Badgers dropped a sectional match to Tucson Salpointe on Mar. 12. The Lancers (3-4, 1-0) are the early leaders in Section II but Marana (4-0, 0-0) and Oro Valley Ironwood Ridge (4-1, 0-0) look to make the section competitive.

Other strong teams from Section I include Sierra Vista Buena (3-2, 1-0), Vail Cienega (3-1, 0-0) and Tucson Sahuaro (2-1, 0-0).

We will break down teams from all six sections when we get deeper in section play.