NEW Girls VB State Top 20 Rankings

Junior libero Korie Lynch has been one of top players this season for Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland, which is playing for CIF D1 state title vs. Temecula Valley. Photo: @ODowdVolleyball /

The 2018 CIF state championships are set for this weekend at Rancho Santiago College: Mater Dei vs. Central of Fresno for Open Division, Temecula Valley vs. Bishop O’Dowd for Division I and Village Christian vs. Los Altos for D2. There are additional state finals, but none of those squads are on the bubble for these rankings. Some of Tuesday’s regional finals were fantastic, especially Mater Dei coming from behind to top Marymount.



(Previous rank in parentheses)
(After matches of Tuesday, Nov. 13)
*Indicates season complete.

1. (1) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 42-2
Facing a Marymount of Los Angeles team that the Monarchs had beaten on Nov. 3 for the CIF Southern Section Division I crown, it was a dire situation when they lost the first two sets of Tuesday’s CIF SoCal Open Division regional final to the Sailors. But head coach Dan O’Dell’s girls got it going in the third set for a 25-19 win, took the fourth 25-18 and kept it going in the decisive fifth with a 15-7 win. Mater Dei earned a berth in the CIF Open Division state final for Saturday and will be looking to complete a quest that came up one win short last year with a loss in the same final to Archbishop Mitty of San Jose. Central of Fresno, the NorCal Open Division winner and a team that the Monarchs topped in two sets at the Durango Fall Classic in September, will be the opponent in this week’s state final.

2. (3) Marymount (Los Angeles) 34-10*
After losing to previous No. 2 Torrey Pines twice earlier in the season, the Sailors knocked off the Falcons last Saturday in the CIF SoCal Open Division semifinals. Although they couldn’t hold on against Mater Dei on Tuesday, we’ll keep Marymount in the No. 2 spot for not only beating the Falcons in the match that mattered the most but for being runner-up to Mater Dei in both the CIFSS D1 and CIF SoCal Open brackets. The only way that changes would be if Mater Dei were to get upset in the state championship.

3. (2) Torrey Pines (San Diego) 33-4*
It’s been well-known for many weeks leading into the CIF SoCal Open Division playoffs that the San Diego Open Division winner likely was going to get two matches at home leading into the regional final. Torrey Pines was that team and still couldn’t get past Marymount of Los Angeles in the regional semifinals. The visiting Sailors prevailed, thus ending the season for the Falcons.

Amethyst Harper had an outstanding all-around match when Central of Fresno topped Buchanan in NorCal Open Division final. Photo: Mark Tennis.

4. (4) Redondo Union (Redondo Beach)

This is likely going to be the final ranking in the state for the Seahawks. Their loss in the CIF SoCal Open Division playoffs came in the semifinals last Saturday to No. 1 Mater Dei. Their loss in the CIFSS D1 playoffs also came in the semifinals but that was to No. 2 Marymount. Redondo won its first round match of the CIF SoCal Open Division playoffs over No. 5 Cathedral Catholic.

5. (5) Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) 27-8*
We thought about moving up CIF Open Division finalist Central of Fresno into the fifth slot, but Cathedral Catholic still has several more impressive wins on its resume, including one against Torrey Pines and another when Walton of Marietta, Ga., was the No. 1 team in the nation according to some polls. The Dons lost to Torrey Pines later on in the CIF San Diego Section playoffs and lost to Redondo Union in the CIF SoCal regional playoffs.

6. (8) Central (Fresno) 39-5
Just call the Grizzlies the road warriors. They had to win at James Logan of Union City and then knocked off previous No. 6 Sacred Heart Cathedral of San Francisco in the city just to get to Tuesday’s CIF NorCal Open Division final. That match ended up being just across town at Buchanan and this time Central won 25-23, 25-22, 28-26. Makayla Lewis had 20 kills while Amethyst Harper had 13 kills, 11 digs and two blocks to lead the way. Central’s girls will now travel south on Saturday for their first-ever CIF state championship appearance. It will be in the Open Division and will be against No. 1 Mater Dei.

7. (7) Buchanan (Clovis) 35-8*
The Bears will always have the CIF Central Section D1 title to celebrate, but they couldn’t beat league rival Central of Fresno a third time to gain a trip to Orange County for the CIF Open Division state final. They had lost to the Grizzlies once in league, then beat them the second time around in league and then again in the section championship. The fourth match wasn’t the charm. While each set was close, Central won three sets to none and punched its ticket to Rancho Santiago.

8. (6) Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) 31-7*
Coming from the same league as two-time CIF Open Division state champ Archbishop Mitty, the Irish were probably the favorite by many to get into this year’s Open Division state final as the NorCal representative. In another close match in the NorCal Open semis last Saturday, however, this time head coach Margi Biema’s girls couldn’t come through. Visiting Central of Fresno won that match and ended the season for SHC.

9. (10) Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 33-11*
Season complete. The Trailblazers were the other semifinalist in the CIFSS D1 playoffs along with Mater Dei, Marymount and Redondo. They also were in the SoCal Open Division, but had to play No. 1 seed Mater Dei in the first round and lost. With previous No. 9 Marin Catholic having to fall out of the top 10, Sierra Canyon gets to come up one spot in this week’s rankings and may get to come up one more depending on what happens in the state finals.

