Kim Willeman, a member of the CIF-Southern Section Coaches Hall of Fame, led Bishop Montgomery to seven CIF girls’ volleyball titles (and three state championships) from 1992 to 2003. 

When the CIF-Southern Section girls’ volleyball finals are held Nov. 11, there will likely be at least one local Catholic high school competing for a title, if recent history is any indication.

Since 1994, Catholic school teams from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and/or Diocese of Orange have reached the championship round every season in at least one division, winning titles in all but two of those years (1995 and 2014). Going back to the last 40 years (starting with 1977), a Catholic school has reached the final in every year except 1982 and 1993.

In all, 19 Catholic schools have won CIF championships, led by Marymount with nine titles — all since 2001 including six straight, 2001-06 — and two runner-up finishes under the guidance of coach Cari Klein, herself a former All-American volleyball star at Pepperdine.

Next on the list are Santa Margarita, with eight titles and two seconds, including four straight under coach Eddie Rapp (1996-99), and Bishop Montgomery, with seven titles and seven seconds, most of them under the leadership of coach Kim Willeman. Ironically, Willeman was a member of the first CIF girls’ volleyball championship team, playing for the 1972 Mira Costa High School team that defeated — that’s right, Bishop Montgomery for the title, 15-1, 15-7.

Louisville, the first local Catholic school to win a CIF title in girls’ volleyball (1974 under Marla O’Connell), has five championships, most recently in 2015. Several schools are tied with four apiece: Bishop Diego (all consecutive, 1975-78, under coach Linda Dawson, plus two seconds); Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy (runner-up four times); Mayfield (twice runner-up); Mater Dei (a runner-up seven times); and Cornelia Connelly (consecutively, 2006-09, and runner-up twice).

Following is the list of local Catholic schools that have won CIF titles or finished second, with their divisional placement in parentheses. Note that divisional alignments have expanded and been revised multiple times throughout the years. (Source: CIF-Southern Section Record Book.)

 

Girls’ Volleyball: CIF Catholic school champions

1974: Louisville.

1975: Louisville (4A); Bishop Diego (2A).

1977: Bishop Diego (1A).

1978: Bishop Diego (2-A); Mayfield (Small Schools).

1979: Bishop Diego (2-A).

1980: Louisville (3-A); Paraclete (SS).

1981: Louisville (3A).

1986: Flintridge Sacred Heart (SS).

1987: Flintridge Sacred Heart (SS).

1988: St. Anthony (1A).

1990: Notre Dame Academy (4A).

1992: Bishop Montgomery (II).

1994: Bishop Montgomery (II).

1996: Santa Margarita (IIA); Bishop Montgomery (IIIAA); Flintridge Sacred Heart (IVAA).

1997: Santa Margarita (IIA); Flintridge Sacred Heart (IVAA).

1998: Santa Margarita (IIA); Bishop Montgomery (IIIAA).

1999: Santa Margarita (IIAA); St. Joseph/Lakewood (IIA); Bishop Montgomery (IIIAA); Notre Dame Academy (IVAA).

2000: La Reina (IVAA).

2001: Mater Dei (IIA); St. Joseph/Lakewood (IIIAA); Marymount (IVAA).

2002: Mater Dei (IIA); Bishop Montgomery (IIIA); Marymount (IVAA).

2003: Mater Dei (IIA); Santa Margarita (IIIAA); Bishop Montgomery (IIIA); Marymount (IVAA).

2004: Santa Margarita (IIIAA); Marymount (IVAA).

2005: Notre Dame Academy (IIIA); Marymount (IVAA).

2006: Marymount (IA); Cornelia Connelly (VA).

2007: Mayfield (Ernest Banaag, IVAA); Cornelia Connelly (VA).

2008: Santa Margarita (IAA); Mayfield (IIIA); Cornelia Connelly (VAA).

2009: Mayfield (3A); Cornelia Connelly (5AA).

2010: Marymount (1A); St. Lucy’s (2AA).

2011: Marymount (1A); St. Lucy’s (2AA).

2012: Marymount (1AA); La Salle (1A); Alverno (5AA).

2013: La Salle (1A); Pomona Catholic (5AA).

2015: Mater Dei (1AA); Louisville (2A); St. Monica Academy (5A).

2016: Santa Margarita (D1); St. Joseph/Lakewood (D3); St. Anthony (D7).

 

Catholic school runners-up

1972: Bishop Montgomery.

1973: Bishop Montgomery.

1980: St. Bernard (3A); Holy Family (Small Schools).

1983: Bishop Diego (2A); Cornelia Connelly (1A); Flintridge Sacred Heart (SS).

1984: Paraclete (1A).

1985: Notre Dame Academy (4A); Flintridge Sacred Heart (SS)

1987: Sacred Heart of Jesus (SS).

1988: Mayfield (SS).

1989: St. Anthony (1A); Mayfield (SS).

1990: St. Anthony (2A).

1991: Marymount (4A); St. Anthony (2A).

1995: Bishop Montgomery (II).

1997: Mater Dei (IA); St. Joseph (IIA); Bishop Montgomery (IIIA); St. Bonaventure (IVA); Bishop Diego (VAA).

1998: St. Joseph/Lakewood (IIA); Notre Dame Academy (IIIA); Mary Star (VAA).

1999: Mater Dei (IA).

2000: Mater Dei (IA); St. Joseph/Lakewood (IIA); Bishop Montgomery (IIIAA); Marymount (IVAA).

2001: Bishop Montgomery (IIIA).

2002: Santa Margarita (IIIAA); Flintridge Sacred Heart (IVAA); Mary Star (IVA).

2003: Notre Dame Academy (IVAA); Mary Star (IVA).

2004: Mater Dei (IIAA); Notre Dame Academy (IVAA).

2005: Santa Margarita (IIIAA); La Salle (IVAA).

2007: Flintridge Sacred Heart (IA); Bishop Montgomery (IIAA).

2008: La Reina (IIA); Bishop Conaty (IVA).

2009: Bellarmine Jefferson (4A).

2011: La Salle (2AA); Cornelia Connelly (4A).

2012: Pomona Catholic (5AA); St. Monica Academy (5A).

2013: Mater Dei (1AA); Mayfield (2A); Bishop Conaty (5AA).

2014: Mater Dei (1AA); La Reina (4AA).

2016: Mater Dei (D1); La Reina (D5).