NEW Girls Volleyball State Top 20

Players including Emma Dougherty (14) and Jordan Bennett (3) are among those celebrating a winning point for the 32-1 Pleasant Valley of Chico volleyball team. The Vikings went up to No. 20 in this week’s rankings, which is good news for them, but they might want to start planning for the NorCal Open Division. Photo:

After Wednesday’s CIF Southern Section quarterfinals, the D1 semis are set with Redondo playing Sierra Canyon and Marymount facing Mater Dei. All four will then no doubt go on to the CIF SoCal Open Division no matter which won wins the CIFSS crown. Torrey Pines and Cathedral Catholic haven’t yet reached the San Diego Open Division final but it would take a monumental upset for that not to happen. Up north, it also would take a monumental upset for Marin Catholic not to win its section title and take the No. 1 seed for the CIF NorCal Open Division playoffs.


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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 Wednesday, Oct. 30)

1. (1) Torrey Pines (San Diego) 33-2
The CIF San Diego Section gave its top seed for its Open Division to the Falcons for different reasons than why we have them in front of Cathedral Catholic in the state rankings but they do match. Torrey Pines still has to play its quarterfinal match in that bracket.

2. (2) Redondo Union (Redondo Beach) 32-3
Head coach Tommy Chaffins’ girls notched a victory on Wednesday night over Aliso Niguel of Aliso Viejo in the CIFSS D1 quarterfinals and will now take on Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth in the semifinals. The Sea Hawks are the top seed in the bracket as expected. They continue to be behind Torrey Pines in these rankings for a head-to-head loss.

3. (3) Marymount (Los Angeles) 32-3
It wasn’t planned, but the CIFSS D1 pairings matched the order we had for the state rankings for the last few weeks as the Sailors were No. 2 behind Redondo. They will meet third seed and No. 5 Mater Dei in the semifinals after Wednesday’s victory in the semifinals over Vista Murrieta.

Kami Miner can slam ’em with the best of them, but it’s her play as a setter that has enabled her to play for U.S. national teams. Photo:

4. (4) Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) 28-4
The state’s No. 1 according to the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 is opening up in the CIF San Diego Section Open Division as the No. 2 seed behind Torrey Pines and will play La Jolla Country Day in its first postseason match. Who knows? Max could be correct since the only certainty is that California’s top five or six teams are all fairly even.

5. (5) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 28-4
After wrapping up their run to a perfect record in the Trinity League, the Monarchs (like all of the top four seeds) have started the CIFSS D1 playoffs with a pair of wins. They won on Wednesday in straight sets against Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach.

6. (6) Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 34-2
Team that has lost only to Torrey Pines and to Marin Catholic but with a win over national powerhouse Assumption (Louisville, Ky.) had difficulty in one set against Foothill of Tustin on Wednesday, but won 3-1 and will now meet Redondo in the CIFSS D1 semifinals.

7. (7) Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 29-3
There isn’t nearly as much competitive equity factors in the CIF North Coast Section playoffs as there are in other sections of the state. That’s why the Wildcats are in the NCS D2 bracket and are not D1. They are playing Bethel of Vallejo in the quarterfinals on Thursday. The No. 2 seed in their bracket is Carondelet of Concord. If they were D1 (same as Bishop O’Dowd) there might be more competition. They shouldn’t have much of a problem rolling to their section title and then would no doubt be the top seed for the NorCal Open Division.

8. (9) Foothill (Tustin) 25-6
For beating Huntington Beach in the CIFSS D1 playoffs and winning one game against Sierra Canyon on Wednesday in the quarterfinals (25-7) we’re just going to award the Knights with a one-spot bump. Both themselves and Mira Costa appear to be candidates for the CIF SoCal Open Division (since there is no one in L.A. City to consider for that and no one beyond the top two in San Diego). If the CIF really is about competitive equity, it should go with only the top six for the SoCal Open Division, give byes to the top two seeds and place teams like Foothill and Mira Costa and La Costa Canyon in D1.

9. (8) Mira Costa (Manhattan Beach) 18-7
Since the last rankings, the Mustangs have lost twice, but one of those was to No. 2 Redondo to close their league schedule and the other was on Wednesday night to Mater Dei in the CIFSS D1 quarterfinals. They have assured a fairly high final state ranking by placing third at the Nike TOC in Arizona.

10. (11) Clovis North (Fresno) 38-3
The Broncos continue to look like the No. 1 team out of the CIF Central Section. Like last year when Central of Fresno was sent to the CIF NorCal Open Division that seems to be the likely destination for them if they win their section title. If St. Francis of Sacramento wins its section title it would probably get seeded second in the NorCal Open with Clovis North third due to a head-to-head result.

