After Tuesday’s regional championships, we’re down to Torrey Pines vs. Marin Catholic for the CIF Open Division state championship plus Vista Murrieta of Murrieta vs. Campolindo of Moraga for Division 1. With competitive equity divisions and seedings, we just can’t get the other state finalists that high in the rankings but they all deserve credit for advancing that far.
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(Previous ranking in parentheses)
(Through reported results of Tuesday, Nov. 19)
1. (1) Torrey Pines (San Diego) 38-2
It was a bizarre CIF SoCal Open Division final between the Falcons and defending CIF Open Division state champ Mater Dei on Tuesday of this week. The teams were in the second set at Torrey Pines when a leaky roof and wet weather outside forced a stoppage to the match. It had to be moved to a different site at nearby Canyon Crest Academy and after a one hour delay the Falcons went on to beat the Monarchs in four sets 25-17, 25-23, 23-25, 25-20. Megan Kraft had five kills in the first set but Maya Satchell led the team for the match with 15. Torrey Pines will now play in its first state final since 2001 (a loss to San Jose Archbishop Mitty) on Saturday at Santiago Canyon College vs. NorCal Open winner and state No. 4 Marin Catholic. By winning the SoCal Open title over a strong group of contenders (two of which won the two biggest national tourneys of the year), the Falcons also are building a strong case to be No. 1 in the nation this season as well.
2. (2) Redondo Union (Redondo Beach) 34-4*
Hmmm, it’s actually not easy for which team should be second in the state this week and probably for the final rankings. Redondo beat Mater Dei in two of three matchups, but it was the Monarchs who got the win last Saturday in the CIF SoCal Open Division semifinals. It’s also comparing a CIF Southern Section title vs. a regional playoff game. We’ll go for the Sea Hawks in this slot for now, but reserve the right to switch for the final rankings.
3. (3) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 30-6*
Junior Zaria Henderson had a strong outing for the Monarchs in their 3-1 loss to Torrey Pines on Tuesday with a match-high 16 kills. Mater Dei wasn’t able to repeat as CIF Open Division state champion, but defeated Redondo Union 3-2 last Saturday in a rematch of the CIFSS D1 final. Several other wins during the season also left no doubt that the Monarchs were once again one of the top 10 teams in the nation.
4. (6) Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 36-3
For having the shot to perhaps knock off Torrey Pines and win the CIF Open Division state championship on Saturday, the Wildcats get boosted to fourth for this week’s rankings. They won in straight sets on Tuesday over Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland to win the NorCal Open title and advance to their first Open Division state final. With a win over Torrey Pines, they’d obviously go to the top for the final rankings. With a loss, the placement would be easy as well — back behind Marymount and Cathedral Catholic but ahead of everyone else. Going back to the CIF North Coast Section D2 final, the Wildcats have not lost a set.
5. (4) Marymount (Los Angeles) 33-5*
The Sailors had their season end in the CIF SoCal Open Division semifinals last Saturday with a trip to Torrey Pines and a loss to the top-ranked Falcons. They had opened the bracket with a home game against the CIF San Diego Section’s other powerhouse team this year, Cathedral Catholic, and beat the Dons with a 3-1 triumph.
6. (5) Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) 30-5*
This team’s final two losses were to No. 1 Torrey Pines in the San Diego Section Open Division championship and then to No. 5 Marymount in the CIF SoCal Open Division. Two other early-season losses also were to Torrey Pines in matches when the team was not yet at full strength.
7. (11) Vista Murrieta (Murrieta) 24-11
After a pair of wins in unbelievable matches to win the CIF SoCal D1 championship, the Broncos get to come up four spots for this week’s rankings. The first of those two matches was against previous No. 7 and D1 state title favorite Sierra Canyon on the road. The fifth game of that match went to Vista Murrieta 19-17. That gave the girls a shot to reach their first-ever CIF state final against La Costa Canyon in the regional final and that match went to five sets as well. Scores were 25-20, 21-25, 32-30, 23-25 and 15-9. According to reporting by Eric-Paul Johnson of the Riverside Press-Enterprise, the hitting of Reka Monteleone and Claire Little were instrumental in the victory. The Broncos will now play Campolindo of Moraga for the D1 state title.
8. (7) Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 35-4
The Trailblazers fall in the rankings right behind the team they were defeated by in the CIF SoCal D1 semifinals. Before losing to Vista Murrieta, Sierra Canyon’s only losses were to Torrey Pines, Marin Catholic and Redondo. The Trailblazers forced a fifth set against the Broncos with a 25-21 win in the fourth set, but fell in a back-and-forth fifth set 19-17.
9. (12) Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 30-8
Beating previous No. 10 Sacred Heart Cathedral last Saturday and then losing to No. 4 Marin Catholic in the CIF NorCal Open Division final gives the Dragons a bump in this week’s rankings. The CIF North Coast Section D1 champions could go up even more in the final rankings not just depending on how Marin Catholic does on Saturday but also how Campolindo does in the D1 state final vs. Vista Murrieta. That’s the team O’Dowd defeated to win its section crown.
10. (9) Mira Costa (Manhattan Beach) 19-8
The Mustangs didn’t get out of the quarterfinals of the CIF SoCal D1 playoffs, but their loss was to Vista Murrieta (now in the D1 state final) and a lot of their earlier wins (especially when they finished third at the Nike Tournament of Champions in Arizona) are plenty good enough for a continued high state ranking.
