NEW Girls Volleyball State Top 20

Cathedral Catholic of San Diego girls volleyball players get their championship photo taken at last weekend’s Durango Fall Classic in Las Vegas. The top 11 teams in last week’s state rankings were there and finished 1-3-4-5 in the event. Photo: durangofallclassic.com.


Cathedral Catholic wins the Durango Fall Classic in Las Vegas over a stellar field and takes over at the top of the state. After that, though, you could make an argument for just about any ranking order for the next four teams, which was impacted yet again on Tuesday night of this week with Redondo Union’s victory over Marymount of Los Angeles. This week’s rankings also rewards James Logan of Union City and Vista Murrieta of Murrieta for what those two teams did in their matches at Durango.

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All-State Nominations: This year’s Cal-Hi Sports All-State Teams for girls volleyball will be drastically expanded. In the past, we’ve done a player of year, coach of year and then two teams of 12 players overall (1st & 2nd team). Starting this season, we will be honoring girls volleyball players for separate all-state teams for freshmen, sophomores, juniors, medium schools, small schools and large schools (similar to format for boys and girls hoops). Coaches & parents are welcome to send in nominations as the season begins to conclude. Send to markjtennis@gmail.com.

(Previous ranking in parentheses)
(Through reported results of Tuesday, Sept. 24)

1. (5) Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) 15-3
Leaving some early losses behind them (including two to Torrey Pines), the Dons captured the championship division title at the Durango Fall Classic with a 20-25, 25-17, 25-23 triumph in the final match over Mercy of Louisville, Ky. They also knocked off previous national No. 1 Assumption of Louisville, Ky., en route to the championship. Lindsey Miller, the team’s 6-foot-4 middle blocker headed to Notre Dame, was named the tourney MVP.

2. (4) Torrey Pines (San Diego) 19-2
So how much does it count that the Falcons have two wins over Cathedral Catholic? It’s not enough in our book to keep them ranked higher after Durango but combined with having that win over Redondo Union is enough for the No. 2 slot. Torrey Pines dropped a pool play match to Vista Murrieta at Durango, but came back to win the Silver Division championship. The Falcons beat nationally ranked Kamehameha of Hawaii in that match.

Megan Kraft, a USC beach volleyball recruit, was named all-tourney at Durango from Torrey Pines. Photo: tpvolleyball.com.


3. (1) Redondo Union (Redondo Beach) 20-3
If there hadn’t been a match on Tuesday this week between the Sea Hawks and Marymount, we would have had Marymount in the second spot with Redondo fourth. But there was and Redondo prevailed 25-21, 25-23, 25-19. The team also has a head-to-head win over Mater Dei plus that win in Hawaii over Byron Nelson of Trophy Club, Texas. Byron Nelson hasn’t lost in any other match this season and is on top of Texas at 34-1. Redondo lost twice at Durango (one to James Logan of Union City in pool play and then to Leon of Tallahassee, Fla.).

4. (3) Marymount (Los Angeles) 15-2
The only loss for the Sailors prior to Tuesday was to Mercy (Louisville, Ky.) in the Durango tourney championship division semifinals. Marymount, which then topped Marin Catholic (Kentfield) for third-place, also got a win at Durango against Mater Dei.

5. (2) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 16-3
The Monarchs might be fifth this week, but someone else could put them even at No. 1 and it’s hard to argue against that. These first five teams all have strengths and weaknesses for their season results. While they do have losses to Redondo and Marymount (plus Padua Franciscan of Ohio), the Monarchs also don’t have any bad losses, which you can say is true for Cathedral Catholic, Torrey Pines and Redondo. Both Mater Dei and Marymount also will be joining Cathedral Catholic at the next big national tourney — the Nike Tournament of Champions — on Oct. 4-5 in Arizona.

6. (6) Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 10-2
Another of the major developments at Durango is that the Wildcats showed they can play at the elite national level, too. They reached the semifinals of the championship division with a win against Sierra Canyon, then lost to Cathedral Catholic and then lost again in the third-place match to Marymount. If Marin Catholic does indeed win its first CIF NorCal Open Division title and play for the state title, this last weekend’s experience is going to be a big help. One of the team’s best wins last weekend was against Xavier Prep of Phoenix, the No. 1 ranked team in Arizona.

7. (7) Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 27-2
We guess you can argue that Sierra Canyon should be higher than Marin Catholic if you’re going by the Trailblazers getting a win at Durango in a consolation round game against national powerhouse Assumption of Louisville, Ky. But for the state rankings it’s obvious. Marin Catholic has a head-to-head win over the Trailblazers and its two losses are to higher-ranked foes. Sierra Canyon is still the solid No. 4 team out of the top division of the Southern Section.

8. (12) St. Francis (Sacramento) 17-0
After the first seven, there would be a significant gap to the next team in order but gaps are hard to indicate. The Troubadours rolled on in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section and they would clearly be ahead of any other teams from the CIF Central Section. They didn’t go to Durango, though, so their perfect record is more difficult to judge. Is it too early to start thinking about a St. Francis-Marin Catholic NorCal Open Division final? Yes, but we’re throwing it out there anyway.

