Mater Dei of Santa Ana rides early win over Archbishop Mitty to No. 1 national and state rankings. Mitty then helps out by winning the title last week at Durango Fall Classic in Las Vegas. These first rankings also see six teams from insanely-tough West Catholic Athletic League all get placed high.
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(Through games of Tuesday, Sept. 20)
(First rankings of 2016 season)
1. Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 11-0
While it would have been nice to see how these Monarchs could have done in Las Vegas at the Durango Fall Classic they could not have asked for a better team to win it all. That team was Archbishop Mitty and earlier this season Mater Dei traveled to the Bay Area and defeated those Monarchs 3-0. Utah-bound outside hitter Shannon Scully has led the offense with 147 kills and recently helped Mater Dei win the Dave Mohs Tournament championship.
2. Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 12-1
Despite entering the season with question marks at a few positions, including setter, the Monarchs have impressed this season. That was especially true after they went to the Durango Fall Classic and captured the championship with a 25-23, 25-19 win over Xavier Prep of Phoenix, Arizona. Winning the tournament for the first time in seven years, Mitty lost just one set during the tournament while middle blocker Candice Denny was named as the tournament MVP.
3. San Juan Hills (San Juan Capistrano) 11-1
It might seem a little odd at first to see the Stallions this high and in front of more well-known programs, but they are No. 2 in Orange County and No. 2 in the CIF Southern Section rankings. Their only loss so far has been to No. 1 Mater Dei.
4. Edison (Huntington Beach) 15-2
The Chargers were listed at 15-2 in this week’s Orange County rankings, but including all results from the Ann Kang tournament in Hawaii they may have more wins and losses.
5. Torrey Pines (San Diego) 7-2
The Falcons headed to Durango unbeaten and No. 1 ranked in San Diego. They came back just slightly bruised with losses to nationally ranked Xavier Prep (Arizona) and Walton (Georgial) but with wins over Mira Costa and Marlborough.
6. Mira Costa (Manhattan Beach) 14-5
Forget about the record. The Mustangs have split with Edison and have gone 2-1 against Santa Margarita, with the second win coming early this week in a match that began with a 0-2 hole.
7. Santa Margarita (Rancho SM) 10-3
After placing third at Durango, in which the Eagles’ only loss was to Mitty, they faced Mira Costa in a non-league showdown earlier this week and lost. In two previous meetings between the two, it was a split.
8. Huntington Beach 8-3
Key wins for the Oilers have been against Lakewood and Temecula Valley. Two of the losses are to higher-ranked Santa Margarita and San Juan Hills.
9. Notre Dame (Belmont) 10-4
At Durango, last year’s CIF Division IV state champions knocked off Fayetteville of Arkansas (No. 2 in nation by MaxPreps) and already has a win this season over St. Ignatius.
10. St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 14-4
That No. 2 in the nation Fayetteville didn’t just lose to one West Catholic Athletic League team out in Vegas last week. The Wildcats also beat the Bulldogs and in Vegas also downed nationally ranked Assumption of Louisville, Ky.
11. Lakewood 13-3
Losses have been to Huntington Beach, Mitty and Assumption. Wins have been against Valley Christian of San Jose and Harvard-Westlake (twice).
12. Marymount (Los Angeles) 16-3
Head coach Kari Klein’s girls are higher than Redondo in the CIFSS Division I rankings and have lost only to Santa Margarita, Kamehameha (Hawaii) and Assumption (Kentucky.
13. Redondo Union (Redondo Beach) 6-2
The Seahawks’ record on MaxPreps doesn’t look correct and there wasn’t any other reported record. We do know they have a win over Valley Christian and we do know they will play Mira Costa on Oct. 6 in a renewal of probably the state’s best rivalry.
14. Valley Christian (San Jose) 11-3
Last year’s CIF Division III state champions are still quite formidable despite Ronnika Stone heading to the University of Oregon. She will be the one who will be added to the state record book files as last season’s State Player of the Year.
15. Ventura 15-0
Known more for her play for years outside on the beach, senior Sammy Slater is once again leading the way inside this season for the Cougars after being named the Ventury County Star Player of the Year last season and committing to play beach volleyball at USC. This is the only CIFSS D2 team that is in the State Top 20. All of the rest are in the CIFSS D1 grouping.
16. Flintridge Sacred Heart (La Canada, Calif.) 10-2
The Tologs were in the top 25 of one national poll and were unbeaten heading into last weekend in Vegas. They had losses there to Valley Christian of San Jose and Notre Dame of Belmont. One of their wins has come against Mira Costa.
17. Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) 12-2
The Irish have lost only to St. Ignatius and Valley Christian (league rivals) and were scheduled to play No. 19 Presentation on Wednesday.
18. Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills) 13-4
Outside of the WCAL, there weren’t a lot of NorCal schools that went to Durango last weekend. And while the Trojans had some losses there, they still have a big win over Pleasant Grove and earlier this week Pleasant Grove topped previously unbeaten Christian Brothers of Sacramento.
19. Clovis 18-0
Committed to BYU, Taylen Ballard is averaging 6.5 kills per set this season and has 189 kills to help the Cougars to an undefeated start to the season while only losing two sets all year. They recently defeated Clovis West of Fresno to win the Central California Classic.
20. Presentation (San Jose) 15-3
This would be the sixth team from the WCAL in the state top 20. The Panthers make it for having wins against Clovis West and Menlo-Atherton and since their only losses are to Mitty, Valley Christian and Oak Ridge.
TEAMS ON THE BUBBLE
Christian Brothers (Sacramento) 6-1
Clovis West (Fresno) 14-3
Harvard-Westlake (N. Hollywood) 6-5
Menlo-Atherton (Atherton) 8-4
Pitman (Turlock) 12-1
Pleasant Grove (Elk Grove) 13-2
Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 14-1
St. Francis (Mountain View) 14-5
Temecula Valley (Temecula) 12-2
Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at email@example.com. Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports