Mater Dei ventures to Marymount and takes its fifth loss, which then created the difficulty of either leaving the Monarchs at No. 1 because they still have a head-to-head win over previous No. 2 Archbishop Mitty or moving up Mitty regardless. This week’s rankings also had to account for Lakewood beating Long Beach Poly and for previous No. 17 Monte Vista of Danville getting upset right out of the gates at the Stockton Classic.
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(Previous rank in parentheses)
(After matches of Tuesday, Oct. 17)
1. (2) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 24-4
The answer is yes we will go ahead and put Mitty in the No. 1 position after previous No. 1 Mater Dei suffered an upset loss to Marymount of Los Angeles. This is despite Mitty taking a loss to MD back in early September. It’s not like Mitty has never been No. 1 in the state before. Last year’s team won the first-ever CIF Open Division state title and after the Monarchs won the Stockton Classic title last weekend even without one of their best players (Nicole Liddle on a recruiting trip) they look like strong favorites to be in the CIF Open Division state final again. Mitty also has a win over Marymount, beat Torrey Pines the second time it played that team and basically is rounding into shape for a strong postseason run. The Monarchs also will get tested this weekend at the Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions. They lost in that event last year to Ventura.
2. (1) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 28-5
Dropping the Monarchs any further than second, however, after the loss to Marymount just didn’t look right, either. This is a team, after all, that has gone 2-1 against Santa Margarita, beat Mitty head-to-head, won the Nike TOC title in Arizona and was in the semifinals at Durango before losing to national powerhouse Assumption of Louisville, Kentucky.
3. (3) Torrey Pines (San Diego) 22-3
After winning the title at the California Challenge the previous week over Santa Margarita, the Falcons had to play arch-rival La Costa Canyon and were pushed to brink before prevailing with a 3-2 match win.
4. (5) Santa Margarita (Rancho SM) 26-7
Devon Chang had 21 assists and Sarah Ciszek had 10 kills as the Eagles topped Rosary Academy in their only reported outing of the week. They will close the regular season with matches against JSerra and Orange Lutheran.
5. (6) Redondo Union (Redondo Beach) 19-4
The Sea Hawks will be hosting their own Redondo Power Classic this weekend. They are one of several teams that is working to get all of their pieces healthy and humming for a playoff run. They move up one spot due to previous No. 4 Long Beach Poly now having to back behind Lakewood.
6. (9) Marymount (Los Angeles) 24-7
The Sailors have now beaten both Mater Dei and Redondo this season and have shown that at full strength and playing rested and well will be very tough for any team to face in the playoffs. Head coach Cari Klein and many of her players also are very aware of their early exit last season in the CIFSS D1 bracket. That should help them stay focused and determined for this year’s postseason.
7. (8) Central (Fresno) 34-2
Junior standout Mikayla Lewis had 14 kills as the Grizzlies won on Tuesday of this week against Clovis North 3-0. That further set up their match on Thursday against Buchanan. A Buchanan win would likely create a tie for the Tri-River Athletic Conference title.
8. (7) Temecula Valley (Temecula) 27-3
It’s just a slight drop for the Golden Bears this week. Their loss in the semifinals of Hudl Southern California Invitational was to a Perry of Gilbert, Ariz., squad that later won the title. Perry also moved up to No. 3 in Arizona after the tourney and went into this week’s Flo50 national rankings.
9. (10) Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 23-4
We saw the Wildcats play twice last Saturday at the Stockton Classic. They beat state-ranked St. Ignatius in the semifinals in a match that went to a third game and then seemed to run out of gas in the championship vs. No. 1 Mitty. Playing the Monarchs in a nip-and-tuck first game, however, showed how strong this group can be in the upcoming CIF NOrth Coast Section playoffs.
10. (11) Lakewood 24-4
The 2016 Long Beach Press-Telegram Player of the Year, Destynie Viliamu, dominated for the Lancers in their five-game match win on Tuesday over previous No. 4 Long Beach Poly. Viliamu, who played but was impacted by a sprained ankle when the two teams played earlier in the season, had 24 kills, four digs and three blocks in a 20-25, 25-22, 25-23, 22-25, 15-11 triumph over the Jackrabbits.
11. (4) Long Beach Poly (Long Beach) 23-1
Allanah Cutler had 15 kills and Onye Ofoegbue had 13 during the Jackrabbits’ loss to Lakewood. The two teams are now expected to share the Moore League title. Poly will be one of the other top teams in this weekend’s Redondo Power Classic.
12. (12) St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 29-6
After head coach David Huan’s girls lost in that difficult, close semifinal match to No. 9 Marin Catholic in the Stockton Classic semifinals, they ended the weekend with a win over Pleasant Grove of Elk Grove and then started this week with a WCAL victory against St. Francis of Mountain View.
13. (13) Mira Costa (Manhattan Beach) 9-7
The Mustangs topped Bay League rival and bubble team Palos Verdes for a second time last week and still have a second league match remaining against state No. 5 Redondo Union.
14. (14) Westlake (Westlake Village) 19-0
Head coach Ernest Rittenhouse’s squad captured its last two matches against league opponents Thousand Oaks and Newbury Park to remain unbeaten. The Warriors will face Agoura on Thursday before they head to the Redondo Power Classic on Friday. Needless to say, given the lack of much elite competition faced so far, how Westlake does with its unbeaten record in this tourney will be one of the biggest questions of the upcoming weekend.
15. (15) Canyon Crest Academy (San Diego) 21-7
This one isn’t included in their record above, but just see that the Ravens had defeated La Costa Canyon on Wednesday night and did it with a 3-0 sweep. If they have another big win next Wednesday, that will be a bit more important since that match is against No. 3 Torrey Pines.
16. (16) Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) 17-5
In their last 11 games, the Dons have won 10 and the only loss in that stretch has been to state No. 4 Santa Margarita. Last year’s CIF D2 state champions will be on the road this weekend at the Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions.
17. (19) Buchanan (Clovis) 29-5
The second match of the Tri-River Athletic Conference season against state No. 7 Central of Fresno will take place on Thursday of this week. The Bears took it to a fifth game in the first meeting and generally have been rolling in all of their other matches over the past month.
18. (18) Vista Murrieta (Murrieta) 14-4
The Broncos will play Temecula Valley a second time in the Southwestern League on Thursday. Although they beat the Golden Bears the first time, a subsequent loss to Great Oak means that the winner on Thursday will likely win the league title. Vista Murrieta will then head to the Santa Barbara TOC.
19. (20) Corona del Mar (Newport Beach) 16-4
Yet another team going to Santa Barbara that potentially could play No. 1 Archbishop Mitty is the Sea Kings. The highlight of their last week was winning a reschedule game against Bckman of Irvine. Beckman is only 13-14, but in another instance of how strong SoCal girls vball is one of those wins is against Leon of Tallahassee, Fla., which has been one of the top five teams in Florida.
20. (NR) Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 22-6
After the Trailblazers topped Sacred Heart Cathedral of San Francisco and La Costa Canyon at the California Challenge tourney, we wanted to move them into the Top 20 but just had to get in Buchanan and Corona del Mar. Buchanan also was a team to beat Sierra Canyon earlier in the season. Head coach Stefanie Wigfall’s girls won two more matches last week and now gets in for previous No. 17 Monte Vista of Danville, which was upset by Pleasant Grove of Elk Grove at the Stockton Classic. The Trailblazers will be at the Redondo Power Classic this weekend.
TEAMS THAT DROPPED OUT
Previous No. 17 Monte Vista (Danville).
TEAMS ON THE BUBBLE
Carlmont (Belmont) 22-2
Culver City 23-1
Edison (Huntington Beach) 16-9
Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood) 15-8
Huntington Beach 23-7
JSerra (SJ Capistrano) 18-6
La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad) 17-10
Los Alamitos 18-10
Menlo School (Atherton) 25-4
Monte Vista (Danville) 27-2
Palos Verdes (PV Estates) 17-9
Sacred Heart Cathedral (SF) 21-9
Santiago (Corona) 27-5
St. Francis (Mountain View) 17-8
Valley Christian (San Jose) 14-10