Rancho surges to front of NBL volleyball conversation

A new North Bay League volleyball champion could be in the wings.

While the league is still up for grabs, Rancho Cotate could be the favorite after a solid preseason and an early win over Maria Carrillo.

The Pumas have won or shared the NBL title each of the past 10 seasons. But the Cougars were right there a year ago and have more experience now for the big matches.

Rancho Cotate’s girls have taken an early lead in the NBL, sharing the top spot with Ursuline at 3-0.

The Cougars and Bears meet for the first time on Tuesday in Rohnert Park. Two weeks later Maria Carrillo gets a rematch with Rancho Cotate. In between the Pumas and Bears match up for the first time in league play.

Ukiah joins Maria Carrillo in second place with Montgomery, Piner, Elsie Allen and Santa Rosa trailing the lead pack.

Thursday’s matches have Rancho Cotate hosting Piner, Santa Rosa at Maria Carrillo, Ukiah taking on Ursuline, and Elsie Allen visiting Montgomery.

— Michael Coit, The Press Democrat