NEW State Girls Volleyball Top 20

Girls at the net battle for a point during the CIF Southern Section Division I-AA title match between Mater Dei (on the left) and Los Alamitos (hitting). Photo: Courtesy Student Sports.

Girls at the net battle for a point during the CIF Southern Section Division I-AA title match between Mater Dei (on the left) and Los Alamitos (hitting). Photo: Courtesy Student Sports.

The only upset in Tuesday’s CIF regional playoffs is in Division II in the south where Whittier Christian defeats La Costa Canyon. We also choose early between Santiago and Los Al for state No. 1 if those two win CIF state titles.

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Note: This week’s rankings include all results from CIF regional playoffs on Tuesday, Nov. 26. Top 20
State Girls Volleyball Rankings

(Previous ranking in parentheses; teams that have completed their seasons are indicated with asterisk)

1. (1) Granite Bay 42-0
The Grizzlies knocked off St. Francis of Sacramento to win the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D1 title, then rolled past Skyline of Oakland in the opening round of NorCals.

2. (2) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 39-4
According to John Reid of the Palo Alto Daily News, the Monarchs were on the ropes but somehow found a way to beat Los Altos in five sets 23-25, 25-11, 25-22, 23-25, 18-16. “Classic CCS final, Los Altos had match-point twice, but Mitty kept its poise in 18-16 game five win,” he said. Mitty is now the top seed in the Northern Regional Division II playoffs and earned a first round bye.

3. (3) Torrey Pines (San Diego) 30-3
After winning the first CIF San Diego Section Open Division title, the Falcons beat Harvard-Westlake on Tuesday to set up great match against No. 6 Mater Dei in Saturday’s CIF SoCal Division I semifinals.

4. (5) Santiago (Corona) 38-0
Here’s where things get interesting. Since the Sharks would potentially have to beat No. 2 Mitty to win D2 state title and due to No.10 Great Oak’s recent run in the CIFSS Division IAA bracket, we can already say that if Santiago and Los Alamitos were both to win CIF state titles – even though Los Al’s would be in Division I – it looks like the Sharks have the edge in that comparison to be the final No. 1 team for the state. They won Tuesday and play Whittier Christian in Saturday’s D2 SoCal semifinals. That match isn’t going to be that easy, either, since the Heralds just knocked off previous No. 14 La Costa Canyon on Tuesday.

5. (4) Los Alamitos 33-5
Despite the Griffins winning the CIFSS Division IAA title over Mater Dei and winning again over Granada Hills on Tuesday, they slide behind Santiago in this week’s rankings. Los Al moves on to face La Salle on Saturday night in the D1 SoCal semifinals.

6. (6) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 32-7
The Monarchs stay put at No. 6 after losing to Los Al, then beating CIF Central Section D1 champ Clovis West on Tuesday. Mater Dei now gets No. 3 Torrey Pines in the best match in the state on Saturday.

7. (7) Valley Christian (San Jose) 32-8
The CIF Central Coast Section Division III champs got a first-round bye in the NorCals on Tuesday and meet Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland on Saturday. They look like a strong favorite to win state in this division.

8. (8) La Salle (Pasadena) 32-5
In one of the few interesting matches in the state on Tuesday (most were predictable blowouts), the Lancers took on Rancho Buena Vista in the first round of the SoCal D1 playoffs and posted a 25-23, 25-10, 25-20 victory. RBV is the team that won the CIF San Diego D1 title after previous No. 12 in the state Scripps Ranch was upset in the semifinals.

9. (9) Lutheran (Orange) 23-9*
*Season complete. Lancers were semifinal losers in the CIFSS Division 1AA playoffs to No. 5 Los Alamitos.

10. (10) Great Oak (Temecula) 27-2*
*Season complete. Wolf Pack were semifinal losers to No. 6 Mater Dei in the CIFSS Division IAA playoffs. Their only other loss was to No. 4 Corona Santiago.

11. (15) Francis Parker (San Diego) 25-5
With a win over La Costa Canyon, the Lancers played in the first CIF San Diego Section Open Division final opposite No. 3 Torrey Pines. They lost but are now the top seed in the D4 SoCal regional bracket, won on Tuesday and face Pacifica Christian in Saturday’s semifinals. It will be a major shock if it’s not Parker vs. No. 17 Menlo in the D4 state final.

12. (11) Redondo (Redondo Beach) 29-6*
*Season complete. Sea Hawks fell to No. 10 Great Oak in the CIFSS Division IAA quarterfinals.

13. (13) Corona del Mar (Newport Beach) 24-6*
*Season complete. Sea Hawks were defeated in the CIFSS Division IAA quarterfinals by No. 6 Mater Dei.

14. (16) Branson (Ross) 32-6
It will be one of the upsets of the century if Branson doesn’t win the NorCal and state titles in Division V. The best case scenario for the highest final state ranking would also be if Redwood of Larkspur were to win the D2 state crown. That part of it, however, is a bit more of a longshot.

