Los Altos and Palo Alto make their marks in CCS and NorCal playoffs. Both will have big matches coming up on Saturday night.
West Catholic Athletic League CIF Central Coast Section champions Archbishop Mitty and Valley Christian, and an additional CCS champion, Menlo School, all received top seeds in the CIF Northern California regional playoffs.
The other two teams in the Bay Area top five, Branson and Redwood from the Marin County Athletic League and CIF North Coast Section, received No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in their divisions, respectively.
Due to the way the CIF Southern Section conducts its playoffs, which basically eliminates many teams that might contend for enrollment-based state titles, there’s actually very strong odds that the Bay Area will win state crowns in four of the five state divisions on December 7 at Santiago Canyon College.
Note: This week’s rankings include matches in the NorCal playoffs conducted on Tuesday; previous ranking in parentheses. Also,for this week’s new State Top 20 in girls volleyball, CLICK HERE.
1. (1) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 39-4
California and the nation’s No. 1 team from last season is probably still getting over the close call against Los Altos in last Saturday’s CCS D2 final. The Monarchs had a bye as the top seed of the NorCal D2 tourney and will next host Rocklin on Saturday in the semifinals. Rocklin won its match Tuesday over Carondelet.
2. (2) Valley Christian (San Jose) 33-8
As expected, it was an all-WCAL title game and just like they did twice previously this season, the Warriors defeated Sacred Heart Cathedral, this time in four sets. As expected, Valley Christian also drew the No. 1 seed and a bye Tuesday in the NorCal D3 playoffs.
3. (3) Branson (Ross) 32-6
The Bulls girls may be going for a record fifth straight state championship in Division V, but after a four-set victory over Alameda St. Joseph Notre Dame, Branson won a record-tying fifth-straight CIF North Coast Section title. St. Helena won five-straight from 1981-1985 in the old Class A Division.
4. (4) Redwood (Larkspur) 40-5
The Giant girls swept Carondelet in three sets to win their second NCS D2 title in three years and third under head coach Katie Pease. Redwood falls in behind Mitty as the No. 2 seed in the D2 NorCals and opened Tuesday by topping Napa Vintage.
5. (5) Menlo (Atherton) 27-5
The Lady Knights rolled past Soquel 25-13, 25-13, 25-22 to win the CCS Division IV championship. Their reward is the top seed in the D4 NorCals and Tuesday win over Willows from the Northern Section.
6. (6) Homestead (Cupertino) 26-7
The hosts lost the first set to Palo Alto 17-25, but took the next three 25-23, 25-20, 25-19 to win the Central Coast Section Division I title, however unlike the other CCS champions they did not receive the top seed, nor the No. 2 seed for the NorCal playoffs. The top seed went to state No. 1 Granite Bay and the No. 2 seed went to the Sacramento St. Francis team it defeated in the Sac-Joaquin Section D1 championships. The Mustangs’ first-round opponent was visiting Brentwood Heritage, the NCS D1 runner-up, which they defeated.
7. (9) Los Altos 32-6
The CCS D2 runner-up Eagles have one stinker loss to Burlingame but after almost taking out Mitty in the CCS playoffs they move up two spots and fall in behind the Homestead team that beat them 3-1 in Santa Clara Valley De Anza League play.
8. (NA) Palo Alto 24-10
We could have stuck with 13-loss St. Francis, but as a semifinal loser to Los Altos the Lancers did not move on the Northern California playoffs. Paly, on the hand, not only moved on in Division I but on Tuesday took out the NCS D1 champions from San Ramon Valley. The Vikings will take on state No. 1 Granite Bay on Saturday.
9. (10) San Ramon Valley (Danville) 33-4
The Wolverines are the NCS Division I champions, but the season ended in a nail-biting five-game loss to Palo Alto. After winning the first two games, SRV couldn’t hold off the Vikings in 25-22, 25-22 and 15-7 games.
10. (7) Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) 29-9
Going out in four sets to state-ranked Valley Christian is no shame and the seeding committee agreed, and awarded the Irish the No. 2 seed in the D3 NorCal playoffs. Still, we’re dropping them behind a D1 section winner and a Los Altos team that went five games with Mitty.
Dropped out: Previous No. 8 St. Francis (Mountain View) 24-12