Branson moves up to third in the region and No. 1 in the NCS. The Bulls also seem like overwhelming favorites to win fifth straight CIF Division V state title, which would be a record.
The most interesting thing about the CIF North Coast Section playoffs is that three teams from the Marin County Athletic League drew top seeds, Larkspur Redwood in Division II, Kentfield Marin Catholic in Division IV, and four-time defending state champion Branson of Ross in Division V.
If you throw in Anderson Valley in Division VI, four of the six tops seeds are from the Redwood Empire.
As for Branson, it’s not looking like anyone is going to stop the Bulls from a record fifth-straight state championship. Branson is currently tied with defending CIF Division I state champion Marymount of Los Angeles. The Sailors won four-straight from 2000-2003.
“There’s really no secret,” Branson head coach Michelle Brazil told Cal-Hi Sports. “We have a bunch of smart, hard-working girls that want to win, and I probably have the deepest team I’ve had in my five years here.”
The CIF Central Coast Section playoffs are being equally dominated by the West Catholic Athletic League and the schools from Atherton.
San Jose’s Archbishop Mitty and Valley Christian were slam dunks for the top seeds in Division II and III, respectively. Menlo-Atherton got top billing in Division I and Menlo School is the Division IV top seed.
While we had no newcomers this week there are several teams knocking on the door, and with playoffs come upsets and elimination so look for some changes soon.
Note: This week’s rankings do not include any Tuesday matches played this week and are through games played on Nov. 11. Also, for this week’s new State Top 20 in girls volleyball, CLICK HERE.
1. (1) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 32-4
After a CCS D2 opening round bye, Mitty meets the winner of the San Jose matchup between Leland and Lynbrook.
2. (2) Valley Christian (San Jose) 28-6
The girls from VC have lost the last two matches to Mitty but the victory in league allowed the school to capture its first ever WCAL league championship. Like Mitty, Valley Christian wont see action until Saturday night when it meets the Pacifica Terra Nova at San Jose Notre Dame winner in a CCS D3 quarterfinal.
3. (4) Branson (Ross) 29-6
The NCS D5 top seed draws a bye and opens on Saturday at College of Marin where the Cal-Hi Sports Caravan may pay a visit.
4. (3) Redwood (Larkspur) 38-5
Despite the loss to Branson, the Giants still drew the top seed in the NCS Division II playoffs and after a bye they open on Saturday at home.
5. (5) Menlo (Atherton) 26-5
The Lady Knights won their final two West Bay-Foothill League matches to finish 10-0 in league.
6. (8) Homestead (Cupertino) 23-7
After winning the Milpitas Spikefest with a win over Sacred Heart Cathedral two weeks ago, the girls from Cupertino should have jumped the Irish last week. Unfortunately we were given the wrong information and the championship game results weren’t published until later in the week.
7. (6) Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) 26-6
Despite being knocked out in the second round of the WCAL playoffs by Mitty, the Irish hold tight and also snag the No. 2 seed behind Valley Christian in the CCS D3 playoffs.
8. (7) St. Francis (Mountain View) 23-12
Los Altos got the No. 2 seed in the CCS D2 playoffs and St. Francis No. 3 but we’re not changing our pecking order yet. Both teams received byes and if they win their quarterfinal matches on Saturday, they’ll meet at the neutral Los Gatos gym next Wednesday in the semifinals.
9. (10) Los Altos 30-5
This is a place where we partially agree with the CCS seedings, so we’re moving the Division II No. 2 seed ahead of Presentation but not St. Francis.
10. (9) Presentation (San Jose) 20-14
The up-and-down Panthers draw the No. 4 seed in the CCS D2 playoffs after exiting the WCAL playoffs in a 3-0 loss to St. Francis.
Dropped Out: None