NEW Girls VB State Top 20

The five graduating seniors at Marymount of Los Angeles were given flowers and large photos of themselves at recent Senior Night match. Photo: @MHSLAAthletics.

As section playoffs are just getting underway, there is only one new team in this week’s rankings and it just had to go to the team that already has posted the first significant upset. That would be Foothill of Tustin, which took out previous No. 16 JSerra in the first round of the CIF Southern Section D1 playoffs. Staying No. 1 is San Diego Section Open Division top seed Torrey Pines with Mater Dei of Santa Ana right behind.

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(Previous rank in parentheses)
(After matches of Tuesday, Oct. 31)

1. (1) Torrey Pines (San Diego) 29-3
Continuing to end the regular season on a roll, the Falcons beat both Canyon Crest Academy and La Costa Canyon and will now head into the CIF San Diego Section Open Division as top seed. Canyon Crest is the No. 2 seed and when the two played last week it matched the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked teams in the section as well. The team’s first playoff match is Saturday and it will be yet one more encounter with LCC.

2. (2) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 30-5
The Monarchs had a first-round bye in the CIF Southern Section Division I playoffs and will start out their postseason Thursday against Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach, which isn’t in the State Top 20 now but has been earlier in the season.

Kamryn Caoili is a senior leader and explosive player at the net for defending CIF Open Division state champion Archbishop Mitty. Photo: Mark Tennis.


3. (3) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 30-5
A 3-0 sweep gave the Monarchs a win over previous state No. 14 St. Ignatius of San Francisco for the tourney title in the West Catholic Athletic League. Next up for Mitty is the CIF Central Coast Section Open Division playoffs where it is an obvious No. 1 seed. If all goes as planned, St. Ignatius will once again be the opponent in the final (just like last season).

4. (4) Redondo Union (Redondo Beach) 32-4
The Sea Hawks wrapped up their regular season with their second league win of the season over their arch-rivals from Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach. They did not have a bye in the first-round of the CIFSS Division I playoffs and played Tuesday against Flintridge Sacred Heart where it went as expected with an easy triumph.

5. (5) Marymount (Los Angeles) 27-7
No one will have to be reminded about being upset in the early rounds of the CIFSS playoffs since the Sailors had that happen to them just last year in a match vs. Long Beach Poly. They will enter Tuesday’s second-round opposite bubble team Vista Murrieta after getting a first-round bye. The Sailors have won 14 of their last 15 matches including a win over Mater Dei with the only loss to No. 1 Torrey Pines.

6. (6) Temecula Valley (Temecula) 29-3
The Golden Bears were one of three teams to get first-round byes in the CIFSS D1 bracket along with Mater Dei and Marymount. They will play their first match Thursday against a Harvard-Westlake team that just eliminated Ventura and has a lot of experience playing against top teams.

7. (7) Central (Fresno) 37-2
Amethyst Harper led the way with 16 kills as the Grizzlies topped Clovis East of Clovis in their regular season finale. As the top seed and due to byes, Central won’t play in its first CIF Central Section Division I playoff outing until Nov. 7 of next week.

8. (8) Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 27-4
The Wildcats start the postseason as the top seeded team in the CIF North Coast Section Division III playoffs. They are expected to win the title in that division and then would be expected to be chosen for the CIF NorCal Open Division. And as a semifinalist in that division from last year and with a head-to-head win over St. Ignatius of San Francisco from this year, Marin Catholic also seems destined to be the No. 2 seed in that NorCal Open Division.

9. (9) Lakewood 25-4
Head coach Mike Wadley’s girls made it 13 wins in their last 14 matches (with only loss in that span to No. 1 Torrey Pines) by defeating Chaparral of Temecula on Tuesday in the CIFSS D1 playoffs. Lakewood plays state No. 18 San Juan Hills in the second round on Thursday, which means it’s guaranteed there will be a very good team ending its season.

10. (10) Santa Margarita (Rancho SM) 29-8
This team’s recent loss to JSerra (San Juan Capistrano) caused it to miss getting a first-round bye in the CIFSS D1 playoffs. The Eagles played Tuesday and knocked off Beckman of Irvine and will play Thursday against state No. 19 Rancho Cucamonga. Believe it or not but the quarterfinals will be Saturday and if Santa Margarita beats Rancho Cucamonga there’s a good chance it will be playing No. 4 Redondo.

11. (11) Canyon Crest Academy (San Diego) 24-8
This was a team that lost last week, but the Ravens fell to No. 1 Torrey Pines in a regular season playoff tune-up so there was no need to change their ranking. They also are still the No. 2 seed in the CIF San Diego Section Open Division playoffs behind the Falcons.

