California teams finish second and third at the monstrous Durango Fall Classic in Las Vegas, but both lost to the same opponent as Assumption of Louisville, Ky., won the title after beating Mater Dei in the semifinals and then Redondo in the finals. Mater Dei, which has a win over Redondo, therefore is still No. 1 in the state. Cathedral Catholic is the biggest mover up to No. 4 while there are many newcomers based on what happened in Vegas.
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(Previous rank in parentheses)
(After matches of Tuesday, Sept. 18)
1. (1) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 22-1
Before heading to Las Vegas for the Durango Fall Classic, the Monarchs played and beat state-ranked Santa Margarita in a Trinity League match. The loss to Assumption may end up preventing a mythical national title, but Mater Dei will be looking to win the nation’s other top invitational, the Nike Tournament of Champions, this weekend in Phoenix.
2. (2) Redondo Union (Redondo Beach) 18-2
After returning from Las Vegas with their second-place finish, the Seahawks played league rival Palos Verdes on Tuesday and won 25-18, 25-14, 25-12. They got squashed in the first game of the title match last Saturday to Assumption 25-10, but played better in the second game before losing 25-21.
3. (3) Torrey Pines (San Diego) 15-2
The Falcons had a strong week in Las Vegas as well. Their only loss in six matches was to Mater Dei and one of their wins was against a Kamehameha squad from Hawaii that was unbeaten heading into the event and was No. 4 in the nation.
4. (20) Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) 6-4
Other than Assumption of Kentucky, the Dons of San Diego were another big story coming out of the big tourney in Las Vegas. They won their pool and then on Saturday in their second game knocked off Walton of Marietta, Ga., which was unbeaten and came into the weekend sitting at No. 1 in both the FloVolleyball FAB 50 and MaxPreps Xcellent 25 national rankings. Cathedral Catholic, which was viewed in the preseason as the main contender to Torrey Pines for the CIF San Diego Section Open Division title, also beat Marymount of Los Angeles during the weekend. That’s why the Dons were jumped up in front of Marymount in this week’s state rankings.
5. (4) Marymount (Los Angeles) 15-5
Despite three losses in Vegas, the Sailors only fall one spot in this week’s rankings. Those losses were to Assumption (No. 1 in nation), Torrey Pines (top 10 in nation and No. 3 in state) and Cathedral Catholic. They also notched a significant win against an Iolani of Hawaii team that beat Walton of Georgia.
6. (9) Mira Costa (Manhattan Beach) 13-4
The Mustangs remain the projected No. 4 team from the CIF Southern Section D1 playoffs behind Mater Dei, Redondo and Marymount. They will be entered along with Mater Dei in this weekend’s Nike TOC in Arizona.
7. (7) Central (Fresno) 26-3
Give the Grizzlies some credit for scheduling a trip to the Durango Fall Classic. The projected CIF Central Section D1 champions got one win against state-ranked Santa Margarita and their losses were to Mater Dei, Iolani (Hawaii) and Mercy (Kentucky). All three of those teams are in the top 25 of this week’s FAB 50 national rankings.
8. (NR) La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad) 10-4
In addition to doing well in Las Vegas, which included a win over previous state No. 5 Marin Catholic, the Mavericks showed real strength in a Tuesday match this week against No. 3 Torrey Pines. They lost but it was a battle to the end as they won the first two games, then lost two and finally fell to the Falcons in a fifth game 15-11.
9. (5) Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 19-2
If you don’t think of Fresno being in Northern California, then the Wildcats remain on top of the region after they lost twice at the Durango Fall Classic. One loss was to La Costa Canyon, another to Skyview of Idaho. THe best win probably would be the one over Teurlings Catholic of Louisiana, which was No. 28 in the FAB 50 coming into the week.
10. (NR) Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks) 11-3
Head coach Kami Ward’s girls are another team making a huge leap this week. In their case it was for avenging a loss to Flintridge Sacred Heart and for going 4-2 at the Durango Fall Classic. The Knights also won a big match on Tuesday night this week against Harvard-Westlake and they are still the only team to get a win against Westlake of Westlake Village.
