California makes it 2-for-2 in winning top national tournaments by placing 1st, 2nd and 3rd at the Nike Tournament of Champions in Arizona. Marymount of Los Angeles won the championship final for the second straight year, but had a loss to Redondo in a big match heading into it. Mater Dei of Santa Ana was the runner-up. Mira Costa was third-place team and on Monday of this week avenged an earlier loss to Palos Verdes. The new No. 1 is Torrey Pines, but that’s essentially a place-holding position for whichever team can win the CIF Division I state title. That figures to be either the Falcons, Redondo, Marymount, Cathedral Catholic or Mater Dei.
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(Previous ranking in parentheses)
(Through reported results of Tuesday, Oct. 8)
1. (2) Torrey Pines (San Diego) 21-2
The Falcons get to come back to the top for owning a 3-0 head-to-head match win over Redondo, for still having those two early wins against Cathedral Catholic and for avenging one of their losses last week with an easy sweep of La Costa Canyon. Their only other loss is to Vista Murrieta in a three-game tourney match at Durango and even that loss is looking okay now.
2. (3) Redondo Union (Redondo Beach) 26-3
In addition to having a win over the Nike TOC champion from two weeks ago in a separate non-league match, the Sea Hawks also posted a win over local rival Mira Costa (ended up third the TOC) and earlier beat runner-up Mater Dei. The only loss we’re not giving Redondo benefit of the doubt is the one to Torrey Pines, but we know it’ll be TP and Cathedral Catholic going for the CIF San Diego Section Open Division title and we know it’ll be Redondo, Marymount and Mater Dei (with Sierra Canyon possibly the fourth team) in the CIF Southern Section’s top division. At full strength, with Kami Miner setting and not with USA volleyball, it’s not going to be a surprise if the Sea Hawks run the table from here and if they do they’ll not only be No. 1 in California but No. 1 in the nation.
3. (4) Marymount (Los Angeles) 29-3
Super sophomore Ella Rubin was MVP of the Nike TOC after leading the Sailors to the championship in the top bracket. They had a win over previous No. 1 Cathedral Catholic to reach the quarterfinals where they had to come-from-behind after losing the first game to North Raleigh Christian of North Carolina. A win over Mira Costa in the semis followed and in the final match topped Mater Dei 25-21, 23-25, 15-10. It marks the second straight year that head coach Cari Klein’s girls have won the Nike TOC crown.
4. (1) Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) 24-4
The Dons weren’t able to add the Nike TOC title in Arizona to the Durango Fall Classic crown they captured in September. They fell in a match against Marymount, which is why they’re now one spot behind the Sailors. That loss put them in the Gold Division bracket instead of the Platinum Division. Cathedral Catholic then won the Platinum Division with a victory vs. Santa Margarita. Nationally ranked Xavier College Prep (Arizona) and Walton (Georgia) also were in that bracket.
5. (5) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 25-4
After going 3-0 in pool play at the Nike TOC, the Monarchs earned a spot in the Platinum Division (No. 1 bracket). They reached the final, but couldn’t get past Marymount of Los Angeles. It was the second straight major tourney in which Mater Dei’s only loss was to Marymount. On Tuesday, the Monarchs kept on rolling in the Trinity League with a 3-0 sweep of Fullerton Rosary.
6. (7) Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 30-2
The Trailblazers dominated Windward of Los Angeles 3-0 in a Tuesday match to get this week going. Senior Jaylen Jordan led the way with 19 kills. Sierra Canyon has a loss to Marin Catholic, but now that team has three losses of its own. The girls likely will be in that No. 4 spot for the CIFSS behind the big three of Redondo, Marymount and Mater Dei for several more weeks so it will be interesting for them to see how that all winds up since it would be a No. 1 vs. No. 4 in the semifinals.
7. (8) St. Francis (Sacramento) 26-0
With previous No. 6 Marin Catholic taking a loss to Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland (its first to a NorCal opponent), it’s time to move up the Troubadours into the top position for NorCal squads. They haven’t been to any of the major national tournaments, but kept on winning at the Chris Craft Invitational and on Tuesday won again in a league match over a Pleasant Grove of Elk Grove squad that has some top players.
8. (6) Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 20-3
The Wildcats only had the one loss to Bishop O’Dowd at the Tiger Cup tournament in Belmont, won the rest of their matches over the last two weeks and have done enough to stay in the top 10. Their only other losses are to Cathedral Catholic and Marymount and they have a win against Sierra Canyon.
9. (NR) Mira Costa (Manhattan Beach) 15-5
We had a hard time finding out how the Mustangs did in their Monday match this week at home vs. No. 16 Palos Verdes, but they did win 3-2 and avenged an earlier loss to the Sea Kings. That win, combined with its third-place showing at the Nike TOC, puts Mira Costa way up there in this week’s rankings. There also were two losses since the last rankings, but those were to Marymount and Redondo. The Mustangs also topped Bishop O’Dowd at the TOC after O’Dowd had gotten its win over Marin Catholic.