12. (12) Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 29-7
The Trailblazers are the highest-ranked team in the state out of the CIF Southern Section who are not in that section’s Division I playoff bracket. They are D3 and will open up the playoffs Thursday against Citrus Valley of Redlands. Don’t think, though, that Sierra Canyon also will be D3 for the CIF SoCal and state playoffs. All teams this season will be seeded according to competitive equity and not section divisions. Therefore, there’s a good chance Sierra Canyon will in the SoCal D1 regional bracket.

13. (13) Long Beach Poly (Long Beach) 27-5
Head coach Leland McGrath’s squad topped Aliso Niguel of Aliso Viejo by scores of 25-18, 19-25, 25-21 and 25-21 in Tuesday’s CIFSS Division I playoffs. The Jackrabbits advanced to a second-round matchup Thursday vs. new state No. 20 Foothill of Tustin.

14. (15) Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) 22-6
The Dons received the No. 3 seed for the CIF San Diego Section Open Division and will meet Olympian of Chula Vista in their first playoff match on Saturday night. If projections hold up, they would lose to Canyon Crest in the semifinals and then it would be an interesting call about whether the CIF would take two or three teams from the San Diego Section Open Division up into the SoCal Open Division.

15. (14) St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 31-8
We’ll just do a flip-flop with the Wildcats and Cathedral Catholic this week in the 14 and 15 slots after the Wildcats were swept by No. 3 Archbishop Mitty in the WCAL tourney finals. All of that experience playing in big WCAL matches, of course, should be helpful later on. St. Ignatius is the No. 2 seed in the CIF Central Coast Section Open Division behind the Monarchs and if they get to the finals once again and lose to Mitty once again the Wildcats still will be an easy team to pick for the NorCal Open Division.

16. (17) Corona del Mar (Newport Beach) 20-6
In the survive and advance world of the CIFSS D1 playoffs, that’s just what the Sea Kings did on Tuesday against Trabuco Hills of Mission Viejo. They survived a five-set nail-biter and advanced. The scores were 25-23, 25-23, 22-25, 17-25 and 15-11. Up next will be a second-round match vs. Huntington Beach.

17. (18) Buchanan (Clovis) 31-6
The Bears are the No. 2 seed in the CIF Central Section D1 playoffs behind Central of Fresno, a team they’ve lost two very close matches to in the Tri-Rivers Athletic Conference. A third win when closely matched teams play again always seems to be harder and it’s likely Buchanan will get another crack at the Grizzlies in the section final.

18. (19) San Juan Hills 22-12
Abbey Dayton rang up 19 kills and 11 digs while Katie Lukes had 16 kills as the Stallions won one of the most intriguing first-round matches in the CIFSS D1 playoffs against Los Alamitos. Facing a Griffin squad that had not lost in the first round of the playoffs since 2007, San Juan Hills won by scores of 25-14, 25-20, 26-24. The Stallions were set to play Lakewood next in the second round.

19. (20) Rancho Cucamonga 23-9
The Cougars are yet another of these top 20 type teams from the CIFSS D1 playoffs. In their case, they won their first-round match on Tuesday over Great Oak of Temecula and will now play defending champion Santa Margarita in the second round.

20. (NR) Foothill (Tustin) 21-5
In one of its last matches of the regular season, JSerra of San Juan Capistrano got a win against state-ranked Santa Margarita. In the first round of the CIFSS D1 playoffs, however, the Lions were knocked out in an upset by the Knights. In reversing an earlier loss to JSerra, Foothill recorded a comeback win by taking the final three sets in a 23-25, 19-25, 25-23, 25-23, 15-8 victory. Freshman Rachel Fairbanks had 19 kills and 21 assists for the winners.

TEAM THAT DROPPED OUT
Previous No. 16 JSerra (San Juan Capistrano).

TEAMS ON THE BUBBLE
Culver City 26-1
Edison (Huntington Beach) 16-11*
Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood) 17-9
Huntington Beach 26-7
JSerra (San Juan Capistrano) 19-7*
La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad) 17-12
Los Alamitos 22-11*
Menlo School (Atherton) 28-4
Mira Costa (Manhattan Beach) 11-11
Monte Vista (Danville) 31-2
Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks) 26-7
Palo Alto 23-3
Sacred Heart Cathedral (SF) 22-11
Santiago (Corona) 29-5
St. Francis (Mountain View) 21-12
Valley Christian (San Jose) 17-11
Vista Murrieta (Murrieta) 18-7
Westlake (Westlake VIllage) 24-3

*Season complete.

Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at markjtennis@gmail.com. Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports


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