National power Mater Dei will seek to defend its Division 1 title in girls’ volleyball when the CIF-Southern Section playoffs begin this week.
The Monarchs, as expected, drew the top seed in Division 1 and will face Great Oak on Oct. 18. Catholic school rivals Marymount and Santa Margarita are also part of the D-1 field, as is powerful Redondo Union.
Collectively, the four have dominated four of the top five placements in the D-1 rankings throughout the 2018 season and are frequently appear in Maxpreps’ “Xcellent 25” and/or Computer rankings as among the best in the United States.
Mater Dei is also one of several Catholic school regular season league champions playing in the tournament, having won the Trinity League. Other titlists include Marymount (Mission), Alemany (Sunshine), Bishop Amat (Camino Real), St. Genevieve (Santa Fe), Holy Family and Sacred Heart (Horizon co-champs) and St. Monica Academy/Montrose (International).
There are 27 Catholic school teams competing in this year’s playoffs, which commence with wild card matches on Oct. 16. They include La Reina vs. Santa Barbara (Division 4); St. Mary’s Academy vs. Hawthorne MSA (D-7); and Bishop Conaty-Loretto vs. Santa Rosa Academy, Bishop Diego vs. Trinity Classical Academy, and Villanova Prep vs. Pacific Lutheran (all in D-8).
Those winners join the rest of the field for first round matches, scheduled Oct. 18 in all nine divisions, followed by second round matches Oct. 20 (except for D-1), quarterfinals Oct. 24, semifinals Oct. 27 and finals Nov. 3 — and then, Southern California Regional and State Championships
First round matches (overall records in parentheses) include:
- D-1: Mater Dei (35-2) vs. Great Oak (22-8); Marymount (30-7) vs. Lakewood (24-11); Santa Margarita (23-12) vs. Foothill/Santa Ana (20-3). Also: Redondo Union (32-2) vs. Westlake (33-1).
- D-2: La Salle (20-11) vs. Aliso Niguel (14-6); Notre Dame/Sherman Oaks (19-8) vs Orange Lutheran (17-13); St. Joseph/Lakewood (23-6) first round bye.
- D-3: Notre Dame Academy (16-13) vs Saugus (19-10); Louisville (18-15) vs. South Torrance (20-14); St. Paul (23-11) vs. Hart (21-5); Alemany (23-6) vs. West Ranch (10-13); St. Lucy’s (15-14) vs. Arcadia (16-1).
- D-4: Mayfield (18-9) vs. Villa Park (9-14); Bishop Montgomery (18-12) vs. Gahr (18-7).
- D-5: St. Anthony (19-10) vs. La Serna (16-7); Bishop Amat (18-7) vs. Palm Desert (22-16).
- D-6: St. Genevieve (12-10) vs. Firebaugh (5-1); St. Monica/Santa Monica (15-14) vs. Archer School (19-6).
- D-7: Mary Star of the Sea (17-8) vs. Cantwell-Sacred Heart (11-12); Sacred Heart (11-7) vs. Pete Knight (12-9).
- D-8: St. Monica Academy/Montrose (12-5) vs. South El Monte (12-5); Holy Family (19-13) vs. Wild Card J (Villanova or Pacific Lutheran).
Mike Nelson is the former editor of The Tidings (predecessor of Angelus News).
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