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(Previous rank in parentheses)
(After matches of Saturday, Nov. 11)
1. (1) Torrey Pines (San Diego) 32-3
After winning their fourth straight CIF San Diego Section Open Division title, the Falcons were awarded with the top seed in the CIF Southern California Open Division playoffs. They will meet No. 8 seed and state No. 10 Corona del Mar in Thursday’s first round. Torrey Pines topped state No. 9 Canyon Crest in the section final 25-23, 25-17 and 25-21. Jaden Whitmarsh, Emily Fitzner and Kiara McNulty all played well. The Falcons also are taking a 24-match win streak into regional play.
2. (2) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 34-5
It may have been three straight set wins, but the Monarchs and state No. 4 Marymount of Los Angeles played a nip-and-tuck match last Saturday to decide the CIF Southern Section Division I title. Mater Dei’s scores were 26-24, 26-24 and 25-21. This avenged an earlier loss to Marymount and firmly stamped the Monarchs as the No. 2 seed in the CIF SoCal Open Division. They are playing state No. 14 Cathedral Catholic on Thursday. Siena Secrist (14 kills), Kelsey Campeau (25 digs) and Mia Tuaniga (39 assists) were team leaders.
3. (3) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 34-5
Showing a loss to Mater Dei and a 1-2 record vs. Torrey Pines on their season log, the defending CIF Open Division state champs are the top seed once again for the CIF NorCal Open Division. Mitty, which is hosting St. Francis of Sacramento in its first regional match, gained eligibility for that top seed by beating St. Ignatius of San Francisco in straight sets to win its sixth straight CCS Open Division crown. Middle blocker Julia Devine shined with 17 kills and nine digs in the 25-23, 25-12, 25-19 win.
4. (4) Marymount (Los Angeles) 30-8
With a tough loss to Mater Dei that followed a big win over Redondo, there’s no change for the Sailors’ ranking this week. The girls hope to get another shot at Mater Dei in the CIF SoCal Open Division playoffs, but that would have to be in the semifinals and not the finals since the two are on the same side of the bracket. Marymount is the No. 3 seed and is playing state No. 6 Central of Fresno in the first round on Thursday.
5. (5) Redondo Union (Redondo Beach) 34-5
Since the last rankings were done after the CIFSS D1 semifinals, the Seahawks haven’t played since they lost to Marymount in that round. As expected they were given a high seed for the CIF SoCal Open Division and will get going in that bracket on Thursday at Canyon Crest Academy.
6. (6) Central (Fresno) 40-2
The Grizzlies won the CIF Central Section Division I title with their third match triumph of the season over league rival Buchanan of Clovis. They weren’t seeded higher than San Diego Canyon Crest, however, for the CIF SoCal Open Division playoffs and therefore as a No. 6 seed will have to hit the road Thursday to play No. 3 seed and No. 4 state-ranked Marymount.
7. (7) Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 30-4
As reported by our longtime correspondent Harold Abend in a post done on Sunday night, the Wildcats rolled to the CIF North Coast Section Division III title the night before over Alhambra of Martinez. And as mentioned since the Stockton Classic, head coach Jake Spain’s girls were in line for the second seed in the CIF NorCal Open Division and that’s what happened. Marin Catholic opens the bracket on Thursday at home vs. St. Francis of Sacramento. A possible match with Mitty for the NorCal title wouldn’t be until the final.
8. (9) Santa Margarita (Rancho SM) 30-9
Another symptom of the limit of four teams from the CIF Southern Section being in the Open Division is that the highest-ranked team to lose in the CIFSS D1 quarterfinals becomes the favorite to win the CIF Division I state crown. The Eagles, who lost in their quarterfinal match to Redondo, are that team. They start the SoCal D1 playoffs as the top seed and will play Palisades of Pacific Palisades on Wednesday night.
9. (8) Canyon Crest Academy (San Diego) 26-9
We just did a flip-flop with Santa Margarita and the Ravens in this week’s rankings after they lost to Torrey Pines in the San Diego Open Division final. Although Canyon Crest is in the SoCal Open Division and Santa Margarita is not, the Eagles are higher in our rankings because they have a win against Mater Dei. Canyon Crest doesn’t have a win that can match — at least not yet.
10. (10) Corona del Mar (Newport Beach) 22-7
Like Redondo, which was the other team to lose in the CIFSS D1 semifinals, the Sea Kings weren’t going to be moved in this week’s rankings. Their playoff loss was to Mater Dei and coming into the playoffs they posted a late regular season win against Marymount. All of that tough competition should come into play when CdM travels to play No. 1 Torrey Pines on Thursday in the CIF SoCal Open Division playoffs.
11. (13) Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 33-7
Where this team was going to land in Sunday’s regional pairings was one of the big questions of the day. The section title came in the CIFSS D3 playoffs, but D1 or D2 for the SoCal regionals was probable using competiive equity. It ended up D2 and the Trailblazers are the top seed. Since Sierra Canyon has a recent win over SoCal D1 No. 2 seed Long Beach Poly, picking the team to win a D2 state title may not be premature at all.
