They’ve each spent time at No. 1 this season. Each has beaten the other in head-to-head play.

And this Saturday at Cerritos College, Mater Dei and Marymount will tangle again, this time in a rematch of last year’s Division 1 final in the CIF-Southern Section girls’ volleyball playoffs, after both posted semifinal victories Oct. 27.

Third-seeded Marymount’s comeback four-set win over No. 2 Redondo Union (23-25, 25-20-25-21, 25-18) was a bit more of a surprise, given that the Sailors had lost a straight-set encounter to Redondo on Aug. 30.

On the other hand, top-seeded Mater Dei’s four-set win over No. 4 Sierra Canyon (25-15, 24-26, 25-15, 25-18) was more decisive than the Monarchs’ five-set win on Aug. 16 in the season opener for both teams.

Now, Mater Dei (38-2), ranked second nationally by Maxpreps, and Marymount (32-8), also regarded as among the country’s top teams, meet for the sixth time in the last two seasons, with Mater Dei holding a 3-2 edge.

In 2017, Marymount won the regular season match over the Monarchs, but Mater Dei beat the Sailors in the CIF D-1 final, and again in the Southern California Regional Tournament. This season, Marymount defeated Mater Dei, 25-22, 25-20, on Oct. 22 in the round-robin Nike Tournament of Champions, but the Monarchs came out on top in their Oct. 4 rematch, 26-24, 25-17, 25-14.

Four other local Catholic school teams lost their semifinal encounters Oct. 27:

  • D-2: Notre Dame/Sherman Oaks (22-9) fell to Los Alamitos, three sets to one.
  • D-4: Bishop Montgomery (21-13) lost to Poly/Pasadena, also in four sets.
  • D-5: Unseeded St. Anthony (22-11) lost to No. 1 Ontario Christian in a five-set thriller, 25-17, 25-27, 25-20, 16-25, 15-7.
  • D-8: Villanova Prep (14-6), another non-seeded team, saw its season end with a straight-set loss to Rancho Christian.

Mike Nelson is the former editor of The Tidings (predecessor of Angelus News).

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