11. (NR) Westlake (Westlake Village) 25-1
No, the Warriors didn’t go to Las Vegas but they have a win over a Harvard-Westlake squad that did go and did well. It’s a team that was thought to be a year away last season and may have indeed arrived. It still may be hard in the CIFSS top division, however.
12. (NR) Harvard-Westlake (N. Hollywood) 19-7
The Warriors have some losses, but two of those in Vegas were to national powers Walton of Georgia and Xavier Prep of Arizona. They also just lost to Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks in a classic five-game thriller and have wins against Mira Costa, Long Beach Poly (twice) and in Vegas also beat nationally ranked Lone Peak of Highland, Utah.
13. (6) Vista Murrieta (Murrieta) 13-4
Some of the quality early-season wins by the Broncos still keeps them within the top 15 of the rankings, but the losses they suffered in Las Vegas were not good. As these rankings were being done, head coach Ed Taitano’s club was playing newly ranked Temecula Valley in a Southwestern League game.
14. (19) St. Francis (Sacramento) 10-2
Junior Alexa Edwards leads the Troubadours with 222 kills and is one of the top players in Northern California. St. Francis didn’t go to Vegas but is looking like it will be a prime-time player out of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section all season long.
15. (NR) Temecula Valley (Temecula) 7-2
A win on Monday of this week over previous No. 10 Great Oak pushes the Golden Bears back up into the rankings. Senior Jordyn Amoy is averaging more than 10 assists per set and is one of the top setters in the state.
16. (NR) Village Christian (Sun Valley) 16-7
If there’s a team that is not from the CIFSS in Division I and can beat CIFSS teams Lakewood and Sierra Canyon in addition to two-time CIF Open Division state champ Archbishop Mitty (which is what the Crusaders did last week) then that is a team that can win a state title in a division lower than Division I.
17. (NR) La Jolla 17-2
Head coach Kelly Drobeck’s squad earns its new state ranking for posting a head-to-head win over previous No. 8 Bishop’s. The Vikings also have wins over the two teams they’ve lost to — Del Norte and Scripps Ranch — although not both were avenging wins.
18. (17) Foothill (Tustin) 18-3
We thought about dropping out the Knights with all the who-beat-who scenarios from Las Vegas, but they didn’t lose last week so they stay. Twin sisters Grace and Eliza Cannon lead the squad with 109 and 99 kills, respectively.
19. (8) Bishop’s (La Jolla) 9-1
The Knights still have their early-season win over Cathedral Catholic, but now have to drop behind La Jolla in the rankings. They will be playing this weekend at the Nike TOC in Arizona.
20. (13) Sacred Heart Cathedral (S.F.) 16-5
It was mixed results for the Irish at the Durango Fall Classic, but they did get a win there over another top NorCal team (Notre Dame of Belmont) and already this week have won a big match in the West Catholic Athletic League against arch-rival St. Ignatius.
Previous No. 10 Great Oak (Temecula); No. 11 San Juan Hills (SJ Capistrano); No. 12 St. Francis (Mountain View); No. 14 Santa Margarita (Rancho SM); No. 15 Lakewood; No. 16 Notre Dame (Belmont); No. 18 Archbishop Mitty (San Jose).
On The Bubble
Aliso Niguel (Aliso Viejo) 7-2
Buchanan (Clovis) 17-4
Canyon Crest (San Diego) 9-6
Great Oak (Temecula) 13-5
James Logan (Union City) 11-7
Long Beach Poly (Long Beach) 10-6
Notre Dame (Belmont) 11-5
Palo Alto 11-3
Ponderosa (Shingle Springs) 13-2
San Juan Hills (SJ Cap) 8-4
Santa Margarita (Rancho SM) 14-9
Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 18-8
St. Francis (Mountain View) 16-4
St. Joseph (Lakewood) 20-4