12. (12) St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 33-9
We had thought the Wildcats were looking like the No. 3 seed behind Mitty and Marin Catholic for the CIF NorCal Open Division, but Turlock snuck into the mix by winning the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D1 title and also had a head-to-head win over SI from early September. Since then, a lot has happened and SI’s losses have mostly been to Mitty and other top-ranked teams and with a lot of wins in the West Catholic Athletic League. We’d still rank SI higher than Turlock, but understand how head-to-head works. As a result, Turlock is the No. 3 seed, St. Ignatius fell to fourth and now if there’s yet another rematch with Mitty it will be in the NorCal semis and not the finals. The Wildcats host state No. 13 Monte Vista in Thursday’s first round.
13. (18) Monte Vista (Danville) 34-2
Head coach Sarah Dukes Johnson’s team had to go to a fifth set, but emerged with a 17-25, 26-24, 26-24, 20-25, 15-11 win over James Logan of Union City in the CIF North Coast Section Division I championship. Both teams have well over 30 wins, but Monte Vista is the one headed to the NorCal Open Division while Logan is in the NorCal D1 bracket. The Mustangs have to go on the road on Thursday for the first round as well. They are playing No. 4 and state No. 12 St. Ignatius.
14. (11) Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) 23-7
The Dons lost to Canyon Crest Academy in the CIF San Diego Section Open Division semifinals, which causes them to drop in this week’s rankings but not that much. There was a chance the CIF might have gone for Buchanan of Clovis for the SoCal Open Division, but Cathedral Catholic being a D2 state champ from last year probably was too hard to ignore. The Dons were picked for the Open and will now play at state No. 2 Mater Dei on Thursday.
15. (17) Long Beach Poly (Long Beach) 28-6
Yes, we know the Jackrabbits lost to Lakewood the last time they played, but the difference now is that Lakewood is done playing while Poly can still win the CIF Division I state title. That difference is because Poly’s playoff loss was in the quarterfinals while Lakewood’s was in the second round. And as Marymount learned last year, it doesn’t matter what happened during the rest of the season. If a team doesn’t get out of the second round of the CIFSS D1 playoffs, that team is done. Poly opens the CIF SoCal D1 playoffs as the No. 2 seed behind Santa Margarita and on Wednesday plays Ramona of the San Diego Section.
16. (14) Temecula Valley (Temecula) 29-4*
The Golden Bears were the No. 4 seed in the CIFSS D1 playoffs but lost in the second round to Harvard-Westlake. Their season was over at that point, but they have done enough through the entire season to be a likely final State Top 20 team.
17. (1(5 Lakewood 23-5*
This team’s CIFSS D1 second round loss was to San Juan Hills, a team we currently have No. 20. We probably will even move up Lakewood back in front of Long Beach Poly unless the Jackrabbits were to win the CIF Division I state title.
18. (NR) Turlock 33-8
This is a team that hasn’t been on our radar screen too much due to some bad, early season losses. But it’s now time to get going on the Bulldogs. They beat bubble team and top seed St. Francis of Sacramento 25-27, 25-22, 25-21, 25-16 to claim their first-ever CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division I title. We’re still not sure what criteria the CIF used to moved up Turlock into the NorCal Open Division, but once on the board, the team’s win over St. Ignatius in early September (before all those other losses happened) was used to seed the Bulldogs third ahead of the Wildcats. Turlock is a talented bunch with Arizona-bound setter Julia Handy and Pacific-bound outside hitter Jadyn Tubbs and will play state No. 19 Menlo School in its first NorCal match on Thursday.
19. (19) Menlo School (Atherton) 29-5
The Knights lost to Archbishop Mitty in the CCS Open Division semifinals and then had to wait for the seedings on Sunday. Based on their own track record and that of the CCS in the NorCal playoffs, they had to know an Open Division berth was probably coming and it was delivered. Menlo was seeded sixth and will travel on Thursday to face No. 3 seed Turlock.
20. (20) San Juan Hills 23-13
The Stallions are the team that knocked off Lakewood in the CIFSS D1 playoffs and then lost to state No. 2 Mater Dei. That earlier win, though, keeps them going in the CIF Division I state playoffs. San Juan Hills, in fact, is the No. 3 seed in the south and plays on Wednesday against Granada Hills of the L.A. City Section.
TEAMS THAT DROPPED OUT:
Previous No. 16 Buchanan (Clovis).
TEAMS ON THE BUBBLE
Bishop’s (La Jolla) 25-8
BUchanan (Clovis) 33-7
Culver City 30-1
Edison (Huntington Beach) 16-11*
Foothill (Tustin) 21-6*
Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood) 19-10
Huntington Beach 26-8*
James Logan (Union City) 36-4
JSerra (San Juan Capistrano) 19-7*
La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad) 17-13*
Los Alamitos 22-11*
Lutheran (Orange) 18-13
Mira Costa (Manhattan Beach) 11-12*
Palo Alto 23-4
Ponderosa (Shingle Springs) 33-4
Rancho Cucamonga 23-10*
Sacred Heart Cathedral (SF) 22-12
Santa Catalina (Monterey) 25-0
Santiago (Corona) 31-6
St. Francis (Mountain View) 23-13
St. Francis (Sacramento) 33-8
Valley Christian (San Jose) 21-13
Vista Murrieta (Murrieta) 18-8*