11. (10) Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) 27-6
For this week’s rankings, the Irish are only dropping behind the Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland team they lost to in the CIF NorCal Open Division semifinals. Sacred Heart Cathedral had earned one of the top seeds in that bracket for winning the CIF Central Coast Section Open Division title as well as the title in the prestigious West Catholic Athletic League, which for one of the first times in many years doesn’t have a team in this weekend’s CIF state championships.
12. (18) Campolindo (Moraga) 27-6
It was back in 2010 when the Cougars last won a CIF state title and they’ll be looking for their third overall when they hit the court Friday night to face Vista Murrieta for this year’s D1 championship. Campo, which also is making its fifth trip to a state final, won the NorCal D1 title on Tuesday with a 25-14, 25-19, 20-25, 25-14 victory against Menlo-Atherton. They entered the D1 bracket after falling to Bishop O’Dowd in the CIF North Coast Section D1 final.
13. (NR) La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad) 31-16
Sure, there’s been some stinker losses mixed in with this team’s big wins (like the one early on against Torrey Pines), but its general tough schedule and strong finish with guarantee a final top 20 state ranking. Head coach Rachel Morris’ girls reached the CIF SoCal D1 final on Tuesday against Vista Murrieta with wins against Huntington Beach, Corona del Mar of Newport Beach and Foothill of Tustin. And it took quite a bit of effort for Vista Murrieta to advance. The Mavericks forced a fifth set with a 25-23 win in the fourth, but then lost in the fifth 15-9.
14. (8) Foothill (Tustin) 26-6*
This team falls in behind the La Costa Canyon team it lost to in the CIF SoCal D1 semifinals. The Knights got to that match a win over previous No. 15 Aliso Niguel. It’s not like the match against La Costa Canyon was a rout, either. Scores were 25-22, 25-20, 24-26 and 28-26. Who knows what would have happened if Foothill could have gotten a fifth set?
15. (13) St. Francis (Sacramento) 36-3*
The season ended for the Troubadours with a loss to Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland in the NorCal Open Division playoffs. They had won the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D1 title earlier and won their first 28 matches of the season. Among the early wins was a championship at the Central California Classic facing the best teams from the CIF Central Section.
16. (17) Aliso Niguel (Aliso Viejo) 21-6*
The Wolverines continue to be sandwiched in the rankings behind Foothill of Tustin (lost to the Knights in the CIF SoCal D1 playoffs) and in front of Long Beach Poly (beat the Jackrabbits in the CIF Southern Section D1 playoffs). They also capped the regular season with an impressive win over league rival San Juan Hills.
17. (18) Long Beach Poly (Long Beach) 27-9
Other than a league loss to Long Beach Wilson that was later avenged, all of the teams that the Jackrabbits lost to this season (including Aliso Niguel) are higher ranked. They got into the CIF SoCal D1 playoffs where they won on the road at Liberty of Bakersfield and then lost on the road to top seed Sierra Canyon.
18. (14) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 29-12
The Monarchs are one of those teams that would move up for the final rankings should Marin Catholic upset Torrey Pines in Saturday’s CIF Open Division state championship. As it stands, they just drop a few spots this week behind two more SoCal teams. Mitty’s season ended with a 3-0 loss to Marin Catholic in the NorCal Open semifinals. The team’s previous loss before that was to No. 11 Sacred Heart Cathedral in the CCS Open final.
19. (20) Clovis North (Fresno) 40-5
A loss to D1 state finalist Campolindo of Moraga in the second round of the CIF NorCal D1 playoffs ended the season for the Broncos. Since Campo is higher and could win a state title and since Clovis North had such a strong regular season (including two wins over Clovis West compared to one loss to the Golden Eagles), we’re going with the Broncos at this point of the State Top 20. The team also had wins over NorCal Open Division teams Archbishop Mitty and St. Francis of Mountain View.
20. (NR) Menlo-Atherton (Atherton) 26-7*
The Bears were only able to win one game in a 3-1 loss to No. 12 Campolindo in Tuesday’s NorCal D1 championship. They move up into the State Top 20, though, for beating previous No. 17 Clovis West in the previous round in straight sets. M-A also notched a win in the CCS Open Division over a Palo Alto team that swept 34-2 Pleasant Valley of Chico in the NorCal D1 playoffs. This last spot in the rankings also could go to Ontario Christian (37-3) for the last compilations if that team does well in the CIF Division 2 state championship against Los Gatos (31-9).
Previous No. 17 Clovis West (Fresno); No. 19 Esperanza (Anaheim).
TEAMS ON THE BUBBLE
Bishop Montgomery (Torrance) 27-7*
Bishop’s (La Jolla) 28-11*
Clovis West (Fresno) 27-10*
Corona del Mar (Newport Beach) 16-7*
Esperanza (Anaheim) 22-6*
Huntington Beach 20-10*
Laguna Beach 30-11*
Liberty (Bakersfield) 25-7*
Los Gatos 31-9
Murrieta Valley (Murrieta) 25-9*
Nevada Union (Grass Valley) 43-11*
Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills) 30-10*
Ontario Christian 37-3
Palo Alto 21-7*
Pleasant Valley (Chico) 34-2*
Rancho Cucamonga 23-11*
San Juan Hills (SJ Capistrano) 22-9*
St. Francis (Mountain View) 26-13*
Westlake (Westlake Village) 24-6*