After Thursday’s pulsating victory by the Redondo Union girls volleyball team in five games against Mater Dei of Santa Ana, the Sea Hawks can be considered the state’s No. 1 team. After all, the visiting Monarchs are the defending CIF Open Division state champions and hadn’t lost yet this season.
The first regular season state rankings, however, won’t be out until next Wednesday and Redondo still has a tough matches coming up against the top two teams from the CIF San Diego Section. The Sea Hawks play Cathedral Catholic on Saturday, which was No. 3 in the preseason state rankings and they meet Torrey Pines of San Diego on Tuesday of next week. Torrey Pines already has two wins over Cathedral Catholic this season and is expected to be unbeaten going into next Tuesday’s match.
Mater Dei doesn’t have matches like that coming up against California competition, but next weekend the Monarchs are traveling to Louisville, Ky., where they will play a match against Assumption of Louisville and then will be in Assumption’s national-level tournament. Assumption is the defending national rankings champion and has started 6-0 this season. All California teams hoping for a shot at a national rankings title should be rooting for the Monarchs.
In Thursday night’s match, Mater Dei took a 2-0 lead in games by edging the Sea Hawks 26-24 and 25-22. Redondo came back to force a fifth game with wins of 29-27 and 25-20 and then in that five game the Sea Hawks couldn’t be stopped. They won 15-8.
Making the win more impressive for Redondo is that All-American junior setter Kami Miner wasn’t there. She’s currently playing for the U.S. Junior National Team. Miner’s spot was taken by Redondo’s other leading player, senior Nalani Iosia, known more for being a libero. The Sea Hawks also got a huge outing from freshman Mele Corral-Blagojevich, who had 17 kills. Mater Dei was led by Mia Tuaniga with 49 assists and Reagan Merk with 16 kills.
The two California teams, who were mysteriously listed in a tie for the top spot in the CIF Southern Section rankings (ties are meaningless in rankings and should never happen), could play again in two weeks since they both will be in the upcoming Durango Fall Classic in Las Vegas. They also of course could play in the CIFSS Division I playoffs and in the CIF Southern California Open Division playoffs. It’ll be the winner of that last match that will really get to celebrate.
State Top 20 Rankings: To get a look at our preseason listings, CLICK HERE. We’ll have the first regular season pecking order out next Wednesday (including Tuesday night scores). There also will be new State Top 20s before the massive Durango Fall Classic in Las Vegas (coming up on Sept. 20-21) and then the following week. We’ll take a week off after that and then will do the same thing before and after the Nike Tournament of Champions (always features a lot of California teams) that will be held the first weekend in October.
All-State Girls Volleyball Teams Expanding
With the cooperation of our all-state patch partner, BillyTees.com, this year’s Cal-Hi Sports All-State Teams for girls volleyball will be more than quadrupled in size.
Previously, we’ve done a player of the year (Ms. Volleyball), a coach of the year and then a first and second team overall. The new format will be similar to what is done in boys and girls basketball: first, second and third teams overall; all-state freshmen; all-state sophomores; all-state juniors; all-state small schools, all-state medium schools, all-state large schools.
We may ask for more help from coaches to get it all done for girls volleyball with the same attention to detail that we’ve had for 40 years in football and other sports.
For questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.