Of course, we were going to wait until after No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana) and No. 2 Redondo Union (Redondo Beach) played each other in Orange County on Wednesday night. The Monarchs won in four games to further solidify its status in California. Teams on the rise the most from the preseason are new No. 5 Marin Catholic, new No. 6 Vista Murrieta, new No. 9 Great Oak (Temecula), new No. 11 Bishop’s (La Jolla) and new No. 13 St. Francis (Mountain View).
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(Previous rank in parentheses)
(After matches of Wednesday, Sept. 5)
1. (1) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 13-0
According to tweets from Damian Calhoun of the Los Angeles Media Group, Natalie Berty was sensational for the Monarchs in their win against Redondo with 31 kills. Libero Mandalay Rennon also has been outstanding this season. She was the OC Register Player of the Week for her work at the Dave Mohs tourney and she got an ace to give Mater Dei the first game on Wednesday 25-22. They won the match in four games.
2. (2) Redondo Union (Redondo Beach) 8-1
One road loss to Mater Dei isn’t going to drop the Sea Hawks in the California rankings. They took the second game of the match 25-23 and were similarly in the third game before falling 27-25. It was 25-20 in the fourth game. Jasmine Davis topped Redondo with 20 kills. We couldn’t determine in the short time window we had to do these rankings whether Redondo’s USA Youth National Team member, Kami Miner, played against the Monarchs. The tourney in Honduras that the USA team and Miner played in ended last Saturday.
3. (4) Torrey Pines (San Diego) 6-1
The Falcons, who like Redondo have lost only to Mater Dei, move up into the third spot for posting a win since the first rankings over previous No. 3 Marymount. Torrey Pines has a huge match on Thursday night against Cathedral Catholic, which before the season was expected to be the CIF San Diego Section’s No. 2 team.
4. (2) Marymount (Los Angeles) 9-2
There may not be much of a change with the top four teams in the state all season. Head coach Cari Klein’s girls won a significant match on Tuesday when they faced state-ranked Santa Margarita and prevailed 25-23, 25-19 and 25-19.
5. (9) Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 10-0
With two-time defending Open Division state champ Archbishop Mitty taking an early loss, the Wildcats’ strong start pushes them up into the No. 1 ranking for Northern California. One of their early wins also has come over St. Ignatius of San Francisco, which was the same team they beat in last year’s NorCal Open Division semifinals.
6. (NR) Vista Murrieta (Murrieta) 6-1
The Broncos have emerged as a major contender in the CIFSS from the Inland Empire. They won all their matches at the Dave Mohs tourney except for the one against state No. 1 Mater Dei and they have an early league win over Great Oak of Temecula (which has three losses but has beaten some state-ranked opponents as well).
7. (5) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 6-1
In a replay of last season, which obviously ended very well, the Monarchs dropped a match at the Milpitas Spikefest. They lost one last year to Carlmont of Belmont and this year lost one to Notre Dame of Belmont. The best win so far may be the one against preseason No. 13 Menlo School.
8. (8) Central (Fresno) 12-0
The Grizzlies rolled to another win in the CIF Central Section on Wednesday night over Centennial of Bakersfield. They’ve also won the Clovis Varsity tourney. How high they may go will likely depend on what happens when the team travels to the Durango Classic in Las Vegas in two weeks.
9. (NR) Great Oak (Temecula) 7-3
Like Marymount, the Wolves also had a big match on Tuesday night. In their case, it was against previous No. 10 San Juan Hills (San Juan Capistrano) and they won by taking three of four games from the Stallions.
10. (10) San Juan Hills (San Juan Capistrano) 5-3
We liked the Stallions in the preseason for their returning players and they started out with quality wins against JSerra, Orange Lutheran and Huntington Beach combined with a loss to Santa Margarita. Since then, they avenged the loss to the Eagles, dropped a match to No. 1 Mater Dei and then lost on the road on Tuesday night at Great Oak.
11. (NR) Bishop’s (La Jolla) 7-0
An early season win over Cathedral Catholic of San Diego (which was No. 2 in the preseason in San Diego) and not losing in any other match so far has pushed the Knights way up there in this week’s rankings. One of the team’s leaders is sophomore Brooke Buchner, a player who has committed to play for the beach team at UCLA.
12. (6) Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) 1-1
The Dons have an early win over Santa Fe Christian and an early loss to Bishop’s and are playing No. 3 Torrey Pines this week. Temecula Valley transfer Maddie Endsley hasn’t played yet.
13. (NR) St. Francis (Mountain View) 9-2
After league rival Archbishop Mitty lost at the Milpitas Spikefest, the Lancers emerged with the title. Their two losses have come to No. 4 Marymount and No. 9 Great Oak during a trip to Southern California.
14. (NR) Santa Margarita (Rancho SM) 9-5
Head coach Katy Daly’s girls have been up-and-down so far, but at this juncture of the rankings it gets hard to find any team that doesn’t have a bad loss. The squad’s best wins have been against San Juan Hills, Lakewood and Foothill of Tustin.
15. (11) Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) 6-1
After Notre Dame of Belmont upset Mitty at the Milpitas Spikefest, the Irish took out Notre Dame in a 2-0 match before they lost to No. 13 St. Francis of Mountain View. They already have wins this week against Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland and Lincoln of San Francisco.
16. (NR) Lakewood 7-3
Senior Julia Crawford has been a great player so far this season for the Lancers. All three of their losses are to higher-ranked squads (Santa Margarita, Redondo & Mater Dei) with a big win against Harvard-Westlake. The match went to five games against Redondo as well.
17. (NR) Foothill (Tustin) 13-3
Two of the Knights’ losses are to Mater Dei and the other one has been to Santa Margarita. They have handed Aliso Niguel its only loss and have other quality wins against Tesoro (Las Flores) and Long Beach Poly.
18. (NR) Notre Dame (Belmont) 7-1
Sophomore Abby Miller and senior Vanessa Pan have been leading the Tigers in kills. The team already has a win over two-time defending CIF Open Division champ Mitty with a loss to Sacred Heart Cathedral. No, we didn’t rank Notre Dame ahead of Mitty yet, but the Tigers do get to go up.
19. (NR) St. Francis (Sacramento) 10-2
The Troubadours had an early loss to Rocklin, which they later avenged. They also now have a win over Ponderosa that makes them No. 1 in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section. Their only other loss is to out-of-state Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas.
20. (NR) Mira Costa (Manhattan Beach) 7-4
For this last spot, we’re including the Mustangs since they were showing at No. 4 in the CIFSS Division I rankings heading into this week. This is despite having a loss to Harvard-Westlake. They have played a very strong schedule and have two wins over a Village Christian (Sun Valley) squad that has been No. 1 in the CIFSS Division III rankings.
Previous No. 7 Temecula Valley (Temecula); No. 12 St. Ignatius (San Francisco); No. 13 Menlo School (Atherton); No. 15 Corona del Mar (Newport Beach); No. 16 Buchanan (Clovis); No. 18 Canyon Crest Academy (San Diego); No. 18 Los Alamitos; No. 19 Ponderosa (Shingle Springs); No. 20 JSerra (SJ Capistrano).
On The Bubble
Aliso Niguel (Aliso Viejo) 6-1
Buchanan (Clovis) 14-4
Garces (Bakersfield) 3-1
Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood) 13-3
Long Beach Poly (Long Beach) 9-4
Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks) 6-0
Ponderosa (Shingle Springs) 10-2
Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 10-5
St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 8-2
St. Joseph (Lakewood) 9-4
Westlake (Westlake Village) 15-1