It’s back to Mater Dei for the No. 1 ranking after the Monarchs win title at nation’s best tournament in Arizona. They beat national No. 1 team from Georgia in the final. Still, they may have to play league rival Santa Margarita three more times this season and it wouldn’t surprise anyone to see them continue to beat each other back-and-forth in those matchups. Teams on the rise the most this week, meanwhile, are new No. 11 Marin Catholic, new No. 13 Vista Murrieta and new No. 17 Canyon Crest Academy.
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(Previous rank in parentheses)
(After matches of Tuesday, Oct. 3)
1. (2) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 24-4
Before the Monarchs even took on and beat national No. 1 and unbeaten Walton of Marietta, Ga., in the title game of the Nike Tournament of Champions in Phoenix, they topped unbeaten and national No. 7 Oviedo (Florida) in the quarterfinals and defeated Xavier Prep (Phoenix) in the semis. Xavier had gotten that far by knocking off in-state rival Corona del Sol, which was unbeaten and national No. 3 heading into the event. Mater Dei’s Kelsey Campeau was MVP of the tourney. The senior libero had 76 digs during the weekend, including 16 against Walton.
2. (1) Santa Margarita (Rancho SM) 18-5
Although the Eagles beat Mater Dei the last time the two played, they lost to Walton of Georgia and Xavier Prep of Arizona (two teams Mater Dei beat) at the Nike TOC. Both of those teams are now in the national top 10 and the Eagles still are as well. They will play the Monarchs for a second time in the Trinity League and then could play them again for the CIF Southern Section Division I title and then for the CIF Southern California Open Division crown.
3. (3) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 17-4
The Monarchs kept on winning in the West Catholic Athletic League with a triumph against Sacred Heart Cathedral on Tuesday night. There’s a lot of jockeying among teams to see which is the second-best in the WCAL and in Northern California, but Mitty remains the CIF NorCal Open Division favorite.
4. (5) Torrey Pines (San Diego) 12-3
The Falcons didn’t necessarily win a big match in order to move up, but they do have a win over Mitty (the Monarchs won in a second meeting) and this weekend they have a chance to win several big matches when they host the annual California Challenge tournament.
5. (6) Long Beach Poly (Long Beach)20-3
Since previous No. 4 Temecula Valley is no longer unbeaten, the Jackrabbits can now be ranked higher. They rolled past Wilson of Long Beach on Tuesday, but having a win against No. 2 Santa Margarita on the ledger will benefit them possibly throughout the season.
6. (8) Redondo Union (Redondo Beach) 13-4
Head coach Tommy Chaffins told the South Bay Daily Breeze this week that injuries to Nalani Iosia (knee), Jasmine Davis (ankle) and Kayla Doig (ankle) have been an issue in recent weeks. This is still a team that was second to national power Assumption of Kentucky at the recent Durango Fall Classic in Las Vegas so that finish also is going to be big rankings factor all season. Redondo plays local rival and state-ranked rival Mira Costa on Thursday of this week.
7. (4) Temecula Valley (Temecula) 13-1
After losing their first match of the season Tuesday to Southwestern League rival Vista Murrieta in one of those thrillers that went back and forth all night, the Golden Bears fell three spots in this week’s rankings. Scores were 29-27, 25-23, 22-25, 25-20. Madison Endsley led Temecula Valley with 20 kills.
8. (10) Central (Fresno) 30-2
Head coach Randy Burris’ girls topped Buchanan of Clovis in a five-game match on Tuesday that probably involved the top two teams in the CIF Central Section. The Bears won 25-17, 19-25, 25-16, 18-25 and 15-11. Mikayla Lewis had 16 kills while Amethyst Harper contributed 10.
9. (7) Marymount (Los Angeles) 15-6
It’s an incredibly busy stretch of games for the Sailors, who lost to Arizona teams Millenium and Mointain Pointe in going 4-2 at the Nike TOC and then came back home and had to play unbeaten Alemany on Monday on a league match. They won that match and are playing in the California Challenge this week. We talked to head coach Cari Klein on Wednesday and she said middle blocking standout Emma Moffet has been out with a concussion. If this team gets all its pieces in place and healthy by the playoffs, it’s still one that could go very far.
