1. St. Francis (Mountain View)
Jessica Gysin and Diane Copenhagen are two of the top 15 players in the nation and setters Ashley Dutro and Christa Conom can make everything run like clockwork. The Lancers (34-1 in 2002) should win the Division III state title since they can't play at Division I this season due to a new CIF rule. But if there's an injury or two, St. Francis might not be as deep this year to overcome it and win another mythical national title. Prepvolleyball.com, in fact, went with St. Ursula of Cincinnati, Ohio, as its No. 1 and slotted the Lancers in at No. 2.
2. Mater Dei (Santa Ana)
Monarchs were 29-9 last season and should be even better. The loss of Andi Collins, who is battling cancer, could both distract and inspire the players. Just ask Barry Bonds about that.
3. Los Alamitos
The 2002 campaign was huge for the Griffins, who emerged as one of the state's top teams. Their returning strength looks overwhelming.
4. Mitty (San Jose)
K.C. Walsh (the third of the famous sisters to play for the Monarchs) could be the key to another strong season. They were 31-6 a year ago.
5. Wilson (Long Beach)
Cynthia Barboza is already nationally-known as a junior and Brett Quirarte is another returning stud. The loss of setter Alli Dillon is the major concern.
6. Mira Costa (Manhattan Beach)
Arizona State signer Sydney Donohue and U.S. National Youth Training Team player Taylor Carico will led the Mustangs.
7. Marymount (Los Angeles)
This squad went 31-4 in 2002 and is favored to win a fourth straight CIF Div. IV state title in 2003.
8. Buchanan (Clovis)
Bears (32-6 and in the top 20 in the nation last year) won't be quite that good again, but still among best in the state.
9. Nevada Union (Grass Valley)
With St. Francis and Mitty being forced out of Division I, the Miners could be playing in the state championships in early December. Standout junior Ali Daley is a big-time player to watch.
10. Los Gatos
Wildcats were 27-7 last year and were runner-up in the CIF Div. II state playoffs.
11. La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad)
Rachel Dyer is a major college prospect for the Mavericks, who could finally dethrone Torrey Pines as the top team in northern San Diego County.
12. Presentation (San Jose)
Sisters Haley and Darcy Carroll will have this team on a high track.
13. Newport Harbor (Newport Beach)
Dan Glenn has Hall of Fame coaching credentials.
14. Murrieta Valley (Murrieta)
Summer club standout Kelsey Hall should lead the Nighthawks to a banner season.
15. Torrey Pines (San Diego)
Falcons are coming off a 24-8 season and look vulnerable within the San Diego Section.
16. Stockdale (Bakersfield)
Liberty was the top program in town last year, but this year it should be the Mustangs' turn.
17. Poly (Long Beach)
Talaya Whitfield hammered down 47 kills in one playoff match a year ago.
18. Los Altos
A 23-13 record from last year should be even better this time out.
19. University (San Diego)
The Dons could be the team to beat in the CIF Div. III South Regional playoffs.
20. Campolindo (Moraga)
Cougars are coming off a CIF North Coast Section Div. II championship.
21. Chaparral (Temecula)
A nice Inland Empire rivalry vs. Murrieta Valley might be in the works.
22. Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita)
Eagles posted a 26-10 record last year and should be about that good again.
23. Redondo Union (Redondo Beach)
You always know Tawa is around because he's such a stickler for making sure it's listed Redondo Union, not simply Redondo.
24. Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland)
Dragons look good again for CIF North Coast Section, but being in Div. III instead of Div. I might not be any easier.
25. St. Francis (Sacramento)
Not to be confused with St. Francis of Mountain View. But rest assured Troubadour fans, If this was golf we'd say the same thing the other way around.