NEW Girls Volleyball State Top 20

Players from Marin Catholic of Kentfield celebrate after winning title in top division in the Stockton Classic last weekend at Delta College. They also probably wrapped up the top seed for the upcoming CIF NorCal Open Division playoffs. Photo: @MCAthletics /

Torrey Pines and Redondo roll to tourney titles close to home, but the biggest developments surrounding the state took place at the Stockton Classic where previously unbeaten St. Francis of Sacramento lost twice. Marin Catholic also reasserted itself as the top team in the north. We also welcome two newcomers this week: Aliso Niguel of Aliso Viejo and Palo Alto.


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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 and will be able to order all-state patches. Send to

(Previous ranking in parentheses)
(Through reported results of Tuesday, Oct. 15)

1. (1) Torrey Pines (San Diego) 29-2
We’re sticking with the Falcons on top despite Cathedral Catholic (also from San Diego) being No. 1 in the nation by MaxPreps. Must be different criteria. Head coach Brandon Dean’s girls won the SoCal Invitational tourney in San Diego (Cathedral Catholic wasn’t in it) with an impressive 25-13, 25-13 win in the final over Hamilton of Chandler, Ariz. (one of the top teams in that state). Yale-bound setter Carly Diehl was the tourney MVP.

2. (2) Redondo Union (Redondo Beach) 30-3
Nalani Iosia was the MVP as the Sea Hawks topped Clovis West of Fresno to win their own Redondo Power Classic. It could have been yet another match with league rival Palos Verdes in the final, but the Golden Eagles (probably second best team in Central Section) wouldn’t let that happen. Redondo also had a solid win in the event over Nevada powerhouse Bishop Gorman.

3. (3) Marymount (Los Angeles) 31-3
The Sailors have wins this week already over Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks and Flintridge Sacred Heart. They are now one week removed from winning the Nike TOC title and stay behind Redondo, which topped them in a match shortly before they left for that event.

4. (4) Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) 26-4
Another of the big five in the state that all seem like they could win the CIF Open Division state title and end the season No. 1 in the nation, the Dons simply are staying behind Marymount after they lost to the Sailors at the Nike TOC. They also have those two head-to-head losses to Torrey Pines balanced by winning the Durango Fall Classic championship.

5. (5) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 26-4
Meg Brown and Zaria Henderson both had 13 kills as the Monarchs stayed unbeaten in the Trinity League last week with a 3-1 win vs. Santa Margarita. They also were expected be in that same position after a Wednesday match this week vs. JSerra.

Vista Murrieta senior Juliette Russell will play next at Gonzaga. Photo:

6. (6) Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 33-2
Volleyball wasn’t on the minds of the Trailblazers much later last week when the campus had to be shut down due to the nearby Saddleridge fire. The team won matches earlier last week over Crossroads of Santa Monica and Campbell Hall of North Hollywood.

7. (8) Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 26-3
We usually go to the Stockton Classic tourney each year to see a lot of the top NorCal teams, but were sidelined from a car accident that at first didn’t seem that bad but later resulted in a total loss of the car and then shopping for a new one. Most probably thought that Marin Catholic and unbeaten St. Francis of Sacramento would meet for the title, but St. Francis didn’t make it. The Wildcats did and in the final they edged Palo Alto 24-26, 25-19, 15-10. They also topped the No. 1 team from the Central Section, Clovis North, in the semifinals. Leah Laboy was the tourney MVP with Olivia Cooper also gaining all-tourney honors.

8. (9) Mira Costa (Manhattan Beach) 17-5
As we were writing up this week’s rankings, the Mustangs were playing their second league match of the season against No. 2 Redondo. They move up as a result of previous No. 8 St. Francis of Sacramento losing for the first time this season. Mira Costa, which was third in the top division of the recent Nike TOC, won its last two matches against Peninsula of Rolling Hills Estates and Leuzinger of Lawndale.

9. (10) Foothill (Tustin) 23-5
The Knights are another team that seems solidly positioned to be in the CIFSS D1 playoffs as opposed to D2. They had wins last week vs. Esperanza of Anaheim and Canyon of Anaheim. Junior setter Rachel Fairbanks also recently went over 500 assists for the season.

10. (11) Vista Murrieta (Murrieta) 17-10
Head coach Ed Taitano’s girls topped Murrieta Valley 25-18, 23-25, 25-22 and 25-12 on Tuesday night to stay in first-place in the Southwestern League. The Broncos also notched a big win within the past week against Great Oak.

11. (13) Clovis North (Fresno) 34-3
There are two reasons why the Broncos get to move up this week. First, their only loss at the Stockton Classic last Saturday was to higher-ranked Marin Catholic. They also got a win over a San Jose Archbishop Mitty squad that beat St. Francis of Sacramento (a team which has a win over Clovis North. Second, before heading to that tournament, the Broncos posted a Tri-River Athletic Conference victory over Clovis West, when then went to the Redondo Power Classic and made it to the championship match down there.