10. (15) Foothill (Tustin) 21-5
It gets even more difficult to put these teams in order after the first eight or nine, but the overall season log for the Knights remains solid. That includes their season-opening 3-2 loss to Mater Dei. The team won last week in 3-0 sweeps vs. El Modena of Orange and Villa Park. The best wins have come against current bubble teams Aliso Niguel, Archbishop Mitty, Temecula Valley and San Juan Hills.
11. (11) Vista Murrieta (Murrieta) 17-10
This team lost three times at the Nike TOC, but generally did very well since it made it into the top Platinum Division where it lost in the fifth-place match to nationally ranked North Raleigh Christian of North Carolina. The Broncos came back home and had to get ready quick for a critical Southwestern League match vs. Temecula Valley. They won 3-1.
12. (9) Village Christian (Sun Valley) 23-8
The Crusaders got a scare on Tuesday from league rival Valley Christian (Cerritos) but held on for a 3-2 match triumph. They closed their experience at the Nike TOC with four straight wins, including one against probably the third best team in Kentucky (Sacred Heart). The only reason they have to take a minimal drop in the rankings was losing a match previous to last weekend to Westlake of Westlake Village.
13. (17) Clovis North (Fresno) 28-2
The CIF Central Section produced the other finalist in the CIF Open Division state championship last season (the Southern Section had the other) and the Broncos have continued to roll up the wins in that section. One of their two losses is to unbeaten St. Francis of Sacramento. They faced Buchanan of Clovis on Tuesday in an important league match and won in a three-game sweep.
14. (12) St. Francis (Mountain View) 21-6
We were all set to drop the Lancers further this week after losses last week to both Archbishop Mitty and Valley Christian (both of San Jose). But on Tuesday they played West Catholic Athletic League front-runner Sacred Heart Cathedral and knocked off the Irish in four games.
15. (13) Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) 19-5
Head coach Margi Beima got that 500th win on Saturday, Sept. 28, and her team kept on winning last week in the WCAL, including one against arch-rival St. Ignatius. The winning ways were halted on Tuesday night of this week, however, at St. Francis.
16. (16) Palos Verdes (PV Estates) 15-8
If the Sea Kings could have beaten Mira Costa on Monday night after Mira Costa had finished third at the Nike TOC, that would have given head coach Patrick Lynch’s girls a major rankings boost. Instead, the Mustangs won 3-2 so PV stays the same. The team’s other loss since the last rankings was to Redondo.
17. (20) Long Beach Poly (Long Beach) 15-6
The Jackrabbits took control of the Moore League with a win last week over Wilson of Long Beach. Sophomore Rylie McGinest led the way and was named one of the562.org’s athletes of the week. Rylie had eight blocks and four kills and also had no errors in 11 swings she had on the ball.
18. (19) Campolindo (Moraga) 14-3
Head coach John Vuong’s team made it 11 straight wins after a 3-3 start with a 3-0 sweep on Tuesday vs. Alhambra of Martinez. The rise in the rankings is more due to winning a tourney title last month at the annual East Counties Invitational.
19. (NR) Corona del Mar (Newport Beach) 10-4
The Sunset League (Surf Division) is annually one of the toughest leagues in the nation and the Sea Kings have started out 4-0 in that league. They won last week vs. Huntington Beach and also already have a league win over previously state-ranked Los Alamitos. Nikki Senske has been the top individual talent. She was the Daily Pilot’s Female Athlete of the Week for this week. In addition, CdM got a win last week over previous No. 14 Laguna Beach.
20. (NR) California (San Ramon) 26-2
Wins over Pleasant Valley of Chico and Monte Vista (Danville) from two weeks ago almost was enough to stick in the Grizzlies into last week’s rankings. They’re in there now. They won on Tuesday vs. Granada of Livermore (3-0) and later this week will try to avenge one of the two losses (which was to Foothill of Pleasanton). The only other loss is to No. 18 Campolindo.
Previous No. 10 James Logan (Union City), No. 14 Laguna Beach, No. 18 La Jolla.
TEAMS ON THE BUBBLE
Aliso Niguel (Aliso Viejo) 12-3
Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 16-7
Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 18-7
Chaparral (Temecula) 22-6
Clovis West (Fresno) 17-6
Eastlake (Chula Vista) 25-5
Huntington Beach 18-7
James Logan (Union City) 16-12
Laguna Beach 27-9
La Jolla 18-4
La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad) 19-11
Nevada Union (Grass Valley) 33-6
Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills) 23-5
Palo Alto 12-5
Pleasant Valley (Chico) 26-1
San Juan Hills (SJ Capistrano) 18-6
Valley Christian (San Jose) 10-8
Temecula Valley (Temecula) 15-7