While Mater Dei continues to lead the CIF-Southern Section Divisions 1&2 rankings in girls’ volleyball, the Monarchs are not alone at the top.

Bishop Montgomery (Division 4) and St. Bonaventure (Division 7) have joined Mater Dei as No. 1-ranked Catholic school teams in the latest poll, released Aug. 27.

Bishop Montgomery, long a force in girls’ high school volleyball, won its first two matches — one over Notre Dame Academy (4-2), ranked seventh in D-3 — and will again challenge for the Del Rey League title. Its major competitors include St. Anthony (8-0 after a tournament title Aug. 25), ranked sixth in D-5, and St. Joseph/Lakewood (5-1), unranked but not unnoticed in D-1&2.

(Divisions 1&2 are grouped together through the regular season, and will be divided at playoff time in late October.)

Although only 3-3, St. Bonaventure’s strong showing during a rugged early season schedule resulted in its high ranking. The Seraphs played four of their first five matches against teams in Division 3 and 4, with one of their wins over D-4 Oxnard.

Mater Dei (5-0), last year’s D-1 champion, is ahead of Catholic rival Marymount (third) as well as Trinity League foe Santa Margarita (12th). The Monarchs beat No. 5 Lakewood Aug. 28, and will play No. 2 Redondo Union Sept. 5, Santa Margarita Sept. 12 and Oct. 2, and Marymount Oct. 4.

Marymount (8-1) suffered its first loss Aug. 25, a five-set thriller to Torrey Pines in the finals of the Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions (14-25, 25-18, 29-31, 25-17, 15-12. The Sailors beat Corona del Mar Aug. 28, and play Redondo Union Aug. 30 and Santa Margarita Sept. 4.

Santa Margarita is 3-2, losing last week to No. 4 Great Oak and No. 11 Aliso Niguel, then beating San Juan Hills Aug. 28. The Eagles played Newport Harbor Aug. 29.

Other Catholic ranked teams are Notre Dame Academy (4-2), seventh in D-3; Chaminade (5-1), seventh in D-4: and Holy Family (8-2), sixth in D-8. Schools which received votes in this week’s survey include St. Joseph/Lakewood (D-1), Bishop Amat (D-5), Providence/Burbank (D-7) and Bishop Diego (D-8).

Maxpreps’ “Xcellent 25” national poll shows Mater Dei, Marymount and Redondo Union ranked 3-4-5, with Torrey Pines 16th.

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

Start your day with Always Forward, our award-winning e-newsletter. Get this smart, handpicked selection of the day’s top news, analysis and opinion, delivered to your inbox. Sign up absolutely free today!