A new No. 1 emerges after giants go head-to-head

After weeks of the same No. 1 team, there’s been a change at the top of the rankings.

With Southern taking down Old Bridge in a classic match in the South, Group 4 final, the Rams have overtaken the top spot in the rankings. This is all happening just days before the group state championships are to take place as well.

Below, check out the NJ.com Top 20 boys volleyball ranking for June 9.

1 – Southern (30-1)

Last week: No. 3

After a short stint at No. 1 at the start of the season, Southern has re-emerged at the top spot after taking down Old Bridge in the South, Group 4 final in what will go down as a classic. Lucas Kean put up an unreal effort for the Rams with 15 kills, seven digs, 10 service points, and three aces. The Rams have won 13 straight sectional titles and will now play in the Group 4 final on Saturday at South Brunswick.

2 – Scotch Plains-Fanwood (30-1)

Last week: No. 2

Scotch Plains-Fanwood reached the 30-win mark after its victory in the North, Group 3 championship. The Raiders have held firm in the second spot of the rankings for weeks now. The Raiders have now won 22 in a row, with its lone loss of the year coming against Old Bridge on April 15. Now, Scotch Plains will play for a Group title on Saturday.

3 – Old Bridge (29-1)

Last week: No. 1

Old Bridge, the previous No. 1, lost for the first time since April 19 of last season when it fell in three sets to Southern in the South, Group 4 final. With how the group classifications worked for this season, there was a high chance that the Knights would have to go through the Rams in order to win a fifth straight state title. It was still a season to remember for the Knights, which lost just four sets all season.

4 – St. John Vianney (22-4)

Last week: No. 7

St. John Vianney has been able to climb up the rankings gradually. The Lancers cruised to a South, Group 1 title. They did not lose a set in four games during states and can cap it off with a Group title on Saturday. Josh Hrabosky and Jack Farah have been on top of their games to lead the team.

5 – Summit (22-5)

Last week: No. 8

Summit reaches its highest point in the rankings after winning its first ever sectional title and advancing to the Group 2 championship game. The Hilltoppers came back from a set down to defeat Bergenfield in the sectional semifinals before winning in two sets over West Milford in the final.

6 – Harrison (27-3)

Last week: No. 4

The Blue Tide dropped a few places in the rankings after being upset in the sectional final. This loss snapped a 13-game winning streak dating back to the end of April. Harrison ends the year with a record of 27-3 and with one of the top resumes in the state.

7 – Livingston (21-3)

Last week: No. 5

Livingston, the top seed in North, Group 4, had its season end in a loss to fifth-seeded Bridgewater-Raritan in the semifinals. The Lancers were the favorite going into the tournament but after losing an extremely close first set to the Panthers, it didn’t have enough to come back from a set…

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