New format and some puzzles for Division 1 Girls Volleyball Playoffs – Orange County Register

The CIF Southern Section Girls Volleyball Playoffs Brackets release Saturday with a new look for Division 1.

Division 1 will be played in a pool play format for the first time. Eight teams are selected by the CIF-SS Girls Volleyball Advisory Board. The eight teams are divided into Pools A and Pool B, with four teams per division.

It’s hard to figure out which eight teams will line up on this Division 1 pool arc. The results of these final two weeks of the regular season make it possible — Newport Harbor’s win over Huntington Beach on Tuesday and the South Shore coin tosses concluded on Wednesday

CIF-SS polls have a major impact on how brackets are filled and set. The CIF-SS Weekly Girls Volleyball Polls ranked 16 teams in the top 16 in Divisions 1 and 2. The top eight teams in this Divisions 1 & 2 group this week are, in this order of ranking: 1. Mira Costa; 2. Marymount; 3. Sierra Gorge; 4. Huntington Beach; 5. Lakewood; 6. Mater Dei; 7. Palos Verdes; and 8. Redondo Union.

These could be the eight teams selected for Division 1 (the other teams in the top 16 will be in Division 2 if they qualify for the playoffs). Maybe not; Newport Harbor is No. 10 in the rankings, and the win over Huntington Beach that gave Newport the Surf League championship could push the Sailors into the Group of Eight.

Aliso Niguel, No. 9 in the top 16 in Divisions 1 and 2, finished first in the South Coast League in a three-way tie. Coin tosses to break the three-way tie have Aliso Niguel, No. 9 ranked in Divisions 1 and 2, as the South Coast League’s No. 1 playoff representative, San Juan Hills as the No. 2 playoff representative of the league and No. 11 San Clemente as No. 3 in the league.

Playoff selection groups must follow league representation in selecting and seeding playoff teams, so the order of South Coast League representatives is another corner ball to contend with.

Perhaps Aliso’s status as the South Coast’s No. 1 team pushes the Wolverines into the Group of Eight, although their loss to the San Juan Hills on Tuesday could prevent that from happening, as a team’s strength at the end of the season is among the factors the advisory committee includes considered when selecting playoff teams and seeding those teams.

Whoever these eight Division 1 teams are, all are guaranteed a spot in the CIF Southern California Regionals, which follow the Section Playoffs and lead to the CIF State Finals.

The Division 1 pool game has three rounds, with games on October 19, October 25, October 29 before the championship game between the winners of Pool A and B on November 5 at Cerritos College. It is possible for a pool’s table to have a three-way tie for first place after the three rounds, with three teams each tied 2-1. Tiebreaker procedures range from head-to-head results to, as explained in the CIF-SS Playoffs Bulletin, “(d) the team with the lowest combined starting points from pool play games will advance.”

Roger that?

Dan O’Dell, coach of Trinity League champions Mater Dei, the safest Orange County team to enter the eight-team Division 1 group, sees pros and cons of the Division 1 pool play concept.

“The good thing about that,” he said, “is that (before the billiards game) if you lost in the quarterfinals, you wouldn’t have a game for three weeks and then you had to play a state game, which is really tricky. Now you’re guaranteed to play three matches, no matter what, so you’re not so rusty when you testify.

“But what I’m going to miss is what the playoffs have always been, which is you’re in a big bracket and if you win you go into your bracket and if you lose you’re done. And in pool play, you can have a three-way tie in a pool and the bottom seed continues because of a tiebreaker. For a team to advance to the league game because of a tie-break is really strange to me.”


One or more girls’ volleyball division finals could be played at Cerritos College. Others are played at home team locations. …

This week’s CIF-SS Hall of Fame inductees included former Mission Viejo baseball coach Chris Ashbach, former Woodbridge golf coach Tracy Roberts, former Mater Dei water polo coach Chris Segesman, former Santa Margarita and football coach of St. Margaret’s , Harry Welch, former Magnolia golf and softball coach Carol Sarkissian, who also served as athletic director there, and Todd Tomazic, who was an El Dorado state wrestler champion and helped organize and administer CIF-SS and CIF State Wrestling tournaments . …

Viewership for last week’s soccer game between St. John Bosco and Mater Dei in the Los Angeles metropolitan area increased 342 percent from last year’s game between St. John Bosco and Mater Dei, according to ratings from The Nielsen Company. …

The best artificial turf in Orange County football stadiums is the turf at Santa Ana Stadium. It’s been used a lot over the past few years, but looks like it was installed last week. …

Next week is the penultimate week of the regular football season. The bigger games on Friday, October 21 currently appear to be Mater Dei-Santa Margarita at Saddleback College, Corona del Mar at Newport Harbor (CdM is the home team), San Juan Hills at Trabuco Hills and Servite at JSerra, El Toro at Aliso Niguel, Tesoro at Mission Viejo and Capistrano Valley at San Clemente. Canyon plays El Modena on Thursday, October 20th at El Modena High and Garden Grove plays Katella on Saturday, October 22nd at Glover Stadium. …

When girls’ flag football is a high school sport next fall, there will be many players who have a lot of experience at the flag game. Matt Leinart Flag Football is entering its second season. It has eight leagues in Orange County. … New format and some puzzles for Division 1 Girls Volleyball Playoffs – Orange County Register

Dais Johnston

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