Mater Dei, Santa Margarita earned the chance to play for state championships in girls’ volleyball this weekend after their victories Nov. 25 in the Southern California Regional Playoffs.
The Monarchs and Eagles will have the added bonus of playing for the state title close to home, with both matches scheduled at Santiago Canyon College in Orange.
As in its semifinal against Marymount, Mater Dei needed a full five sets to win its Open Division Regional final over Torrey Pines, 29-27, 25-15, 22-25, 23-25, 15-11. The Monarchs (37-5) will play Archbishop Mitty of San Jose (36-5) in the Dec. 2 final, 6:30 p.m.; it will be a rematch of their Sept. 1 meeting in Santa Ana, won by Mater Dei in four sets.
Both teams — nicknamed, coincidentally, “Monarchs” — are nationally ranked by MaxPreps, Archbishop Mitty fourth and Mater Dei sixth. Mater Dei is seeking its first-ever state championship, having been runners-up in 2003 and 2004 (both in Division II), while Archbishop Mitty has won five straight state championships, including the Open Division title in 2016, defeating Santa Margarita (33-9), which last Saturday beat third-seeded San Juan Hills, 25-16, 25-13, 23-25, 25-14 in the Division I regional final, for the right to take on James Logan of Union City (40-4), on Dec. 1, 6:30 p.m., for the state title.
The Eagles won their only state championship in 1999 (Division II), and have been runners-up four times: 1997 and 1998 (Division II), 2003 (Division III) and 2016 (Open Division).
La Salle and St. Paul weren’t nearly as fortunate, losing their regional final matches Nov. 25 to top-seeded teams in their respective divisions, though not without strong resistance.
In the Division II final, La Salle (29-7), No. 2 seed, fell to top-seeded Sierra Canyon (37-7) 16-25, 19-25, 25-16, 25-23, 15-10. And in the Division III final, St. Paul (29-11), No. 2 seed, lost to No. 1 seed Point Loma of San Diego, 25-21, 22-25, 25-22, 25-23.