Torrey Pines win its first-ever CIF state title and does it in the Open Division with last Saturday’s three-game sweep of Marin Catholic. We’ve had the Falcons No. 1 in the state for many weeks with most of the so-called national experts not matching that and now many of them are going with Torrey Pines as No. 1 in the nation. Vista Murrieta also wins the CIF Division 1 state title, but can’t move up in the final ranking with all of the Open Division teams already in front of the Broncos. The only newcomer for these final rankings is CIFSS D2 champion Esperanza of Anaheim.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Previous ranking in parentheses)
(Through all reported results of 2019 season)
1. (1) Torrey Pines (San Diego) 39-2
It’s been awhile since the Falcons were even in a CIF state final, but they made a lot of history when they won the CIF Open Division state championship last Saturday over Marin Catholic of Kentfield. Game scores were 25-11, 25-23, 25-14. It was easy, but the SoCal teams still are only 2-2 in the first four CIF Open Division state finals with Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) winning the first two. Torrey Pines’ serving and depth were overwhelming for the NorCal squad. Carly Diehl had five aces to go with five kills. Delaynie Maple led the team in kills with eight and also had three aces. The Falcons had lost in their four previous CIF state appearances with losses in 2001 (D1), 1993 (D2) and 1992 (D2). Their win this team also cemented their status as the No. 1 team in the nation in the one by FloSports and elevated them to No. 1 in others. We laugh when rankings compilers like from MaxPreps drop a team it has been ranking No. 1, in that case New Castle of Indiana, when that team is done, finished and already thinking it’s going to finish No. 1. Imagine how the girls, parents and fans of that team feel when they get dropped like that. You will never see us do that for a Cal-Hi Sports ranking in the No. 1 position.
2. (2) Redondo Union (Redondo Beach) 34-4
The Sea Hawks do indeed grab the final No. 2 position in the state ahead of Mater Dei despite losing to the Monarchs in the CIF SoCal Open Division semifinals. It’s a tough call but the two CIF Southern Section powerhouses played three times with Redondo winning the other two matches, including the one that decided the CIFSS D1 championship. Another reason is that nationally it makes sense to have the Sea Hawks ahead of 50-2 Byron Nelson of Trophy Club, Texas, which is a team that won the Class 6A state title in Texas but dropped a match to Redondo way back in August at the Ann Kang tourney in Hawaii.
3. (3) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 30-6
It’s the third straight year for a top three finish in the state for the Monarchs, who were No. 1 last season as CIF Open Division state champs and were No. 2 in 2017 after they were defeated in the CIF Open Division state final by Archbishop Mitty. This year’s team had to replace a couple of key starters and was still just a few points short of getting back to a third straight CIF Open state final after falling to Torrey Pines in the CIF SoCal Open final.
4. (5) Marymount (Los Angeles) 33-5
As mentioned in the last rankings, head coach Carrie Klein’s girls were going to move back up into the top four if No. 1 Torrey Pines had won the CIF Open Division. That’s what happened so now it’ll be the Sailors fourth and previous No. 4 Marin Catholic sliding back down two spots. Marymount was picked to be one of the top teams in the state and nation and that was the case. The team’s playoff losses were to No. 3 Mater Dei in the CIF Southern Section D1 bracket and then to No. 1 Torrey Pines in the CIF SoCal regional semifinals.
5. (6) Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) 30-5
Three of the losses by the Dons were to Torrey Pines, twice in the regular season and then in the CIF San Diego Section Open Division final. They were considered No. 1 in the nation at one point of the season after they won the top divisional title at the Durango Fall Classic in Las Vegas. The team was still higher ranked than Torrey Pines by many until meeting in that section final. Cathedral Catholic then went to the CIF SoCal Open Division and lost in a first-round match to Marymount on the road.
6. (4) Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 36-4
It was going to take the Wildcats playing out of their minds for them to have a shot at Torrey Pines in last Saturday’s CIF Open Division state final. Other than the second set, which they came close but lost 25-23, they couldn’t do that. The Falcons won in straight sets, sending Marin Catholic back up north still happy with the season that it had. This was, after all, the program’s first-ever trip to the CIF state finals it came in the Open Division. To get there, head coach Jake Spain’s club won the CIF North Coast Section D2 title and then after a first-round bye topped Archbishop Mitty and Bishop O’Dowd to win the NorCal Open Division title.
7. (7) Vista Murrieta (Murrieta) 25-11
Showing once again an amazing ability to win close, hard-fought matches, the Broncos won their first CIF state title with a four-set triumph last Friday over Campolindo of Moraga. They actually lost the first set to the Cougars 20-25 and then had to survive a back-and-forth second set (30-28) before winning the final two sets 25-22 and 25-21. Claire Little led the way with 30 kills, which based on CIF title game match records is the most for a freshman in a state final. The Broncos can’t move up in the final rankings since that would require going up in front of Marin Catholic. It’s more the win over Sierra Canyon in the SoCal D1 semifinals that pushes the team much higher in the rankings since the Trailblazers were No. 6 at the time.
