We're a week away from the start of league play for the majority of volleyball programs around the Central Section and it's quite apparent which team is tops in the first BVarsity Central Section Top 10 rankings for the 2018 season.

Fresno-Central beat Clovis-Buchanan for the section Division I title last November and the Grizzlies are back for more. After beating Bakersfield Christian 3-1 in the opening match of the season, Central — which returned all but one starter from 2017 — has not dropped a set in the last 19 matches.

After that, it’s up for grabs.

Bakersfield comes in as the No. 2 team in the section, led by sisters Ava and Sophia Palm. The Drillers secured a big win over No. 3 Clovis West on Aug. 28 in a 3-1 victory. The Golden Eagles are in town on Wednesday with a top 10 matchup at No. 8 Liberty.

Thanks to a wide-open field at the Clovis Invitational two weeks ago, most of the teams in the top 10 have already beaten each other, proving there will be a battle all season to upset Central or fight for the No. 2 D-I playoff seeding. 

Mota eager to begin the season

Marcus Mota won the Central Section Division I boys cross country individual title before finishing 33rd at the CIF State Championships last November as a junior at Stockdale.

While the rest the fall sports began competing in mid-August, the start of the cross country season begins this Saturday at the elite 38th annual Sketchers Woodbridge Cross Country Classic in Norco.

PrepCalTrack.com editor Rich Gonzalez listed Mota, a senior, as one of the top 10 California runners heading into this weekend’s competition in Southern California in the three-mile race.

Mota is coming off a second consecutive seventh-place finish in the boys 3,200 at the CIF State Track and Field Championships in June.

“My racing on Saturday will speak for how well my training has been going,” Mota said. “I have no idea where I stand, so Saturday, if all goes well, will be a good marker to see where my fitness is. Excited to see where I match up.”

Coaching vacancies

Frontier is seeking boys basketball assistant coaches and has a vacancy for boys varsity soccer coach. Interested applicants can contact athletic director Mike Gibson at mgibson@kernhigh.org.

Mira Monte is also taking applications for the girls basketball coaching position. Contact athletic director Josue Valenzuela at 366-1800.

BVarsity Central Section Volleyball Top 10

1. Fresno-Central (20-0, 0-0 TRAC, Division I)

2. Bakersfield (9-1, 0-0 SWYL, D-I)

3. Clovis West (10-5, 0-0 TRAC, D-I)

4. Garces (6-3, 0-0 SWYL, D-I)

5. Clovis (9-2, 0-0 SWYL, D-I)

6. Clovis-Buchanan (15-4, 0-0 TRAC, D-I)

7. Clovis North (7-3, 0-0 TRAC, D-I)

8. Liberty (2-5, 0-0 SWYL, D-I)

9. Arroyo Grande (7-2, 0-0 Mountain, D-I)

10. Frontier (5-5, 0-0 SWYL, D-I)

Divisional rankings

D-I: Central, BHS, Clovis West, Garces

D-II: Exeter, Bakersfield Christian, Tehachapi, Santa Maria-Righetti

D-III: Reedley, Santa Maria-Righetti, Oakhurst-Yosemite, Arvin

D-IV: Mira Monte, Kingsburg, Chowchilla, Porterville

D-V: Frazier Mountain, Fresno-Washington Union, Delano, Kerman

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