Ranking and calendar of the national men’s volleyball tournament: Needham favored in D1, but who emerges in new D2?

The state championships will be held June 15-16. Here’s how the two divisions stack up ahead of the tournament, which begins with the preliminary round on Thursday:

Division 1

Favorite: No. 1 Needham.

Sleeper: No. 6 Lowell.

Players to watch: Matteo Luciani (Lexington), Ben Putnam (Needham), Jaidin Russell (Newton South), Jasper Schultz (Winchester), Kaz Veitas (Newton North).

The longest road trip: No. 18 Acton-Boxborough to No. 15 New Bedford — 78 miles.

The Rockets (19-0) are unarguably the best team in Massachusetts since spring sports returned in 2021. Needham won 120 straight sets before finally losing one to Newton North in their final game of the regular season. Usually, a set win is nothing to get excited about, but for the field, it represents even the smallest weakness in the Rockets armor.

At least eight or nine schools make up a second tier of worthy challengers. Westford (17-1) has the second-longest winning streak in the state, having triumphed in every game since a season-opening loss to Lowell. The Raiders (19-1) shared the season streak with the Ghosts and also went undefeated in the Merrimack Valley conference. They’ve barely played out of their league, but should be an intriguing wild card.

Division 2

Favorite: No. 3 Westfield.

Sleeper: No. 5 Wayland

Players to watch: Valdir Aragoso (Milford), Joe Barenboym (Wayland), Cameron Johnston (North Quincy), Jonathan Narsjo (O’Bryant), Vitaly Samoleynko (Westfield).

The longest road trip: No. 37 Longmeadow to No. 28 Greater Lawrence — 105 miles.

Westfield (19-1) is the No. 4 seed due to an inefficient schedule. But make no mistake: the Bombers have a track record of success as 2019 state champions. Their only loss this season came to Needham, and the Whip City boys have had notable wins over third-seeded Milford. series, and Wayland, the fifth seed.

Wayland, meanwhile, has battled COVID-related injuries and absences all season while playing one of the toughest schedules in the state. The Warriors (11-8) still emerged with key wins over Lincoln-Sudbury, Winchester and Cambridge, and were battle tested for the tournament. Top-seeded North Quincy, along with Greater New Bedford, Milford and O’Bryant, should also make things interesting.

MIAA Tournament

DIVISION 1

Seeds: 1. Needham (19-0); 2. Westford (17-1); 3. Preparation of St. John’s (18-1); 4. Winchester (18-4); 5. Lexington (15-3); 6.Lowell (19-1); 7. Natick (13-4); 8. Newton South (12-7); 9. Lincoln-Sudbury (13-5); 10. Newton North (11-7); 11. Haverhill (12-5); 12. Cambridge (13-7); 13. Malden (19-1); 14. Brockton (12-6); 15. New Bedford (11-8); 16. Quincy (12-8); 17. Brookline (10-8); 18. Acton-Boxborough (6-11); 19. Chelmsford (10-10); 20. St. John’s (Shrewsbury) (10-9); 21. Boston Latin America (10-6); 22. Andover (12-8); 23. High BC (7-9); 24. Revere (14-6); 25. Xaverian (8-8); 26. Algonquin (15-5); 27. North Andover (8-11); 28. Mathuen (8-12); 29. Durfee (8-12); 30. Braintree (5-13); 31. Central Catholic (5-15); 32. Wellesley (4-12); 33. Springfield Central (10-9); 34. Doherty (11-9).

Thu. June 2 — Preliminary

Doherty at Central Catholic, 6.

TBD — Preliminary

Springfield Central in Wellesley, TBA.

Thu. June 2 — First Round

North Andover to Lowell, 5; Acton-Boxborough at New Bedford, 6.

Fri. June 3 — First Round

Braintree at St. John’s Prep, 5; Boston Latin at Cambridge, 6.

TBD — First Round

TBA in Needham, TBA; TBA in Westford, TBA; Algonquin in Natick, TBA; Andover in Haverhill, TBA; BC High in Newton North, TBA; Brookline in Quincy, TBA; Chelmsford to Brockton, TBA; Durfee in Winchester, TBA; Methuen in Lexington, TBA; Revere in Lincoln-Sudbury, TBA; St. John’s (Shrewsbury) in Malden, TBA; Xaverian in Newton South, TBA.

DIVISION 2

Seeds: 1. Quincy North (14-1); 2. Greater New Bedford (13-3); 3. Westfield (19-1); 4. Milford (19-3); 5. Wayland (11-8); 6. O’Bryant (17-4); 7. West Springfield (15-4); 8. Medfield (14-4); 9. Nipmuk (18-3); 10. Big Lowell (13-7); 11. Ludlow (14-5); 12. Agawam (12-7); 13. Catholic Lowell (12-6); 14. Burlington (8-7); 15.Holyoke (16-2); 16. Minnechaug (9-11); 17. Border (15-2); 18. Bellingham (10-9); 19. Millis (8-8); 20. Putman (11-6); 21. Keefe Tech (16-2); 22. Complete Chicopee (9-10); 23. Somerville (9-7); 24. Abby Kelley Foster (16-2); 25. Billerica (2-18); 26. Randolph (10-8); 27. Salem (9-6); 28. Great Lawrence (10-10); 29. Latin Academy (5-16); 30. Leominster (13-5); 31. King Philip (5-13); 32. Fitchburg (9-9); 33. Pioneer Charter I (12-4); 34. Burncoat (13-5); 35. Southwick (10-9); 36. East Longmeadow (10-10); 37. Pre Long (10-10); 38. Sections (11-8); 39. Prospect Hill (5-5).

Thu. June 2 — Preliminary

Burncoat to King Philip, 4; Prospect Hill to Randolph, 5:30 a.m.

TBD — Preliminary

East Longmeadow at the Latin Academy, TBA; Longmeadow in Greater Lawrence, TBA; Pioneer Charter I in Fitchburg, TBA; Southwick in Leominster, TBA; Ware in Salem, TBA.

TBD — First Round

TBA in Greater New Bedford, TBA; TBA in Milford, TBA; TBA in North Quincy, TBA; TBA to O’Bryant, TBA; TBA at Wayland, TBA; TBA in West Springfield, TBA; TBA in Westfield, TBA; Abby Kelley Foster in Nipmuc, TBA; Bellingham to Holyoke, TBA; Billerica in Medfield, TBA; Chicopee Comprehensive in Ludlow, TBA; Border at Minnechaug, TBA; Keefe Tech in Agawam, TBA; Millis in Burlington, TBA; Putnam at Lowell Catholic, TBA; Somerville in Greater Lowell, TBA.

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