On the eve of the hugely prestigious Durango Fall Classic in Las Vegas, two-time defending CIF Open Division champion Archbishop Mitty has to take a tumble in this week’s rankings after losing in three straight games to league rival Sacred Heart Cathedral on Tuesday night. The top seven teams in this week’s State Top 20 will be in Vegas and none of the seven will be playing each other in pool play on Friday. Sacred Heart Cathedral, however, will be in the same pool with No. 4 Marymount fresh off its big win over Mitty.
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(Previous rank in parentheses)
(After matches of Tuesday, Sept. 11)
1. (1) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 15-0
We waited one extra day last week to account for the Monarchs playing and defeating No. 2 Redondo. They added two more wins since then. At the Durango Fall Classic, MD will be in the same pool at James Logan (Union City) and Flintridge Sacred Heart (La Canada). Flintridge Sacred Heart just beat Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks on Tuesday, handing the Knights their first loss of the season.
2. (2) Redondo Union (Redondo Beach) 10-1
Head coach Tommy Chaffins’ girls will have one match on Thursday prior to their Vegas trip. Redondo only dropped a few spots in this week’s Flo50 national rankings, basically creating room so the first four teams in those rankings would all be Durango tourney-bound unbeaten teams Walton of Georgia, Assumption of Kentucky, Mater Dei and Kamehameha of Hawaii.
3. (3) Torrey Pines (San Diego) 8-1
The highlight of the past week for the Falcons was a 3-1 win in a match against Cathedral Catholic of San Diego, which was seen as perhaps the strongest challenger to their throne this season as the top team from the CIF San Diego Section. Torrey Pines will be in the same pool in Las Vegas as Notre Dame of Belmont, which is the team that gave Archbishop Mitty its first loss at the Milpitas Spikefest two weekends ago.
4. (4) Marymount (Los Angeles) 11-2
The Sailors are another California team that seems to be in a good flow heading into the Durango Fall Classic. Marymount is playing its pool matches on Friday nearby where Mater Dei will be at Palo Verde High. One team that the Sailors need to worry about is Sacred Heart Cathedral of San Francisco, which is moving up to No. 13 in the state this week after dispatching of previous No. 7 Archbishop Mitty on Tuesday.
5. (5) Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 12-0
As we’ve known since the beginning of the season, the Wildcats are going to be facing their biggest tests at this week’s Durango Fall Classic. They will be in a pool on Friday at Palo Verde that seems winnable, but we admit we don’t know the other out-of-state squads that are in it.
6. (6) Vista Murrieta (Murrieta) 8-1
We wonder if those at the Durango Fall Classic knew at the start of the season that the Broncos were going to be this good. But since they don’t place teams into pools at that event until this week (Tuesday to be exact), their strong start has been accounted for. Vista Murrieta isn’t in the same pool as any other nationally ranked team. Rancho Cucamonga (also Inland Empire) and host school Durango are in.
7. (8) Central (Fresno) 21-0
We’ll see if the extra number of matches that the Grizzlies have played will help them at the Durango Fall Classic or hurt them because none of the 21 are from the CIF Southern Section’s top division or the Bay Area.
8. (11) Bishop’s (La Jolla) 8-0
The Knights, who have that early season win against Cathedral Catholic, are not going to be at the Durango Fall Classic. Later on, though, they are slated to be in the Nike Tournament of Champions in Arizona.
9. (20) Mira Costa (Manhattan Beach) 10-4
It took five games, but the Mustangs survived tough league match with rival Palos Verdes on Tuesday night. They move way up to go along with the CIFSS rankings and because a previously unreported win over Great Oak is now being shown. That can happen with tournament matches early in the season.
10. (9) Great Oak (Temecula) 11-4
It’s still just a slight drop this week for the Wolf Pack, who have to stay in front of San Juan Hills and new NorCal No. 2 St. Francis of Mountain View due to head-to-head wins.
11. (10) San Juan Hills (SJ Capistrano) 8-3
The Stallions traveled to Trabuco Hills on Tuesday night, a team certainly that was capable of beating them. They prevailed 25-20, 25-19 and 25-20 and although they aren’t moving up this week they sure could next week. That’s because on Tuesday San Juan Hills is playing No. 4 Marymount.
12. (13) St. Francis (Mountain View) 12-2
On the opening night of games in the West Catholic Athletic League, the Lancers topped Valley Christian of San Jose. They are moving up because in another WCAL matchup it was previous No. 7 Archbishop Mitty losing to Sacred Heart Cathedral. Both Lancer losses are to SoCal teams and there’s the title of the Milpitas Spikefest to consider as well.
13. (15) Sacred Heart Cathedral (S.F.) 11-1
The lone loss by the Irish still is the one to St. Francis at the Milpitas Spikefest. They defeated Mitty on Tuesday in straight sets 25-13, 25-15 and 25-17 and at the Durango Fall Classic will be in the same pool as state No. 4 Marymount.
14. (14) Santa Margarita (Rancho SM) 11-5
The Eagles got past Orange Lutheran in four games on Tuesday night behind McKenna Morgan’s 11 kills. They will be at the Durango Fall Classic and are in the same pool as nationally ranked Sacred Heart Academy of Louisville, Ky.
15. (16) Lakewood 10-3
Speaking of teams from Kentucky, the Lancers also will have to win their pool at the Durango Fall Classic over a different one from that state — Mercy of Louisville. Lakewood also has a 3-0 win since the last rankings against Corona del Mar of Newport Beach.
16. (18) Notre Dame (Belmont) 8-1
Coach Jen Agresti’s girls kept on winning after their triumph over Mitty and subssequent loss to Sacred Heart Cathedral at the Milpitas Spikefest. At the Durango Fall Classic, Notre Dame will be in the same pool as state No. 3 Torrey Pines.
17. (17) Foothill (Tustin) 17-3
Since the last rankings were done, Foothill has notched wins against Laguna Beach, St. Margaret’s (SJ Capistrano) and Tuesday night vs. Canyon of Anaheim.
18. (7) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 7-2
The scores of the 3-0 loss to Sacred Heart Cathedral on Tuesday demand that the Monarchs have to drop behind Notre Dame of Belmont in this week’s rankings (head-to-head loss) and it could have been more. We just want to see how they bounce back in Las Vegas. At the Durango Fall Classic, Mitty will be hard-pressed to win in a pool that includes national No. 4 Kamehameha of Honolulu.
19. (19) St. Francis (Sacramento) 14-2
There was no room to move up the Troubadours after their win over arch-rival Christian Brothers. They also won on Tuesday vs. Elk Grove and remain the top team from the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section.
20. (12) Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) 1-2
Going this far down after a loss to Torrey Pines may be harsh, but hardly any other ranked teams last week lost and the alternative would have been to drop Mitty even further than we did. The Dons could be in a pool at the Durango Fall Classic that they can win. It seems like they are seeded second in it behind Queen Creek of Arizona.
On The Bubble
Aliso Niguel (Aliso Viejo) 6-2
Buchanan (Clovis) 15-4
Flintridge Sacred Heart (La Canada) 9-2
Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood) 13-4
Long Beach Poly (Long Beach) 11-4
Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks) 7-1
Ponderosa (Shingle Springs) 11-2
Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 12-5
St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 13-2
St. Joseph (Lakewood) 11-4
Westlake (Westlake Village) 17-1
Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at email@example.com. Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports