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Girls’ volleyball teams gear up for 2017 season

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The 2017 girls’ volleyball regular season begins Aug. 21, with Catholic schools from the Los Angeles Archdiocese and Orange Diocese primed to contend for CIF-Southern Section titles and, conceivably, state championship honors.

Three Catholic schools earned CIF titles in 2016: Santa Margarita (Division 1), St. Joseph/Lakewood (D-3) and St. Anthony (D-7). As 2017 begins, two of the three find themselves in different divisions, following the CIF’s annual realignment based on a series of factors, including recent performance and strength of schedule.

Here are the Catholic schools from Los Angeles and Orange competing in girls’ volleyball, listed by the divisions in which they have been placed by the CIF. (Note that cross-divisional competition takes place during the season.)

Division 1: Flintridge Sacred Heart, J.Serra, Marymount, Mater Dei, Santa Margarita.

Division 2: Bishop Montgomery, Louisville, Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks), St. Joseph (Lakewood).

Division 3: Chaminade, La Salle, Notre Dame Academy, Rosary Academy, St. Lucy’s.

Division 4: Alemany, Immaculate Heart, Mayfield.

Division 5: La Reina, St. Anthony, St. Paul.

Division 6: Bishop Amat, Paraclete, St. Joseph (Santa Maria), St. Monica (Santa Monica).

Division 7: Cantwell-Sacred Heart, Mary Star, Pomona Catholic, St. Bonaventure, St. Genevieve.

Division 8: Bishop Conaty-Loretto, Bishop Diego, Cornelia Connelly, Providence, St. Mary’s Academy, Santa Clara.

Division 9: Bellarmine-Jefferson, Holy Family, Ramona Convent, Sacred Heart of Jesus, San Gabriel Mission, St. Bernard, St. Monica Academy (Pasadena), St. Pius X-St. Matthias, Villanova Prep.

Division 10: Alverno Heights Academy.

The regular season concludes Oct. 24 and post-season play begins Oct. 28, with the CIF Tournament running through Nov. 11 with the championship round. State regionals take place Nov. 15-25 and the state championships will run Dec. 1-2.

2016 recap

The 2016 season marked another strong year for girls’ volleyball among local Catholic schools, as three earned CIF-SS divisional titles: Santa Margarita (Division 1, defeating Mater Dei), St. Joseph/Lakewood (Division 3, over Glendora) and St. Anthony (Division 7, over Notre Dame/Riverside). La Reina reached the Division 5 final, but lost to Culver City.

It marked the 23rd consecutive year that at least one local Catholic school has reached a CIF divisional final. Only three times since 1972 have there been no Catholic schools in a CIF championship match (1976, 1982 and 1993).

Santa Margarita also reached the 2016 championship round of the Open Division at the state championships, losing to Archbishop Mitty of San Francisco.

Last year’s final CIF-SS rankings (after the regular season ended) included the following Catholic schools:

Division 1: Santa Margarita (1), Mater Dei (2), Marymount (5), Flintridge Sacred Heart (10).

Division 2: Notre Dame/Sherman Oaks (10).

Division 3: La Salle (3), St. Joseph/Lakewood (4), Bishop Montgomery (5), Notre Dame Academy (6).

Division 5: Alemany (5), La Reina (9).

Division 7: St. Paul (1), St. Monica/Santa Monica (2), St. Anthony (3).

Division 8: Pomona Catholic (3), Mary Star (4), Providence (8).

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