Nine divisional titles are at stake in the CIF-Southern Section girls’ volleyball playoffs that begin this week, with 27 Catholic schools in the hunt for all nine (though it is, of course, one to a customer).
As expected, the top four ranked teams in Division 1 drew the top four seedings — and first-round byes — in the 12-team tournament that starts Oct. 24: Redondo Union (35-3), Marymount (31-3), Mater Dei (27-4) and Sierra Canyon (33-2). Marymount and Mater Dei, champions of the Mission and Trinity Leagues, play their quarterfinal matches Oct. 30, and if victorious would meet in the semifinals on Nov. 2.
In addition to the Sailors and Monarchs, six other Catholic school teams enter the tournament as league champions: Bishop Montgomery (Del Rey), Notre Dame Academy (Sunshine), Mary Star (Camino Real), Sacred Heart (Horizon), St. Pius X-St. Matthias (Santa Fe) and St. Monica Academy (International).
Wild-card play in five of the other eight divisions is scheduled Oct. 22. First round play in all divisions starts Oct. 24, followed by second round matches Oct. 26 (except in D-1), quarterfinals Oct. 30, semifinals Nov. 2 and finals Nov. 9.
The divisional breakdown involving Catholic school teams, with their league standing in parentheses:
D-2: First round: Alemany (Sunshine No. 2) at Lakewood; Santiago at Santa Margarita (Trinity No. 2); Flintridge Sacred Heart (MIssion at-large) at Bishop Montgomery (Del Rey No. 1); St. Lucy’s (Baseline T2) at San Juan Hills.
D-3: Wild-card: Millikan at Rosary (Trinity No. 3). First round: Redlands East Valley at Notre Dame Academy (Sunshine No. 1); Santa Monica at La Salle (Del Rey T2).
D-4: First round: Sunny Hills at St. Anthony (Del Rey T2); Mayfield (Prep No. 4) at Calvary Chapel/Santa Ana.
D-5: First round: Chaminade (Sunshine No. 3) at Bishop Amat (Camino Real No. 2).
D-6: Wild-card: Duarte at St. Monica/Santa Monica (Camino Real No. 3). First round: St. Genevieve (Santa Fe No. 2) at St. Bonaventure (Tri-Valley T2); Katella at Mary Star (Camino Real No. 1)
D-7: Wild-card: Bishop Conaty-Loretto (Horizon No. 3) at Westminster. First round: Highland at Sacred Heart (Horizon No. 1); Pacific Christian/Orange at Holy Family (Horizon No. 2); Moreno Valley at St. Pius X-St. Matthias (Santa Fe No. 1).
D-8: Wild-card: Judson International at Cornelia Connelly (Academy No. 3); St. Bernard (Santa Fe No. 3) at Mountain View. First round: Santa Clarita Christian at St. Monica Academy (International No. 1); Pacific Christian/Santa Monica at Bishop Diego (Frontier No. 2).
D-9: First round: Santa Clara (Frontier at-large) at River Springs Magnolia.
The year-end CIF-SS regular season polls (which determine divisional top seeds) were released Oct. 19, with Marymount and Mater Dei ranked second and third in Division 1. Santa Margarita and Bishop Montgomery were fourth and tenth in D-2.
La Salle and Notre Dame Academy were third and ninth in D-3; St. Anthony, third in D-4; Chaminade, fourth in D-5; St. Bonaventure and Mary Star, fifth and sixth in D-6; Sacred Heart, fifth in D-7; and Bishop Diego, tenth in D-8.
Nationally, Mater Dei and Marymount remain third and fourth in Maxpreps’ Xcellent 25 survey, while Marymount is third and Mater Dei sixth in Maxpreps’ computer poll. Redondo Union is tenth and 15th in those polls, with Sierra Canyon 17th in the Xcellent 25 rankings.