8. (8) Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 35-4
For most of the season, the Trailblazers were considered to be the fourth best team in the CIFSS behind Redondo, Mater Dei and Marymount. That continued through the CIFSS D1 playoffs (lost in the semifinals to Mater Dei) but after surprisingly not being selected for the CIF SoCal Open Division and instead being chosen top seed for the SoCal D1 playoffs there was that upset in the semifinal round of that bracket to Vista Murrieta. For the rankings after that, Sierra Canyon has simply been staying behind the Broncos (especially now that they have won the CIF D1 state title).
9. (10) Mira Costa (Manhattan Beach) 19-8
By virtue of the SoCal team winning the CIF Open Division state title and because the team they lost to in the CIF SoCal D1 playoffs, Vista Murrieta, went on to win the D1 state title, the Mustangs do a flip-flip with previous No. 9 Bishop O’Dowd in this week’s final rankings. Mira Costa is from the same league as No. 2 Redondo and also was a third-place team overall at the prestigious Nike Tournament of Champions that was held in Arizona in early October.
10. (9) Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 30-8
The Dragons posted a win over Marin Catholic at the Belmont Tiger Cup tourney, but lost to the Wildcats in the CIF NorCal Open Division championship. They won the NCS D1 title over CIF D1 state finalist Campolindo and got past St. Francis of Sacramento and Sacred Heart Cathedral in the NorCal Open bracket before running into Marin Catholic.
11. (11) Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) 27-6
Head coach Margi Beima winning her 500th game was just one of the highlights of the season for the Irish. They were the champions of the highly regarded West Catholic Athletic League, won the CIF Central Coast Section Open Division title and then lost to Bishop O’Dowd in the CIF NorCal Open semifinals.
12. (13) La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad) 31-16
Forget the 16 losses. There were just so many times that the Mavericks showed they were one of the best teams in the state. This included one regular season win over national champion Torrey Pines. They also got past Foothill of Tustin in the CIF SoCal D1 semifinals before losing in a five-set epic thriller to eventual state champ Vista Murrieta in the final.
13. (14) Foothill (Tustin) 26-6
The Knights showed a lot of promise when they went to five sets in their very first match of the season with Mater Dei. Some of their other losses were to higher-ranked teams. Their playoff losses were to Sierra Canyon in the CIFSS D1 bracket and to La Costa Canyon in the CIF SoCal D1 semifinals.
Despite losing to Bishop O’Dowd in the CIF NorCal Open Division playoffs, the Troubadours would still be the best team looking at the state from Redding in the north all the way through the Central Valley down to Bakersfield in the south. They were the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D1 champions and won matches against top teams from the CIF Central Section.
15. (12) Campolindo (Moraga) 27-7
The Cougars got the first game in their CIF D1 state title match with Vista Murrieta, but ended up falling 20-25, 30-28, 25-22 and 25-21. They reached the state final with NorCal D1 playoff wins against Clovis North, Palo Alto and Menlo-Atherton. We got a great all-state nomination earlier this week for senior setter Audrey Pak, who will play next at UCLA.
16. (16) Aliso Niguel (Aliso Viejo) 21-6
This is the team that lost in a 3-2 match to No. 13 Foothill in the CIF SoCal D1 playoffs and beat Long Beach Poly in the CIFSS D1 playoffs before losing to Redondo.
17. (17) Long Beach Poly (Long Beach) 27-9
You’d have to say it was little bit of a disappointing season for the Jackrabbits, who had a lot of highly regarded returnees from last season. They lost in the CIFSS D1 playoffs to Aliso Niguel and lost in the CIF SoCal D1 playoffs to Sierra Canyon with a previous win over CIF Central Section D1 runner-up Liberty of Bakersfield.
18. (18) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 29-12
The Monarchs were stronger than last season, in which the program took a rebuilding dip after winning back-to-back CIF Open Division state titles in 2016 and 2017, but still have a way to go to get back up to where they were. They lost in the CCS Open final to league rival Sacred Heart Cathedral and then to Marin Catholic in the NorCal Open semifinals.
19. (19) Clovis North (Fresno) 40-5
Based on overall season results, not just completely on a loss to Clovis West in the CIF Central Section D1 semifinals, we’re ranking the Broncos highest among teams from that section also have finalized it that they should be in the final State Top 20.
20. (NR) Esperanza (Anaheim) 22-6
For this last spot, we could have left in Menlo-Atherton or could elevated CIF D2 state champion Ontario Christian. One of Ontario Christian’s three losses, however, was to Murrieta Valley of Murrieta, which is the team that Esperanza beat to win the CIF Southern Section Division 2 title. The Aztecs were then unceremoniously jumped to the 16th seed of the CIF D1 state playoffs where they also were given the task of having to face nationally ranked Sierra Canyon on the road. Murrieta Valley was seeded No. 1 for the CIF SoCal D2 bracket. If Ontario Christian didn’t have a loss to Murrieta Valley, the 20th spot might have gone in that direction. As it worked out, we’ll go for Esperanza for this position despite what happened to the girls in what can be the cruel world of CIF playoff seedings.
Previous No. 20 Menlo-Atherton (Atherton).
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
Huntington Beach 20-10
Laguna Beach 30-11
Liberty (Bakersfield) 25-7
Los Gatos 31-10
Menlo-Atherton (Atherton) 25-6
Murrieta Valley (Murrieta) 25-9
Nevada Union (Grass Valley) 43-11
Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills) 30-10
Ontario Christian 38-3*
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
*Won CIF Division 2 state title.