12. (12) Village Christian (Sun Valley) 23-8
While we have the Crusaders as the eighth top-ranked team from those in the CIFSS D1/D2 playoff grouping, it’s probably viewed as a good thing that the actual CIFSS rankings have them lower. In those rankings, No. 16 Aliso Niguel would be in that eighth spot, which means that the next 16 teams below No. 8 aren’t going to be in D1 (having to worry about Redondo, Mater Dei, Marymount, etc.) and instead will be in D2.

13. (7) St. Francis (Sacramento) 29-2
No, we didn’t get a St. Francis-Marin Catholic matchup in the Stockton Classic Gold Division championship. And since the Troubadours lost twice to teams from the CIF Central Coast Section, they also might have to be seeded behind the CCS Open Division champion if they were to win the Sac-Joaquin Section D1 title and make it into the NorCal Open Division. All was not bad, however, since they did post a couple of quality wins (especially one against St. Francis of Mountain View) to go with the losses to Archbishop Mitty and Palo Alto. They’ve also got that win over Clovis North from earlier in the season and have a strong enough body of work to remain in the top 15.

Rebekah Limb of Palo Alto is shown from match earlier this season. She was selected last weekend to the all-tourney team at the Stockton Classic. Photo:

14. (NR) Aliso Niguel (Aliso Viejo) 18-4
A match against San Juan Hills on Wednesday was underway as these rankings were being released. The Wolverines had a win against the Stallions earlier in the season. They went to the SoCal Invitational last weekend and went 4-1 with the only loss coming to Coronado of Henderson, Nev. Juniors Jessica Smith and Katelyn Smith have combined for nearly 600 kills on the season.

15. (14) St. Francis (Mountain View) 23-8
The Lancers lost twice at the Stockton Classic, but don’t drop that far since they were to higher-ranked St. Francis of Sacramento and Clovis North. Since the last rankings, St. Francis also has posted a league win against St. Ignatius.

16. (15) Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) 20-5
Another match being played on Wednesday night was the Irish against Archbishop Mitty. SHC notched a quality league win last week vs. Valley Christian of San Jose, but is still being ranked behind St. Francis of Mountain View due to head-to-head results.

17. (17) Long Beach Poly (Long Beach) 18-6
With the Moore League title in seemingly firm grasp, the Jackrabbits went to the Redondo Power Classic looking to make some noise. They only lost once but that was to Bishop Gorman of Nevada (has been nationally ranked this season). As a result, it’s a wash and they just stay the same.

18. (20) California (San Ramon) 28-2
For many seasons it seems like there’s a team from the East Bay Athletic League in the CIF North Coast Section that’s in this range of the rankings and looking to make a deep run in the NorCal regional playoffs. The Grizzlies fit the bill for that season. They stayed on track with wins in the last week against Foothill of Pleasanton and Livermore.

19. (19) Corona del Mar (Newport Beach) 13-4
A Tuesday match included for the Sea Kings this week was a big one. They faced bubble team Huntington Beach in the Sunset-Surf League and continued to be unbeaten in that league with a five-set win. One of the games that they lost was 28-26 and one of those that they won was 27-25. CDdM won the fifth set 15-10.

20. (NR) Palo Alto 16-6
The Vikings surged right on into the State Top 20 this week after they reached the title match in the top division at the Stockton Classic. They did that with wins such as those against St. Francis of Sacramento, Nevada Union of Grass Valley and Rocklin. In that final match, Paly lost to No. 7 Marin Catholic by just 24-26, 25-19, 15-10.

Previous No. 16 Palos Verdes (PV Estates); No. 18 Campolindo (Moraga).

Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 19-8
Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 20-7
Campolindo (Moraga) 14-5
Chaparral (Temecula) 26-6
Clovis West (Fresno) 22-8
Cosumnes Oaks (Elk Grove) 25-7
Huntington Beach 19-8
Laguna Beach 28-9
La Jolla 21-7
La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad) 23-13
Nevada Union (Grass Valley) 36-8
Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills) 25-7
Palos Verdes (PV Estates) 20-10
Pleasant Valley (Chico) 29-1
Rancho Cucamonga 16-9
San Juan Hills (SJ Capistrano) 19-7
Valley Christian (San Jose) 14-9
Temecula Valley (Temecula) 15-8

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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  1. Marty Remmers
    Posted October 17, 2019 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the amazing coverage of volleyball!! It is too bad that you missed the Stockton classic, as you missed out in seeing a top notch Rocklin squad knock off state ranked St. Francis of Mountain View, and Monte Vista, and lose two close matches to Clovis North and Paly…they are closing in on winning a tough SFL and have knocked off both Oak Ridge and Nevada Union (two bubble teams), along with many other impressive wins this year…will look forward to next weeks rankings!!

  2. Heather Martin
    Posted October 23, 2019 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    More great work from your team supporting high school sports. Our athletes are so lucky to have a writers who care so much and make their high school experience memorable. The work you do is truly a labor of love and means so much to the kids who play.

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