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California Top 25 girls volleyball rankings via SBLive Sports (9/5/23)

Top four spots remain the same but upsets and a shuffling of rankings reign this week.

The better teams usually prevail in volleyball matches. 

There are many points played, the score resets to 0-0 after every set and thus upsets are relatively rare in comparison with other sports. In some sports, one or two fluke plays or one hot player can flip an outcome.

However, in 2023, it’s a new world order in California volleyball, or maybe there is just more parity. Upsets abound. In just a few weeks, there have been dozens of surprises.

Torrey Pines-San Diego, Huntington Beach and Los Alamitos are hot. 

Cathedral Catholic-San Diego has fallen twice and Lakewood has stumbled out of the gate with a 2-7 record. 

And up north, Archbishop Mitty-San Jose upended defending NorCal Open Division champ St. Francis-Mountain View. 

Read about all the exciting matches below.

California Top 20 girls volleyball rankings

(Records through Sept. 3)

1. Mira Costa (Southern Section, 12-1 overall record, No. 1 last rating)

Costa caught Mater Dei-Santa Ana just after the Monarchs’ championship performance in Volleypalooza in Austin, TX, and rolled them in a home sweep 25-21, 25-21, 25-19. Audrey Flanagan led the Mustangs with 16 kills and coach Cam Green debuted a new look by shifting superstar setter Charlie Fuerbringer to the attack and bringing senior Hayden Lin in to set.

2. Mater Dei (SS, 13-1, was No. 2)

Monarchs dealt Cathedral Catholic their first loss in a 28-26, 25-23 Volleypalooza semifinal. Isabel Clark and Cymarah Gordon each had 11 kills. MDHS then took the title by beating Prestonwood Christian-Plano TX 25-21, 25-18. Back home, they fell to Costa but rebounded to sweep Edison-Huntington Beach. That Monarch firepower is fueled by the passing of Stanford-bound libero Malyssa Cawa (16 digs in the Prestonwood Christian game) and Brown-bound setter Julia Kakkis.

3. Cathedral Catholic (San Diego Section, 7-2, was No. 3)

Cathedral Catholic saw their 50-match unbeaten streak fall to Mater Dei at Volleypalooza and then Grand Oaks-Spring TX topped them 20-25, 25-19, 25-23 in the third-place game. Dons will rebound soon and it starts with a two-mile trip west on Del Mar Heights Road to meet Torrey Pines-San Diego on Wednesday September 6. Figure DePaul-bound S Amanda Saeger and Michigan-bound MB Jenna Hanes will be focused.

4. Sierra Canyon (SS, 11-3, was No. 4)

Trailblazers are road warriors with three huge wins in a two-week span. After the 5-set win at JSerra, they edged Redondo Union-Redondo Beach on the road in five sets, with a 15-13 finale, and then headed over to Oaks Christian-Westlake Village to take down the Lions in five sets. Danica Rach leads SCHS with 3.4 kills per set, with Hanna McGinest providing 3.3 per set. Madeline Way dominates in the middle with 2.4 kills per set and a .354 attack percentage.

5. Huntington Beach (SS, 8-4, was No. 7)

Hot Oilers on a roll. Recent wins over Sierra Canyon and Lakewood were followed up by a 25-20, 25-21, 25-18 sweep of JSerra Catholic-San Juan Capistrano. Sophomore Addison Williams and junior Taylor Ponchak lead the way for the Oilers.

6. Archbishop Mitty (Central Coast Section, 8-0, was No. 13)

Monarchs took revenge on rival St. Francis-Mountain View, putting away the 0-6 2022 mark versus the Lancers, by winning at home 25-21, 25-16, 21-25, 25-22. Sophomore Makenna Crosson led the Monarchs with 20 kills. Previously, they beat Sacred Heart Prep-Atherton 25-14, 19-25, 15-9 at Spikefest. Most recently, they held off St. Ignatius-San Francisco in a five-setter that went 17-15 in the finale.

