Archbishop Mitty, Valley Christian, Branson and Menlo all seek to bring home the gold from CIF state championships
The Bay Area placed four of the five Northern California teams in the state championships this Saturday at Santiago Canyon College in Orange, with two of them looking to set records for state championship victories, and two looking to snag their first-ever titles.
With the remaining six teams in these rankings done for the season, the Bay Area pecking order will not change after Saturday’s action, which is something that cannot be said for the overall state rankings, where pretty much everything among the top-ranked teams depends on the state championship results.
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) 41-4
After a first round bye, the CIF NorCal Division II top-ranked Monarchs lost a game to Rocklin but still finished with a 25-14, 23-25, 25-12, 25-21 victory. They then faced the Los Altos team that had two match points against them in the CCS Division II title match, but this time the girls took care of business in a three set 25-20, 25-12, 25-14 victory. It was the second straight NorCal title, ninth since 2003 and 14th overall. Mitty now faces 40-0 Santiago of Corona in an effort to break a tie with Mountain View St. Francis for the most state titles. Each currently has nine.
2. (2) Valley Christian (San Jose) 34-8
Like Mitty, the CIF NorCal Division III top-ranked Warrior girls had a first round bye, and then they also gave visiting Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland a game, in a 21-25, 25-13, 25-20, 25-18 victory. In the title match with West Catholic Athletic League rival Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco), the girls were not as generous, and won their second NorCal title and first since 1986 with a 25-18, 25-13, 25-23 sweep. In an all-Christian school final, VC now meets Central Valley Christian of Visalia in an effort to win its first state title.
3. (3) Branson (Ross) 34-6
With the Cal-Hi Sports Caravan courtside at College of Marin, the top-seeded Bulls made easy work of the same St. Joseph Notre Dame (Alameda) team they beat in the NCS D5 championship. The 25-16, 25-16, 25-20 victory is Branson’s fifth straight NorCal title and propels the squad into the Division V title match against La Jolla Country Day where the Bulls will try to win a record five straight CIF state titles.
4. (5) Menlo (Atherton) 32-5
Like the three teams above them, the Lady Knights will be playing for a state championship on Saturday when they face a Francis Parker of San Diego team that will be seeking its 8th title while Menlo will seek its first-ever state championship after four straight runner-up finishes from 1999-2002.
5. (6) Homestead (Cupertino) 27-8
Like the Los Altos team they beat in Santa Clara Valley De Anza League play, the Mustangs lost in the NorCal playoffs, in their case in the Division I semifinals to Sac-Joaquin Section power St. Francis of Sacramento.
6. (7) Los Altos 34-7
The Eagles went out in three sets to Mitty but not before a hard fought five set victory over Redwood of Larkspur in the NorCal D2 semifinals. The result is a one spot bump up to remain behind the Homestead team that beat them in league but ahead of the Redwood team they defeated.
7. (4) Redwood (Larkspur) 40-6
The Giants’ dream of facing Mitty in the D2 NorCal title match was ended when they fell in five close sets after losing the first two to Los Altos in the semifinals. Still, it was a very solid 40-win season for Redwood and only a two spot drop behind the Los Altos team that defeated them 22-25, 23-25, 25-21, 25-18, 11-15.
8. (8) Palo Alto 25-11
Paly broke back in last week and holds tight after a nice run in the playoffs. The Vikings started last week with a five-set win over San Ramon Valley in the CIF D1 first round, and then went out fighting hard in the semis in three sets to state top-ranked Granite Bay.
9. (9) San Ramon Valley (Danville) 33-4
The Wolverines gave it everything they had, and in fact won the first two games, but they still fell in the D1 opening round in five sets to Palo Alto, 25-20, 25-23, 22-25, 22-25, 7-15.
10. (10) Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) 31-10
The Irish girls made it all the way to the NorCal D3 title game, meaning they went further than the three teams above them, but their path in D3 was much easier than that of the large schools. Hence, there is no move upward.
Dropped Out: None.