9. (14) Village Christian (Sun Valley) 15-5
The only losses by the Crusaders in their games at Durango were to Iolani of Hawaii and Redondo Union. They won on Tuesday night over Maranatha of Pasadena. One of the wins at Durango was against La Costa Canyon, which itself got a win over previous No. 13 Long Beach Poly.

10. (NR) James Logan (Union City) 8-3
It was hard to get a read on the Colts prior to Durango because they had no reported results, but they sure created a splash in Vegas on the first day with an upset of Redondo Union. They went on to finish 3-3 in the event with the losses all coming to teams in this week’s Flo50 national rankings — Sierra Canyon, Xavier Prep (Arizona) and Iolani (Hawaii). Head coach Matt Guzman said his girls did that without senior setter Ruby Santos (out with an illness) and praised the play of sophomore setter Camille Dofiles.

11. (NR) Vista Murrieta (Murrieta) 9-7
The Broncos also created a stir in Las Vegas at the Durango tourney with a pool play upset of Torrey Pines. They also notched a win over previous No. 10 Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) and then returned home on Tuesday to beat Great Oak (Temecula) in a Southwestern League match. We were thinking of putting Chaparral of Temecula way up there this week as well since it was leading the Southwestern League, but on Tuesday the Pumas lost to Temecula Valley.

Senior libero Abigail Viado from James Logan of Union City is shown making a play from last season. Photo: David Gerson / SportStars.


12. (9) St. Francis (Mountain View) 20-4
A win on Tuesday night against Valley Christian of San Jose kept the Lancers in the front-running position for teams from the West Catholic Athletic League and the CIF Central Coast Section. Two of their three losses at Durango were to higher-ranked Sierra Canyon and Redondo.

13. (10) Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) 14-4
The Irish ended up facing league rival Archbishop Mitty in Las Vegas and then had to play the Monarchs again on Tuesday of this week. They won in a four-set barnburner 25-17, 25-20, 23-25, 25-17. The team’s two losses in Vegas were to Leon of Tallahassee, Fla., and Vista Murrieta.

14. (15) Laguna Beach 23-8
Playing without standout Cambria Hall, the Breakers had wins against Leon of Florida and previous No. 8 Foothill of Tustin in Vegas and had three losses to higher-ranked Marymount, Pleasant Grove (Utah) and Iolani (Hawaii). The only bad loss was to Palo Verde of Las Vegas. Some of Laguna Beach’s results also were reported as one-game matches so it’s hard to base too much on that.

15. (8) Foothill (Tustin) 17-5
The Knights fall in behind Laguna Beach after all of the results from Durango are factored in. Their other losses there also were all to higher-ranked foes — Mercy of Louisville (Ky.) and Torrey Pines. It figures to be quite fluid to see which four teams after the CIFSS big four of Redondo, Marymount, Mater Dei and Sierra Canyon fill up the D1 playoff bracket. The team ending up ninth, of course, may have the best chance to win a CIF state title.

16. (16) Palos Verdes (PV Estates) 14-6
As these rankings were being written up, the Sea Kings were getting ready to take on No. 3 Redondo on Wednesday night. They were shown with no reported matches after their big win from the previous week against Mira Costa.

17. (20) Clovis North (Fresno) 24-1
The Broncos captured the Hard Driven Challenge tourney last weekend with their final two wins coming against Clovis and Bakersfield. The bigger match, though, happened on Tuesday night when Clovis North topped Clovis West 3-1 in a Tri-River Athletic Conference match. The Golden Eagles were 15-4 entering.

18. (NR) La Jolla 16-3
With all of the losses involving other top San Diego teams below Cathedral Catholic and Torrey Pines, the Vikings have emerged as the No. 3 team in this week’s section rankings. Two of their losses on the season have come to Sierra Canyon and La Costa Canyon. They also have a win over La Costa Canyon.

19. (NR) Campolindo (Moraga) 10-3
Although the Cougars have a head-to-head loss from early in the season to Bishop O’Dowd, they go into the top 20 after winning the East County Invitational title over a field that included previous No. 18 Pleasant Valley, previous No. 19 Monte Vista plus a California of San Ramon squad that beat those other two.

20. (13) Long Beach Poly (Long Beach) 12-6
THe Jackrabbits have already snagged a key league win this week over Lakewood. They hang on in the top 20 after losing three times at Durango. Two of those losses were to higher-ranked Xavier Prep of Arizona and Redondo.

DROPPED OUT:
Previous No. 11 Los Alamitos, No. 17 La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad), No. 18 Pleasant Valley (Chico), No. 19 Monte Vista (Danville).

TEAMS ON THE BUBBLE
Aliso Niguel (Aliso Viejo) 9-3
Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 12-7
Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 6-3
California (San Ramon) 21-2
Chaparral (Temecula) 22-5
Clovis West (Fresno) 15-5
Eastlake (Chula Vista) 19-5
Huntington Beach 14-6
La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad) 16-10
Los Alamitos 17-8
Menlo-Atherton (Atherton) 10-2
Mira Costa (Manhattan Beach) 5-3
Monte Vista (Danville) 10-2
Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills) 17-2
Palo Alto 7-4
Pleasant Valley (Chico) 17-1
San Juan Hills (SJ Capistrano) 16-5
Valley Christian (San Jose) 7-7
Temecula Valley (Temecula) 12-6

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


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