NEW State Girls Volleyball Top 20

Junior libero Baileigh Graham of Division I state finalist Los Alamitos chases after a ball during CIF Southern Section title match vs. Mater Dei. Photo: Courtesy Student Sports.

Junior libero Baileigh Graham of Division I state finalist Los Alamitos chases after a ball during CIF Southern Section title match vs. Mater Dei. Photo: Courtesy Student Sports.

It’s all set up for a superb set of CIF state finals on Saturday at Santiago Canyon College. Which Division I or Division II champion will end up No. 1 in the state overall? There are arguments for all four finalists entering the weekend.

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Note: This week’s rankings include all results from CIF regional championship finals held on Tuesday, Dec. 3.

It was a case of the top seeds taking care of business in Tuesday night’s CIF regional finals.

Granite Bay has now won seven straight matches without losing a set as the Grizzlies defeated St. Francis of Sacramento 3-0 in the NorCal DI championship game and will be trying for the program’s first state championship on Saturday.

The Grizzlies will face SoCal top seed Los Alamitos, which led by Crissy Jones and her 22 kills swept Mater Dei of Santa Ana in the SoCal DI finals.

After sweeping Westview of San Diego in the SoCal DII finals, Santiago of Corona will have a chance to set a state record in the CIF Division II state championship game if it can win in 3 or 4 sets but it won’t be an easy task as they will face Archbishop Mitty of San Jose.

In the last printed edition of the state record book, we have the 1985 Mira Costa team going 75-2 on the season in sets played. Entering their final match, the Sharks have gone 98-1 this season losing just a set to Oaks Christian of Westlake Village.

Mitty also swept its way to Saturday as it defeated Los Altos 3-0 in the NorCal DII championship game. Claire Powers had 12 kills and 14 digs while Alexa Dryer had 12 kills and four blocks to lead Mitty.

In the Division III state finals, it will be Valley Christian of San Jose against Central Valley Christian of Visalia as the Warriors defeated Sacred Heart Cathedral of San Francisco in the north while the Cavaliers defeated Sage Hill of Newport Beach in the SoCal finals. Veronica Stone topped the VC attack with 11 kills while Notre Dame-bound setter Maddie Dilfer had 10 kills and 17 assists.

For the second year in a row, Parker of San Diego defeated Saddleback Valley Christian of San Juan Capistrano in the SoCal Division IV finals and will now try to win its ninth state title when it faces Menlo of Atherton. Outside hitter Michaela Dews hammered away for 19 kills for the Lancers. The Knights defeated Sonora in the NorCal D4 finals.

The lone No. 2 seed to reach the state finals is La Jolla Country Day as the Torreys knocked off No. 1 seed Minarets of O’Neals in the SoCal Division V finals. LJCD will now face Branson of Ross (a four-time defending state champ) as the Bulls defeated St. Joseph Notre Dame of Alameda in straight sets for the NorCal D5 title.

CalHiSports.com Top 20
State Girls Volleyball Rankings

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

1. (1) Granite Bay 44-0
This is uncharted waters for a CIF Sac-Joaquin Section team. The previous NorCal teams that were unbeaten heading to the state finals have all been from the Central Coast Section. If the Grizzlies can beat Los Alamitos in the D1 final, there would be an argument from Santiago of Corona for No. 1 overall if it were to beat Mitty in the D2 final, but not much of one. By winning in D1, which is the tougher of the two brackets statewide, Granite Bay would be No. 1 and Santiago No. 2 in the final rankings.

Gabriella Carta-Samuels (left) and Alexa Dryer are from No. 2  Mitty, which will be in state finals again.

Gabriella Carta-Samuels (left) and Alexa Dryer of No. 2 Mitty will be in state finals again.

2. (2) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 41-4
Mitty’s best shot to be State Team of the Year is to knock off unbeaten Santiago in the D2 state final, then hope for Los Alamitos to beat Granite Bay. In that scenario, Los Al’s strength of schedule that would include a win over Granite Bay (which beat Mitty in October) would have to be considered and after a close inspection might be enough to hop the Monarchs.

3. (4) Santiago (Corona) 40-0
Although there are many who scoff at Santiago’s record, it would be hard to deny the Sharks moving up to No. 1 overall for the final rankings if they beat Mitty in the D2 final and Los Al tops Granite Bay in the D1 title match. It wouldn’t be just beating Mitty in that match. It also would potentially be a 101-1 record in sets and also getting a win over Great Oak of Temecula (which beat a lot of strong teams in reaching the CIF Southern Section Division IAA semifinals).

