Bay Area goes 2-2 at state championships
Of the five Northern California teams playing at the state championships at Santiago Canyon College in Orange last weekend, three took home state titles, including two from the Bay Area — Archbishop Mitty and Valley Christian.
The other two Bay Area teams, Menlo and Branson, each played very well but neither could win a state championship.
We mentioned last week that with the top four teams all playing for a state title, and the other six done for the season, these rankings wouldn’t change from last week, and that was not correct. The actual results of those matches did indeed have an impact on the pecking order.
Note: All rankings after Saturday Dec. 7 state championship matches. For this week’s final State Top 20 in girls volleyball, CLICK HERE.
1. (1) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 42-4
Mitty now stands alone as the school with the most state championships after a straight set 25-20, 25-21, 26-24 victory over previously unbeaten Corona Santiago earned the Monarchs their 10th state championship, breaking the tie they had with West Catholic Athletic League rival St. Francis of Mountain View. St. Mary’s-bound Clare Powers (16 kills), Alexa Dreyer (12 kills) and Shirin Tooloee (11 kills) combined for 39 of the Monarchs 50 kills on the evening.
2. (2) Valley Christian (San Jose) 35-8
Despite not appearing in the state championships since 1986, the Warriors’ girls came into the match with Central Valley Christian of Visalia as heavy favorites, and they did not disappoint, winning the school’s first ever state championship with a straight set 25-20, 25-16, 25-10 victory. Ronika Stone, who led her team to a divisional title at the West Coast Jamboree girls basketball tournament last year as a freshman, proved the experts correct who said she is better at Volleyball than basketball. Stone, a 6-3 sophomore middle blocker and outside hitter, led Valley Christian with 15 kills.
3. (4) Menlo (Atherton) 32-6
This is where we have to make a change by moving Menlo ahead of previous No. 3 Branson. The two reasons are the Division IV field ultimately was stronger than the Division V field. Also, the Francis Parker team that Menlo lost to 25-21, 28-30, 15-25, 16-25 was 2-0 against the La Jolla Country Day team that swept Branson in the D5 title match. With Menlo getting the first set off Parker, and nearly taking the second set with five match points, the Knights deserve and get the bump over Branson. Lida Van der Meer had 13 kills for the Lady Knights, while Elisa Merten had 37 assists.
4. (5) Homestead (Cupertino) 27-8
This move matches the state rankings. Homestead lost in the playoffs to St. Francis of Sacramento and won a league title over Los Altos.
5. (6) Los Altos 34-7
This also matches the state rankings. Los Altos has to go up because of all the teams Mitty faced in winning the CIF D2 state title (including unbeaten Corona Santiago) it was the Eagles that gave them their toughest match.
6. (3) Branson (Ross) 35-7
The magical and record fifth straight state title never materialized in a 26-28, 20-25, 23-25 loss to La Jolla Country Day, a previous Division IV two-time state champion that dropped down to Division V this year. Despite falling in three sets, the match was one of the best three set matches we’ve seen played in recent state championship history. The Bulls fought hard in every game, and the scores were close, but they were clearly not the better team, and after seeing how Menlo was close to going up two sets against a Francis Parker team that beat Country Day twice by 3-1 scores, the Bulls have to fall below the Lady Knights in the final rankings.
7. (7) Redwood (Larkspur) 40-6
8. (8) Palo Alto 25-11
9. (9) San Ramon Valley (Danville) 33-4
10. (10) Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) 31-10
Dropped out: None
Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland)
Monte Vista (Danville)
Maria Carrillo (Santa Rosa)
California (San Ramon)
Sacred Heart Prep (Atherton)
St. Joseph-Notre Dame (Alameda)
Leland (San Jose)