10. (18) Temecula Valley (Temecula) 23-7
As explained last week, we were keeping the Golden Bears behind league rival Vista Murrieta in our rankings since VM won the Southwestern League title by two games. This week, though, with the CIF state finals beckoning and Temecula Valley seemingly poised to win the D1 state crown, we’ll get them much higher. The Golden Bears are playing new No. 19 Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland for the state title. In the first two years of the CIF Open Division format for volleyball, the SoCal team has won the D1 state title easily. Temecula Valley-O’Dowd might be different.

11. (11) Foothill (Tustin) 25-5*
There are fifth games in a huge match and then there is the fifth game that the Knights played in vs. Temecula Valley in Tuesday’s CIF SoCal Division I championship. Foothill had lost the first two sets of the match 25-22, 26-24 but then roared back to win the third and fourth sets 25-21, 25-13 to set up a fifth set tiebreaker. The two teams went back and forth, but in the end the Knights were on the short end of a 17-15 score. Due to the nature of that match and having a head-to-head win over Long Beach Poly, there was no change this week to Foothill’s state ranking.

12. (13) Long Beach Poly (Long Beach) 29-9*
Season complete. The Jackrabbits move back to the spot they were in two weeks ago. Their season ended with a loss to No. 1 Mater Dei in the opening round of the CIF SoCal Open Division playoffs.

13. (14) Mira Costa (Manhattan Beach)

Season complete. Costa played perhaps the toughest schedule in the state and for many weeks was the fourth team in the rankings from the CIFSS D1 playoff grouping. The team lost in the first round of the CIFSS D1 playoffs to Long Beach Poly.

14. (9) Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 37-4*
When the season began, the Wildcats probably weren’t thinking their season would require a win at a place like Buchanan of Clovis to move on in the CIF NorCal Open Division. But with the two CIF Central Section teams placed in the north for the first time this season, that became a reality and in last Saturday’s regional semifinals the season ended for Marin Catholic at Buchanan. With the lack of other major quality wins, the Wildcats’ state ranking also takes a hit and it may have to behind CIF D2 state finalist Bishop O’Dowd as well for next week’s final rankings.

15. (15) San Juan Hills (SJ Capistrano) 17-9*
Season complete. The Stallions beat Southwestern League champion Vista Murrieta in the CIFSS D1 playoffs before losing to No. 4 Redondo in the quarterfinals. They also were in the CIF SoCal Open Division where they lost in the opening round to No. 3 Torrey Pines.

16. (16) Vista Murrieta (Murrieta) 26-7*
Season complete. If Temecula Valley wins the CIF D1 state title, we’ll have to have the Golden Bears higher in the final rankings despite Vista Murrieta winning the Southwestern League title. The Broncos lost to San Juan Hills in the first round of the CIFSS D1 playoffs and therefore weren’t eligible to play in the CIF state playoffs.

17. (17) Village Christian (Sun Valley) 37-9
We’ve thought of the Crusaders as a strong favorite to win the CIF D2 state title this year for a few weeks and they now only need to beat 33-8 Los Altos this weekend to get that done. They had to battle into the fifth set to get past Santa Fe Christian in the SoCal D2 semis but in Tuesday’s regional final got past Quartz Hill in straight sets.

18. (19) James Logan (Union City) 32-8*
Season complete. Head coach Matt Guzman’s girls went out in the first round of the CIF NorCal Open Division playoffs but that was in a tough match to Central of Fresno and the team they lost to is still going and will play Mater Dei in this week’s state final. Logan also had a head-to-head win over CIF NorCal D1 champion Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland.

19. (NR) Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 31-6
We’ll slide the Dragons right behind James Logan in this week’s state rankings as they prepare to play No. 10 Temecula Valley in the CIF D1 state championship. In Tuesday’s regional final, O’Dowd ended the bid of Archbishop Mitty to once again reach the state final with a 3-1 win. The Dragons won in their semifinal over St. Francis of Sacramento. Mitty made a great run with D1 regional wins vs. Oak Ridge of El Dorado Hills and Foothill of Pleasanton.

20. (20) Westlake (Westlake Village) 34-2*
Season complete. The Warriors’ season ended several weeks ago with a first round loss in the CIFSS D1 playoffs to No. 4 Redondo. If they had gotten seeded just a couple of spots higher and didn’t have to play the Seahawks so soon, who knows how the season would have unfolded?

Dropped Out:
Previous No. 12 Scripps Ranch (San Diego).

On The Bubble
Aliso Niguel (Aliso Viejo) 17-9*
Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 24-17*
Bishop’s (La Jolla) 25-11*
Campolindo (Moraga) 27-9*
Corona del Mar (Newport Beach) 24-13*
Foothill (Pleasanton) 30-7*
Great Oak (Temecula) 22-9*
Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood) 24-10*
La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad) 26-11*
Lakewood 22-12*
Los Alamitos 26-14*
Los Altos 33-8
Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks) 27-9*
Palo Alto 24-6*
Quartz Hill 39-7*
Ponderosa (Shingle Springs) 31-3*
Rancho Cucamonga 26-6*
San Clemente 28-9*
Santa Fe Christian (Solana Beach) 27-12*
Santa Margarita (Rancho SM) 21-13*
Scripps Ranch (San Diego) 32-8*
St. Francis (Sacramento) 34-6*
St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 27-15*

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

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