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It would have been a spirited debate at the close of the 2013 CIF state volleyball championships last weekend had Granite Bay and Santiago of Corona both finished unbeaten with CIF state titles. It also would have been quite the same if the Division I and Division II titlists were Los Alamitos and Santiago or Los Alamitos and Archbishop Mitty of San Jose.
Instead, the NorCal sweep with Granite Bay beating Los Al and Archbishop Mitty topping Santiago meant it would be an easy call as to which team would finish No. 1 overall in the final state rankings and would be named State Team of the Year.
In addition to finishing 45-0, which is the best record for any team in state history, the Grizzlies faced the Monarchs in October in the championship match of the Stockton Classic played at the Lincoln of Stockton gym and witnessed by Cal-Hi Sports. It was only two games, but the 25-18, 25-23 triumph is plenty good enough to decide a ranking.
After Santiago saw its hopes of a perfect season end in a loss to Mitty in the Division II state final, Granite Bay captured its first-ever Division I championship by defeating Los Alamitos 25-22, 14-25, 25-19, 25-17.
CalHiSports.com FINAL 2013
Top 20 State Girls Volleyball Rankings
(Previous ranking in parentheses; after all matches from CIF state finals played on Dec. 7 at Santiago Canyon College)
1. (1) Granite Bay 45-0
Nicolette Pinkney led the attack in the win over Los Alamitos with 18 kills while Maddy Deters had 17 kills and 24 digs. Taylor Nelson set them up as she finished with 48 assists. For list of all-time state unbeaten teams and State Teams of the Year, CLICK HERE.
2. (2) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 42-4
While the Monarchs didn’t go unbeaten like they did last season instead they took out an unbeaten opponent in the CIF D2 final with a 25-20, 25-21, 26-24 triumph over Santiago of Corona. Clare Powers led the way with 16 kills, Alexa Dreyer added 12 kills and Shirin Tooloee added 11 kills. Kelsey Crawford had 37 assists. Mitty also became the first school in CIF history to get to 10 state volleyball titles. For list of all-time state unbeaten teams and State Teams of the Year, CLICK HERE.
3. (4) Los Alamitos 35-6
It’s a close call between the Griffins and Santiago for the No. 3 position, but since Santiago didn’t get the state title either we’ll use the strength of schedule difference and will rank Los Al higher. Our colleague at Student Sports, Jeff Carlson, went to the matches and after seeing the teams he said he’d probably go with Los Al higher as well.
4. (3) Santiago (Corona) 40-1
The Sharks had only lost one set all season and were looking to set a state record for fewest sets lost during the season entering their match against Mitty. The Monarchs just went on too many strong runs, including five straight points in the third game to win the match.
5. (5) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 32-8
Close losses to Los Al in both the CIF Southern Section Division IAA final and in the SoCal regional final is still good enough to keep the Monarchs in the top five. They also knocked off Torrey Pines of San Diego in the regional playoffs when Torrey Pines was No. 3.
6. (6) Torrey Pines (San Diego) 30-4
The Falcons won the Durango Classic in Las Vegas and claimed the first San Diego Section Open Division title.
7. (7) Valley Christian (San Jose) 33-8
Winning the CIF Division III state title ended up being a breeze for the Warriors as they defeated Central Valley Christian of Visalia 25-20, 25-16, 25-10. They also picked up one win in four tries against Mitty, but the overall weakness of the D3 state playoff field (since the Southern Section uses competitive equity and not enrollment to determine playoff divisions) prevents any move higher for the final rankings. Ronika Stone’s 15 kills led Valley Christian. Kirsten Mead and Ella Lajos each had five aces for the Warriors, who captured their first state championship in program history. They also joined Mitty, St. Francis of Mountain View and Presentation of San Jose as schools from the West Catholic Athletic League to win CIF state titles in volleyball.
8. (8) 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. (10) Francis Parker (San Diego) 29-5
The Lancers defended their CIF Division IV state crown with a four-game triumph against Menlo School of Atherton. Scores were 21-25, 39-28, 25-15, 25-16. Sien Gallop had a team-high 18 kills while Michaela Dews and Alex Deddeh each had double digit kills as well. Parker captured its eighth state championship in program history. Claire Nussbaum added five aces and 49 assists.
10. (9) Lutheran (Orange) 23-9
Season complete. The Lancers were Trinity League champions over No. 5 Mater Dei. They still have to fall one spot in the final rankings with Francis Parker going up.
11. (11) Redondo (Redondo Beach) 29-6
Season complete. The Sea Hawks fell to No. 8 Great Oak in the CIFSS Division IAA quarterfinals. They also were the top team this season in the highly-competitive South Bay region of Southern California.
12. (12) La Salle (Pasadena) 32-6
Season complete. La Salle lost in the CIF SoCal Division I semifinals to Los Alamitos and won CIFSS Division IA championship.
13. (13) Corona del Mar (Newport Beach) 24-6
Season complete. The Sea Hawks were defeated in the CIFSS Division IAA quarterfinals by No. 5 Mater Dei.
14. (14) Lakewood 26-6
Season complete. The Lancers were a top 10 team for most of the season, but lost to No. 9 Orange Lutheran in the CIFSS D1AA quarterfinals.
15. (17) St. Francis (Sacramento) 34-9
Season complete. The Troubadours get to come up a few spots for the final rankings since four of their losses came to unbeaten Granite Bay. Since Granite Bay has now won it all, those losses look even better.
16. (15) Mira Costa (Manhattan Beach) 22-9*
Season complete. The team’s playoff loss was to No. 3 Los Alamitos in the quarterfinals of the CIFSS D1AA playoffs.
17. (NR) Marymount (Los Angeles) 24-9
Season complete. There was room in the final state top 20 for one new team and that team is Marymount. It was an up-and-down season for the Sailors, but their schedule was extremely difficult. A playoff loss to Mira Costa puts them behind the Mustangs, but quality wins over Mira Costa (early in the season), Mater Dei, La Salle, Hamilton of Arizona and Orange Lutheran pushes them up to No. 17 in the state to end the campaign.
18. (18) Menlo School (Atherton) 32-6
The Knights battled hard in the CIF Division IV state final and won the first game against defending champion Francis Parker, but the Lancers won the next three games to defend their title.
19. (19) Homestead (Cupertino) 27-8
Season complete. The Mustangs lost to St. Francis of Sacramento in the NorCal D1 semifinals and won their league title over Los Altos, which ended up giving No. 2 Mitty its toughest match of the playoffs.
20. (20) Los Altos 33-7
Season complete. Since Mitty went all the way to the D2 state title, Los Altos’ accomplishment of forcing the Monarchs to the brink of elimination in a five-set match at the CIF Central Coast Section championships keeps the team in the final top 20 rankings this season.
Note: Previous No. 16 Branson of Ross (35-7) lost in the CIF Division V state final to La Jolla Country Day (24-12). Led by Arela Williams and her match-high 12 kills, La Jolla Country Day captured its third state championship in program history with a 28-26, 25-20, 25-23 win over the Bulls. Branson was trying to become the first team in CIF state history to win five straight titles. Annie Hasselmann had 34 assists while Devon Peterkin and Shaney Lipscomb each had nine kills for the Torreys.