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SBLive's California Top 20 girls volleyball rankings: SoCal upsets shake up order

Four Top 20 teams go down to underdogs; Saint Francis maintains top billing in the North.

The girls volleyball talent pool is deep and wide in Southern California, as proven last week with four major upsets. 

Redondo Union-Redondo Beach, Mater Dei-Santa Ana, Huntington Beach and San Clemente were all beaten by underdogs.

Up north, St. Francis-Mountain View keeps rolling along and is clearly the best team outside SoCal. But there are competitors in the Central Coast Section, North Coast Section and San Joaquin Section that are close behind.

The most exciting league in the state is definitely the NCS’s East Bay Athletic League with three one-loss teams and two two-loss competitors.

In the Central Section, the Tri-River League features six teams with overall records above .590. Five of those teams are from Clovis. 

Check the rankings below – the big mover is Palos Verdes-Palos Verdes Estates.

SBLive California Top 20 Girls Volleyball Rankings (records through Sept. 24)

1. Cathedral Catholic-San Diego (San Diego Section, 26-0 overall record, No. 1 last week)
Dons have not lost a set all year. Watch them on ESPNU and ESPN+ beginning October 7 in the two-day GEICO Invitational. Dons will join Papillion (La.) La Vista South-Papillion (Neb.), Ponte Vedra (Fla.) and Skyview-Nampa (Idaho) in the showcase.

2. Mira Costa-Manhattan Beach (Southern Section, 15-2, No. 2 LW)
Drew Wright leads Mustangs with 4.2 kills per set. Costa has 13 sweeps in those 15 wins.

3. Sierra Canyon-Chatsworth (SS, 24-3, No. 3 LW)
In Mission League showdown, Trailblazers defeated Bishop Alemany-Mission Hills 26-24, 25-17, 25-14 behind Olivia Babcock’s 20 kills and just six errors in 38 attempts, for a .368 attack percentage.

4. Marymount-Los Angeles (SS, 19-5, No. 4 LW)
Sailors piled on by also sweeping Alemany. Scores were 25-19, 25-16, 25-15. Marymount can’t look forward a week to Sierra Canyon home match as they travel to Harvard-Westlake this week.

5. Saint Francis (Central Coast Section, 14-0, No. 7 LW)
Can Lancers be ranked this high when they have not played SoCal powerhouses? Yes, because all 14 wins are sweeps and opponents did include Archbishop Mitty-San Jose, Sacred Heart Prep-Atherton, Redwood-Larkspur and Branson-Ross.

6. San Clemente (SS, 15-7, No. 5 LW)
Tritons ambushed in their own gym by Aliso Niguel-Aliso Viejo 20-25, 25-18, 19-25, 21-25.

7. Palos Verdes (SS, 14-4, No. 11 LW)
Followed up five-set loss in deuce to Mira Costa by ripping Redondo Union on the road 18-25, 25-17, 25-22, 25-21.

8. Lakewood (SS, 17-5, No. 9 LW)
Setter Fatima Hall leads Lakewood, who put together solid performance in the Durango tournament and are now rolling through the Moore League.

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9. Redondo Union (SS, 17-7, No. 4 LW)
Tonic for upset loss to Palos Verdes is home match against rival Mira Costa.

10. Huntington Beach (SS, 19-3, No. 10 LW)
Road win over Los Alamitos was 24-26, 30-28, 26-28, 25-14, 15-8. But Oilers couldn’t avoid tumble versus Newport Harbor in 25-17, 24-26, 18-25, 21-25 loss.

11. Mater Dei-Santa Ana (SS, 17-5, No. 8 LW)
Santa Margarita-Rancho Santa Margarita Eagles swept Monarchs 25-22, 28-26, 25-22. 

12. Archbishop Mitty (CCS, 17-4, No. 12 LW)
Among tournaments, West Catholic Athletic League play, CCS playoffs and NorCal tourney, Monarchs and rival St. Francis see each other many times. In September 3 Spikefest title match, Lancers won 25-16, 25-19. Rematch Tuesday will be at SFHS and scores likely to be closer this time.

13. Torrey Pines-San Diego (SDS, 13-5, No. 14 LW)
Frosh Finley (Fin) Krystkowiak leads Falcons with 3.5 kills per set. Nikki Quinn loves to set her, Layla Williams and the other Torrey Pines hitters.

14. San Ramon Valley-Danville (North Coast Section, 14-2, Not rated)
SRV beat Monte Vista-Danville 21-25, 25-16, 25-22, 25-20. Setter Morgan Daetz and Boston College-commit outside hitter Audrey Ross both following in footsteps of older sisters that played for the Wolves.

San Ramon Valley captains (L-R) Morgan Daetz, Audrey Ross and Iris Buttles. Photo: Chace Bryson/SportsStars Magazine.

San Ramon Valley captains (L-R) Morgan Daetz, Audrey Ross and Iris Buttles. Photo: Chace Bryson/SportsStars Magazine.

15. Amador Valley-Pleasanton (NCS, 13-1, Not rated)
Dons on 7-match win streak behind kill leaders Madison May and Charlotte Kelly. Kelly had 20 kills in win over Foothill-Pleasanton.

16. Oak Ridge-El Dorado Hills (San Joaquin Section, 20-3, No. 17 LW)
Elle Weaver and Madison Walker lead the Trojans, who took down Whitney-Rocklin in five sets, 25-18, 22-25, 27-29, 25-18, 15-10. Rebounding from a 29-27 third-set loss takes fortitude.

17. Monte Vista (NCS, 15-2, No. 13 LW)
Valley fever? Dons have early-season sweep of Amador Valley but recent four-set loss to San Ramon Valley.

18. Liberty-Bakersfield (Central Section, 17-4, No. 19 LW)
Patriots’ losses are to two Hawaiian teams, Mercy of Louisville KY and a five-setter in deuce to Clovis North.

19. Cypress (SS, 10-1, No. 16 LW)
Centurions are very good but untested.

20. Bishop Alemany-Mission Hills (SS, 14-4, No. 15 LW)
Lost two matches, but nothing wrong with playing tough against powerhouses Marymount and Sierra Canyon.

On the bubble: Whitney-Rocklin (SJS), Chino Hills (SS), Clovis East-Clovis (CS), Buchanan-Clovis (CS), Sacred Heart Prep (CCS), Vista Murrieta-Murrieta (SS), Burlingame (CCS), La Costa Canyon-Carlsbad (SDS).

Comments, questions or opinions? Email gordon.kass@gmail.com.