Breaking down the South Dakota Prep Media volleyball poll for Oct. 23: Cougars keep rising in Class B

Oct. 23—MITCHELL — Entering the final week of play in Class A and Class B, this week marks the penultimate edition of the South Dakota Prep Media volleyball polls for 2023.

Here's what to know about this week's polls:

Below is the latest South Dakota Prep Media volleyball poll, issued for the week of Oct. 23, 2023. Teams are listed with first-place votes in parentheses, record and points.

Class AA

1. Harrisburg (12), 24-0, 60; 2. Sioux Falls Jefferson, 19-1, 48; 3. Sioux Falls Washington, 21-3, 36; 4. Watertown, 22-5, 22; 5. O'Gorman, 14-8, 11.

Others receiving votes: Aberdeen Central 3.

Knights at No. 5: Life is back to normal in Class AA. After back-to-back weeks without movement — the first two such instances in the class this season — the No. 5 slot switched hands this week. O'Gorman, which started at No. 4, hasn't been in the top five since its preseason ranking.

The Knights have been in the others receiving votes section for five of the eight weeks since the first poll and are now the seventh different team to hold the No. 5 ranking this season. Only Huron and Aberdeen Central, which fell out of the top-five to make room for O'Gorman this week, have held the spot for more than one week.

Class A

1. Sioux Falls Christian (12), 28-4, 60; 2. Dell Rapids, 22-6, 48; 3. Dakota Valley, 14-10, 20; 4. Rapid City Christian, 30-5, 18; 5. Madison, 18-7, 17.

Others receiving votes: Platte-Geddes 6, Elk Point-Jefferson 4, Wagner 3, Miller 2, Groton Area 1, Aberdeen Roncalli 1.

All aboard: Three weeks ago, a total of three votes fell outside the top five in Class A. Now, six teams are sharing 17 total votes outside the rankings, as Class A has experienced a considerable shakeup over the past two weeks.

With 11 programs garnering at least one vote this week, Class A has set the new high-water mark for total teams in a single poll this season. In the rankings, Madison dropped from No. 3 to No. 5, allowing Dakota Valley and Rapid City Christian to each move up one spot. Joining Platte-Geddes, Wagner and Miller among the receiving votes contingent this week are Elk Point-Jefferson, Groton Area and Aberdeen Roncalli.

Class B

1. Warner (12), 33-0, 60; 2. Chester Area, 25-2, 48; 3. Northwestern, 25-7, 26; 4. Burke, 28-3, 22; 5. Colman-Egan, 24-5, 19.

Others receiving votes: Wolsey-Wessington 4.

Continuing to climb: Owning a 21-match win streak dating back to the Arlington Invitational tournament on Sept. 9, Burke is among the hottest teams in Class B.

A 7-3 record to start the season dropped the Cougars out of the top five from a preseason No. 4 ranking, but Burke has now regained that preseason position following a small trip-up by Colman-Egan, which traded places with Burke at No. 5. Of note, Faith, which was among those that temporarily supplanted the Cougars earlier in the season, fell completely out of the poll this week for the first time since Sept. 5 (three weeks ranked No. 5, four other weeks receiving votes).