4. (5) Los Alamitos 35-5
The Griffins are clearly one of the top four teams in the state just because they had to beat Mater Dei twice to win the CIFSS and CIF SoCal titles. Their best path to climb to No. 1 for the final rankings is to knock off No. 1 Granite Bay in the D1 state final, do it in an impressive fashion, and do it after Mitty has taken down Santiago in the D2 final. In that scenario, Los Al’s five losses compared to Mitty’s four would get a deep breakdown and it might be enough for the team to hop past the Monarchs.

5. (6) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 32-8
It’s another loss by the Monarchs to Los Al in Tuesday’s SoCal D1 final, but their win last Saturday over Torrey Pines will put them in the top five for the final rankings.

6. (3) Torrey Pines (San Diego) 30-4
Winning the first CIF San Diego Section Open Division title as well as a title at the Durango tourney in Las Vegas is going to have to be enough for the Falcons. They were eliminated from the CIF Division I state title hunt by a loss to Mater Dei in the regional semifinals.

7. (7) Valley Christian (San Jose) 32-8
There have been a number of schools from the West Catholic Athletic League to win CIF state titles in volleyball – especially Mitty and St. Francis – but the Warriors aren’t in that group. They’ll try to win their first in D3 on Saturday against Central Valley Christian of Visalia.

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.

8. (10) Great Oak (Temecula) 27-2*
*Season complete. This team’s losses were to No. 5 Mater Dei in the CIFSS Division IAA semifinals and to No. 3 Corona Santiago.

9. (9) Lutheran (Orange) 23-9*
*Season complete. The Lancers were Trinity League champions over No. 5 Mater Dei.

10. (11) Francis Parker (San Diego) 27-5
No. 19 Menlo School will be a tough opponent for the Lancers in the D4 state final, and if they win they could move up a few more spots in the final rankings. Wins against Redondo and Xavier Prep of Phoenix definitely stand out.

11. (12) Redondo (Redondo Beach) 29-6*
*Season complete. Sea Hawks fell to No. 8 Great Oak in the CIFSS Division IAA quarterfinals.

12. (8) La Salle (Pasadena) 32-6*
This is where the Lancers fall after they lost in the CIF SoCal Division I semifinals last Saturday to Los Alamitos. They won the CIFSS Division IA title but we didn’t want to put them in the rankings behind any teams that made it to the CIFSS Division IAA semifinals.

13. (13) Corona del Mar (Newport Beach) 24-6*
*Season complete. Sea Hawks were defeated in the CIFSS Division IAA quarterfinals by No. 5 Mater Dei.

14. (15) 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.

15. (19) Mira Costa (Manhattan Beach) 22-9*
*Season complete. Dug in a little deeper on the Mustangs and see that they should be in front of Branson in these rankings due to a head-to-head win. They lost in the CIFSS D1AA playoffs in the quarterfinals to No. 4 Los Al and it wasn’t a romp.

16. (14) Branson (Ross) 35-6
The Bulls could make history with a fifth straight CIF state title on Saturday with a win over La Jolla Country Day in the D5 final, but they have to drop in this week’s rankings because their Marin County neighbors from Redwood of Larkspur didn’t make it to the D2 NorCal final and they have to go behind Mira Costa. For recap of Tuesday match, CLICK HERE.

17. (NR) St. Francis (Sacramento) 34-9
The Troubadours were the Mater Dei of the north in that they were a strong squad but kept running into a powerful nearby foe. For Mater Dei, that was No. 4 Los Alamitos. For St. Francis, that was No. 1 Granite Bay. The Troubadours advanced to the NorCal D1 final with a win over previous No. 18 Homestead of Cupertino, then lost to Granite Bay for the fourth time.

18. (17) Menlo School (Atherton) 32-5
It was a tougher than expected D4 NorCal final for the Knights, who needed a fifth game to turn back Sonora in Tuesday’s match. They probably will need to play their best match of the season to beat No. 10 Parker in Saturday’s D4 state final.

19. (18) Homestead (Cupertino) 27-8
A loss to St. Francis of Sacramento in the NorCal D1 semifinals doesn’t drop the Mustangs all the way out of the rankings. It moved St. Francis up, for sure, but Homestead’s wins against NorCal D2 runner-up Los Altos is enough to keep the team at No. 19

20. (20) Los Altos 33-7
The Eagles knocked out previous No. 16 Redwood of Larkspur in the NorCal D2 semifinals. They didn’t give No. 4 Mitty quite the scare in Tuesday’s NorCal final like what happened in the CCS final but take all of that combined and Los Altos gets the nod for No. 20 over others such was Westview of San Diego, Dana Hills of Dana Point and Central Valley Christian.

Dropped Out: Previous No. 16 Redwood (Larkspur).

On The Bubble and Still Playing: Central Valley Christian (Visalia) 37-4.

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 markjtennis@gmail.com.

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


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