7. Torrey Pines (SDS, 2-0, was No. 9)

Finley Krystkowiak and the Falcons swept Carlsbad and topped Redondo Union in five sets. Brace yourself, here comes Cathedral Catholic on Wednesday and Mira Costa on Friday.

8. Redondo Union (SS, 6-2, was No. 11)

Sea Hawks fared reasonably well in recent brutal stretch. Redondo lost to Sierra Canyon in five sets (15-13 finale), edged Marymount in five sets with a reverse sweep, and lost to Torrey Pines in five sets (15-12 finale). Abby Zimmerman and Addy Benefield are the leading hitters for Redondo.

9. Los Alamitos (SS, 10-2, was No. 8)

Griffins defeated Palos Verdes-Palos Verdes Estates 23-25, 25-14, 25-19, 25-21.

10. Saint Francis (CCS, 3-1, was No. 6)

Lancers did not have the magic versus Mitty in the late August league tilt. Duke-bound Taylor Williams had 16 kills and North Carolina-bound Erin Curtis had 9 kills. Before Tobacco Road beckons, Lancers will get opportunities for revenge, including a September 27 rematch with Mitty at home. Also of note was a solid St. Francis victory over Marin Catholic-Kentfield 25-18, 25-18, 25-17.

11. Marymount (SS, 2-1, was No. 5)

Sailors were washed overboard by Redondo in a reverse sweep at the Sea Hawks’ raucous gym. Marymount rebounded to sweep stumbling-but-still-tough Lakewood 25-22, 25-22, 25-23.

12. Santa Margarita (SS, 11-0, was Not Rated)

Nice wins over Edison, Palos Verdes, Beckman-Irvine and Edison again. Regan Shields and Brooklyn Drumright lead the attack, with both averaging 3.3 kills per set. Are the Eagles for real? We’ll find out soon as they visit Sierra Canyon and Huntington Beach in a week’s span.

13. JSerra Catholic (SS, 8-4, was No. 10)

Lions lost to Beckman and Palos Verdes in tourneys, then were defeated by Huntington Beach 25-20, 25-21, 25-18.

14. Wilson-Long Beach (SS, 7-2, was No. 12)

Lost to Los Al and Redondo but beat Lakewood in four sets in a non-league contest. First Moore League showdown against those Lancers comes on September 19.

15. Beckman (SS, 10-1, was No. 16)

Patriots topped JSerra 25-22, 25-22 in tournament play but fell to Santa Margarita 25-20, 25-14.

16. Palos Verdes (SS, 7-2, not rated)

Sea Kings bagged JSerra in tourney three-setter, then fell to Los Al in four. Kendall Beshear, bound for Cal Poly, is on fire with a 5.3 kills per set average.

17. Foothill-Pleasanton (North Coast Section, 7-1, NR)

Foothill beat Branham-Ross but lost to Amador Valley-Pleasanton. But everyone has one loss to some other strong team. AV lost to Redwood-Larkspur but also beat the Giants.

18. Redwood (NCS, 6-1, NR)

Jaden Hendrickson, with a superb 4.1 kills per set average, leads the Giants. Redwood lost to Amador Valley 25-20, 25-10 but came back in the same tourney to beat the Dons 26-24, 25-16.

19. Folsom (SJS, 9-1, NR)

Bulldogs beat St. Francis-Sacramento twice. First victory was a tournament three-setter in which they dropped the first set. Second contest was a road win with a reverse sweep. Slow starts. Folsom did lose to Vacaville along the way in a Bulldogs versus Bulldogs match. Call it a dogfight.

20. Clovis West (Central Section, 9-2, was Not Rated)

Golden Eagles beat Redwood in a tourney three-setter behind Kalani Soares’ nine kills. One of two losses was a 5-set defeat to Liberty-Bakersfield.

On the bubble: Branson (NCS), Amador Valley (NCS), San Ramon Valley-Danville (NCS), St. Francis (SJS), St. Mary’s-Stockton (SJS), Marin Catholic (NCS), Sacred Heart Prep (CCS), Salinas (CCS).