You can call St. Francis of Mountain View the CalHiSports.com State Team of the Year for girls volleyball, but don't tell the Lancers that. As superstitious as they are, they're likely to find some wood to knock on or some salt to throw over their shoulders.
During the state Div. II championship match Saturday night at Cypress College, some girls failed to go the right way on a side change between games four and five. Team captain Lisa Altick, one of the few seniors on the club, MADE those girls re-trace their steps and go the right way.
It's funny that the Lancers (31-2) have any superstitions given the prodigious talent they throw out on the court. After Saturday's thrilling five-set win over Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach, St. Francis now has a record six state championships. No other team has more than four.
This is only the second time in those six state title-winning years, though, in which St. Francis also has been CalHiSports.com State Team of the Year. The Lancers' first such honor came after the 1997 season.
Only two teams were able to knock off the Lancers this year. Illinois' Queen of Peace did the trick at Chicago's Nike Challenge early in St. Francis' season. And Torrey Pines won a five-game match over the Lancers in the final of the Asics Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions in October. Indeed, Torrey Pines, which won the TOC and its own California Challenge one week earlier, would have been CalHiSports.com State Team of the Year, but it stumbled Saturday in the Div. I final, losing in four games to Archbishop Mitty of San Jose. Mitty has a claim to be team of the year, too, but the Monarchs lost to St. Francis in straight sets in the final of the Archbishop Mitty National Invitational Oct. 6.
There's more good news for St. Francis: the Lancers started two juniors and four sophomores this year, with only two seniors among their top nine players. That makes them odds on favorites to repeat as State Team of the Year in 2002.
Final CalHiSports.Com State Top 20 Girls Volleyball Rankings
Compiled by John Tawa
1. St. Francis (Mountain View) 31-2
2. Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 32-2
3. Torrey Pines (San Diego) 35-2
4. Marymount (Los Angeles) 33-4
5. San Clemente 34-4
6. Mira Costa (Manhattan Beach) 31-6
7. Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 33-4
8. Buchanan (Clovis) 34-3
9. Harvard-Westlake (N. Hollywood) 21-2
10. Presentation (San Jose) 27-8
11. Wilson (Long Beach) 25-78
12. El Molino (Forestville) 29-5
13. Poly (Long Beach) 24-5
14. Centennial (Bakersfield) 26-7
15. Newport Harbor (Newport Beach) 22-11
16. St. Joseph (Lakewood) 25-11
17. Poway 22-6
18. University (San Diego) 33-4
19. Berkeley 26-4
20. Rio Americano (Sacramento) 33-6
Harvard-Westlake won its second straight Div. III state crown after defeating El Molino in straight sets, 15-12, 15-11, 15-12. Stanford-bound All-American Courtney Schultz was the MVP of the match with 19 kills and 10 digs for Harvard-Westlake. Teammate Terbrie Taylor added 13 kills. Amanda Fox led El Molino with 18 kills, but the Lions made too many errors to get over the hump in any of the games.........In the Div. IV state finals, Marymount captured its second straight title with a 15-6, 15-6, 15-7 triumph over Menlo School of Atherton. Haley Jorgensborg's all-around game was too much for Menlo. She finished with seven kills and 15 assists. Marymount also benefitted from 6-3 Virginia Levanas, who had 14 kills.........Defending champ Woodside Priory was not able to repeat in the Div. V state final as Immanuel of Reedley came up with a 15-10, 17-15, 15-0 win. Woodside Priory also had the match's top player in Cassie Perret (22 kills), but Immanuel dug and blocked extremely well. McKenzie Angangan keyed Immanuel1s defense with seven blocks.....