15. (17) Lakewood 26-6*
*Season complete. Lakewood was a top 10 team for most of the season, but lost to No. 9 Orange Lutheran in the CIFSS D1AA quarterfinals.

16. (18) Redwood (Larkspur) 38-5
The CIF North Coast Section D2 champs won in Tuesday’s first-round of the NorCal playoffs and will now play Los Altos in Saturday’s semifinals. The Eagles just pushed No. 2 Mitty to the brink in the CCS finals so this one will be a dandy.

17. (20) Menlo School (Atherton) 29-5
As expected, the Knights won the CCS D4 title and now move into the D4 NorCal bracket as a favorite. They won on Tuesday over Willows and meet Hilmar next in the semifinals.

18. (NR) Homestead (Cupertino) 27-7
It’s easy to put the Mustangs into this week’s Top 20. They not only won the CCS D1 title, but Palo Alto (which was the team they beat in the final) just topped 33-3 San Ramon Valley on Tuesday. Homestead also has a recent league match win over Los Altos (the team that almost just upset Mitty).

19. (19) Mira Costa (Manhattan Beach) 22-9*
*Season complete. Perennial power went out in the CIFSS Division IAA bracket in the quarterfinals with a loss to No. 5 Los Alamitos.

20. (NR) Los Altos 32-6
The closeness of the match with Mitty last Saturday is one reason to move up the Eagles. Another is that they won on Tuesday and will play No. 16 Redwood in Saturday’s NorCal D2 semifinals.

Dropped Out: Previous No. 12 Scripps Ranch (San Diego); No. 14 La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad).

On The Bubble and Still Playing: Central Valley Christian (Visalia) 35-4; Oaks Christian (Westlake Village) 31-6; St. Francis (Sacramento) 33-8; Whittier Christian (La Habra) 34-6.

For this week’s new San Francisco Bay Area Top 10, CLICK HERE.

Note: We welcome all input about teams not included and the order although we tend not to change it if teams don’t lose. For comments or questions, email

Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of He can be reached at Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @CalHiSports

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  1. John Smith
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    How many teams have you seen play live? Curious. And how much do you put on strength of schedule? Los Al is not the 5th best team in the state. Los Al would beat Mitty and Santiago and will have a chance to beat Granite Bay. Los Al better than Torrey Pines too. As someone who has seen every team in your top 15 except Granite Bay, that’s how I feel.

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted November 28, 2013 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      I have seen just the Stockton matches in person (Mitty vs. Granite Bay), but work with Student Sports volleyball, which covered Los Al vs. Mater Dei and he will see matches rest of the way. Strength of schedule is always a factor, but when losses start to pile up (Los Al with five) and you have unbeaten teams it’s less important. I’m sure there are people at the end of the day if Los Al and Mitty win out that also would pick Mitty to win in a match.

      • John Smith
        Posted December 1, 2013 at 10:00 am | Permalink

        I was just curious. I often wonder what Santiago’s record would be had Santiago played Redondo (twice), Los Al (twice), Orange Lutheran (twice), Lakewood, Dana Hills, Corona del Mar (twice), Marymount, Mira Costa and Torrey Pines (twice). That was Mater Dei’s schedule btw. … Or what if Santiago played Mater Dei (twice), Orange Lutheran, Redondo, Newport Harbor (twice), Huntington Beach (twice), Lakewood (twice), Mira Costa (twice) and La Salle, which was Los Al’s schedule. … Losses can pile up when you are playing the best teams. Santiago played a cupcake schedule comparatively speaking. To think Santiago belongs ahead of either Los Al or Mater Dei based on record is not a true reflection of strength of schedule. It’s simply based on W-L. Anyway, always found it curious to rank teams considering the majority haven’t been watched in person.

        • Mark Tennis
          Posted December 1, 2013 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

          That’s a fair criticism, but we have ranked teams in the state in many sports for 30 years in which we can’t possibly watch teams and it is a system that has for the most part been well-received and proven to be fair and accurate. We haven’t done volleyball for a couple of years, but did state rankings in the 80s, 90s and into the 2000s. We decided to start doing them again for the new state website because the Student Sports FAB 50 was re-born and 15-20 of the teams we are tracking for that are from California anyway. I agree about Santiago’s strength of schedule but to go unbeaten is probably going to require a win over Mitty. I don’t think Mitty has played a schedule weaker than the Orange County teams. The WCAL is just as good as any league out there and Mitty went to at least three high-level tournaments.

          • Will
            Posted December 3, 2013 at 8:29 am | Permalink

            Need to comment
            Strength of schedule cannot be overlooked when they are soooo different….Santiago in d2 and Branson in d5 have W-L records which are nearly irrelevant. Just look at the early state blowout matches and you can see the teams which are truly strong regardless of records against weaker local area foes.

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