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A Spike In VB Rankings A Spike In VB Rankings
   Girls volleyball is back. Well, not really, but as a sport in which Cal-Hi Sports will be offering a state ranking it is.... A Spike In VB Rankings

   Girls volleyball is back. Well, not really, but as a sport in which Cal-Hi Sports will be offering a state ranking it is.

   One of the main reasons we’re re-firing a State Top 20 each week, beginning Sept. 21, is that it’s part of a further evolution of the Cal-Hi Sports partnership with SportStars.

   You see, since SportStars already has done the legwork in evaluating top teams for Northern California for the issue that you’re holding in your hands and will be providing info each week on the top NorCal teams, we’ll concentrate on the best teams from Southern California.

   Another reason is that the FAB 50 national rankings for girls volleyball that we’ve done for other media organizations over the years, including ESPN, Student Sports and, is going to be ramped back up for

   In June, we completed our second season of compiling FAB 50 national rankings for, which is a sister site of the new site as part of the FloSports network. And just like in softball, in which figuring out the order of the top California teams is essential in those rankings, that will be the same for girls volleyball.

   We previously were part of FAB 50 rankings in girls volleyball that appeared on ESPN’s now-defunct high school site from 2008 to 2012 and then in 2013 those rankings appeared on Student Sports. There were no FAB 50 rankings in 2014 and again last season, but at some point if all goes well we’ll do final rankings for those seasons just to have no holes in the archives.

   In that 2013 season, Granite Bay completed a 45-0 campaign by defeating Los Alamitos in the CIF Division I state championship. The Grizzlies also notched a head-to-head match win over Div. II state champ Archbishop Mitty-San Jose early in the season at a tourney in Stockton. Granite Bay’s 45-0 slate is still the best in state history.

   It’s often hard to actually get out to too many championship matches at the end of each season due to football commitments, but perhaps this year will be different.

   One major change in the CIF girls volleyball state championships, beginning this season, is the addition of an Open Division. Similar to how it’s been done in boys and girls basketball, the CIF Open Division in girls volleyball will lump together the top teams into two brackets “” one in the north and one in the south “” regardless of school enrollment or CIF section divisions.

   For Northern California, the creation of an Open Division in girls volleyball should limit the number of state titles that the West Catholic Athletic League will win because those top WCAL teams will now have to play each other instead of playing in different divisions.

   In last year’s CIF state finals, for example, overall State Team of the Year Archbishop Mitty won the Div. II title while WCAL-rival Valley Christian-San Jose took it all in Div. III. Notre Dame-Belmont also won a state title in Div IV. This year, both Mitty and Valley Christian likely will be in the Open Division.

   Whether the Open Division in girls volleyball works out well for the top teams will be hard to determine, but it’s clear to see that many more teams from other divisions will now have better odds at winning a CIF state title than they did previously. 

State of Play by Mark Tennis 

   Editor’s Note: Look for the first Top 20 rankings on Wednesday, Sept. 21 and for the first FloVolleyball FAB 50 national rankings on the same date

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