11. (13) St. Francis (Sacramento) 33-2
A matchup vs. Enochs of Modesto is on tap for Thursday for the Troubadours in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D1 playoffs. They didn’t have a great day at the recent Stockton Classic, but they’ve been great for every other day of this season.

12. (16) Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) 23-5
The final slate of games in the West Catholic Athletic League was played on Wednesday and the Irish beat St. Francis of Mountain View to win the regular season WCAL crown. They only lost one WCAL match this season. That will make them the top seed for the CIF Central Coast Section Division I playoffs.

Mitty head coach Bret Almazan-Cezar holds up one of the 11 CIF state championships that he has won with the Monarchs. Photo: Jann Hendry.

13. (10) Vista Murrieta (Murrieta)

Head coach Ed Taitano’s club had a solid win over Corona del Mar of Newport Beach (No. 19 in most recent state rankings) in the CIFSS D1 playoffs before losing to state No. 3 Marymount on Wednesday.

14. (14) Aliso Niguel (Aliso Viejo) 20-5
Both the Wolverines and Vista Murrieta could move up in the final rankings depending on how the CIF SoCal playoffs develop outside of the Open Division and on how teams up north do in the next few weeks. Aliso Niguel posted a CIFSS D1 playoff win over previous No. 17 Long Beach Poly and lost on Wednesday to Redondo. Nothing to hang your heads about that.

15. (20) Palo Alto 19-6
After its recent runner-up finish at the Stockton Classic (only loss to Marin Catholic), the Vikings have continued to win in matches against Gunn of Palo Alto, Los Altos and on Tuesday of this week over Mountain View. Paly recently dropped a 3-2 match to Sacred Heart Cathedral and would like nothing more than to get another shot at the Irish in the CCS D1 final. That could happen with a No. 2 seed in that bracket behind SHC at No. 1.

16. (NR) Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 25-7
Michelle Ohwobete had a strong outing to lead the Dragons past Liberty of Brentwood in their CIF North Coast Section D1 opener. They are the top seed in that bracket and were able to post a win in one match this season over Marin Catholic.

17. (NR) Rancho Cucamonga 21-9
The Cougars are the ones who knocked out CIFSS D2 No. 1 seed Village Christian of Sun Valley (also previous No. 12 in the state) in this year’s CIFSS D2 playoffs and won in Wednesday’s quarterfinals against Lakewood.

18. (NR) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 25-10
There are signs that the Monarchs may be about to go on one of their patented playoff runs. They beat St. Ignatius of San Francisco on Wednesday in their league finale. The difference between this year and last year is that last year they were able to play in the NorCal D1 playoff bracket. This year, if they get to the CCS final or even win it, they’d be in the NorCal Open Division for sure.

19. (NR) La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad) 27-13
The Mavericks have been one of the state’s most up-and-down squads all season. At their best, of course, they got a win over Torrey Pines on their home court. They are the No. 3 seed for the CIF San Diego Section Open Division.

20. (NR) Pleasant Valley (Chico) 32-1
It’s time to put back in the Vikings since their only loss remains the one they had at the East Bay Classic to a solid team from California (San Ramon). Their best win still is the one over Huntington Beach. They also have solid wins over some of the top teams from the Sac-Joaquin Section such as Nevada Union, Rocklin and Cosumnes Oaks. As a Northern Section team that doesn’t play the type of competition, for example, like the CCS, will the CIF put Pleasant Valley in the NorCal Open Division? It’ll be pretty hard not to with the record that the Vikings have put together. They frankly should welcome the challenge.

Previous No. 12 Village Christian (Sun Valley); No. 15 St. Francis (Mountain View); No. 17 Long Beach Poly; No. 18 California (San Ramon); No. 19 Corona del Mar (Newport Beach).

Arroyo Grande 26-4
Bishop Montgomery (Torrance) 26-5
Bishop’s (La Jolla) 27-9
Campolindo (Moraga) 22-5
Clovis West (Fresno) 23-9
Esperanza (Anaheim) 20-5
Huntington Beach 20-9
Laguna Beach 30-10
Liberty (Bakersfield) 24-5
Nevada Union (Grass Valley) 39-10
Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills) 29-8
Rocklin 24-11
San Juan Hills (SJ Capistrano) 21-8
Valley Christian (San Jose) 16-11
Westlake (Westlake Village) 24-5

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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