10. (20) Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 17-3
This was a team that in the preseason we thought could be No. 2 in NorCal behind Mitty since it was a NorCal Open Division semifinalist last year. The Wildcats now move up into that role after previous state No. 9 St. Ignatius dropped a league match to St. Francis of Mountain View and then in the Christine Craft Memorial Tournament they beat St. Francis. Marin Catholic also took on and beat previous No. 17 Monte Vista (Danville) in the finals of that tourney.
11. (15) Lakewood 14-3
The Lancers move up after topping previous No. 13 Edison of Huntington Beach at the Steve Lewis Volleyfest. This is the 13th year of this event, which is named for the late Lakewood coach who we got to know mainly when his son, Chris Lewis, was the quarterback at Long Beach Poly in the 1990s. A memorable dad to us still to this day.
12. (12) Mira Costa (Manhattan Beach) 7-5
One of the two most recently reported wins by the Mustangs was against a Palos Verdes (PV Estates) team that was mysteriously ranked higher by the Fox Sports Insiders. We could have dropped Costa this week due to Edison of Huntington Beach now being out, but having a scheduled game with higher-ranked Redondo made that move irrelevant.
13. (NR) Vista Murrieta (Murrieta) 11-3
No, we didn’t move the Broncos all the way in front of Temecula Valley in this week’s rankings but they are going in and going in all the way up to No. 13. In their 29-27, 25-23, 22-25 and 25-20 triumph, the Broncos were led by Tiffany Pedersen-Henry with 21 kills and Lexi Hadrych with 20. Head coach Ed Taitano’s club didn’t even have one of its two top setters, Marlee Nunley (out with a concussion), and was able to outlast the Golden Bears regardless.
14. (9) St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 23-5
A loss to St. Francis of Mountain View in the WCAL drops down the Wildcats in this week’s rankings. They came back Tuesday with a win against Presentation of San Jose.
15. (16) Westlake (Westlake Village) 15-0
Wins against Newbury Park and Agoura keep the resume of the Warriors building. Yes, we would agree the schedule so far has not been daunting and many ranked lower or even on the bubble have played much tougher schedules. The team, however, will be in the Redondo tourney later in October so in this case we do know that there will be tests coming up soon.
16. (14) JSerra (San Juan Capistrano) 14-4
Head coach Mike Murphy’s squad lost last week in its only reported outing but it was to No. 2 Santa Margarita. Quality wins on the schedule are still abundant, including those against Lakewood, Corona Santiago, Los Alamitos and San Juan Hills.
17. (NR) Canyon Crest Academy (San Diego) 9-5
The Ravens recorded a 3-0 win over bubble team La Costa Canyon last week and then once we knew they were coming back into this week’s rankings we put them in front of Cathedral Catholic due to a head-to-head win very early in the season. Two of the team’ losses were to out-of-state teams at the Durango Fall Classic and the Ravens also have a win over Corona del Mar.
18. (19) Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) 9-4
It was an easy week for the Dons, who won their only reported match against Our Lady of Peace (San Diego. They, along with many other top San Diego teams, will be playing at this weekend’s California Challenge.
19. (17) Monte Vista (Danville) 20-1
We’re not sure why an untested Mustangs’ team was in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 national rankings, but we’ll keep them in the State Top 20 despite losing their first match of the season to Marin Catholic in the title game of the Christine Craft Memorial Tournament. They do have two wins over WCAL teams (St. Francis & Presentation) and remain favorites in the CIF North Coast Section.
20. (11) Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) 16-4
The Irish hang on to a Top 20 ranking after they lost in the last week to Mitty and Valley Christian (San Jose). The reason they didn’t go all the way out is that they also had a win against bubble team St. Francis (Mountain View). The VC and SF results basically canceled each other out.
TEAMS THAT DROPPED OUT
Previous No. 13 Edison (Huntington Beach); No. 18 Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood) 12-6.
TEAMS ON THE BUBBLE
Alemany (Mission Hills) 19-1
Buchanan (Clovis) 25-5
Carlmont (Belmont) 18-2
Corona del Mar (Newport Beach) 10-4
Huntington Beach 18-5
La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad) 13-4
La Salle (Pasadena) 15-1
Liberty (Bakersfield) 12-6
Los Alamitos 16-7
Palos Verdes (PV Estates) 15-7
Santiago (Corona) 17-4
Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 14-4
St. Francis (Mountain View) 15-6
Valley Christian (San Jose) 12-7