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New format, and some mystery, for girls volleyball Division 1 playoffs – Orange County Register

The CIF Southern Section girls volleyball playoffs brackets will be released Saturday with a new look to Division 1.

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

Which eight teams will be on that Division 1 pool-play sheet is a tough one to figure out. Results of these final two weeks of the regular season make it so – Newport Harbor’s win over Huntington Beach on Tuesday and South Coast coin flips completed Wednesday

CIF-SS polls have major influence on how brackets are filled and seeded. The CIF-SS girls volleyball polls each week have included 16 teams grouped into a combined Divisions 1 and 2 top 16. The top eight teams in that Division 1 and 2 group this week are in this ranked order: 1. Mira Costa; 2. Marymount; 3. Sierra Canyon; 4. Huntington Beach; 5. Lakewood; 6. Mater Dei; 7. Palos Verdes; and 8. Redondo Union.

Those could be the eight teams selected to Division 1 (the top 16’s other teams will be in Division 2 if they qualify for the playoffs). Perhaps not; Newport Harbor is No. 10 in the rankings, and that 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 Divisions 1 and 2 top 16, finished in a three-way tie for first place in the South Coast League. Coin flips to break the three-way tie have Aliso Niguel, No. 9 in the Divisions 1 and 2 rankings, as the South Coast League’s No. 1 playoff representative, unranked San Juan Hills as the league’s No. 2 playoff representative and No. 11 San Clemente as the league’s No. 3 team.

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

Maybe Aliso’s status as the South Coast’s No. 1 team slides the Wolverines into the group of eight, although their loss to San Juan Hills on Tuesday might keep that from happening because a team’s strength at the end of the season is among the factors the advisory committee considers when selecting playoff teams and seeding those teams.

Whoever those eight Division 1 teams are, all of them are guaranteed a berth in the CIF Southern California Regionals that follow section section playoffs and lead to the CIF State finals.

Division 1 pool play has three rounds, with matches on Oct. 19, Oct. 25, Oct. 29 before the championship match between the Pool A and B winners on Nov. 5 at Cerritos College. It’s possible for a pool’s standings to have a three-way tie for first place after the three rounds, with three teams at 2-1 each. Tiebreaker procedures range from head-to-head results to, as explained in the CIF-SS playoffs bulletin, “(t)he team with the lowest combined seed points from games in pool play will advance.”

Got that?

Dan O’Dell, coach at Trinity League champion Mater Dei which is the most sure-thing Orange County team to be selected to the eight-team Division 1 group, sees pros and cons to the Division 1 pool-play concept.

“The pros to it,” he said, “is that (before pool play) if you lost in the quarterfinals you wouldn’t have a game for three weeks and then you’d have to play a state game which is really tricky. Now you’re guaranteed to play three matches no matter what so you’re not as rusty when you get to state.

“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 on in your bracket and if you lose you’re done. And with pool play you can have a three-way tie in a pool and the lower seed goes on because of a tiebreaker. Having a team advance to the championship game because of a tiebreaker is really strange to me.”

NOTES

One or more of the girls volleyball division finals could be played at Cerritos College. Others will be played at home team sites. …

The CIF-SS Hall of Fame inductees this week 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 St. Margaret’s football coach Harry Welch, former Magnolia golf and softball coach Carol Sarkissian, who also served as an athletic director there, and Todd Tomazic, who was a state champion wrestler at El Dorado and who helped organize and manage CIF-SS and CIF State wrestling tournaments. …

Viewership for last week’s St. John Bosco-Mater Dei football game in the Los Angeles metropolitan market increased 342 percent over last year’s last year’s St. John Bosco-Mater Dei game, according to The Nielsen Company’s audience ratings. …

The best artificial turf in Orange County football stadiums is the turf at Santa Ana Stadium. It’s received plenty of use over the past couple of years, but it looks like it was installed last week. …

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

If girls flag football is a high school sport next fall there will be plenty of players with plenty of experience playing flag. Matt Leinart Flag Football is in its second season. It has eight leagues in Orange County. …

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Travis Burnett

Travis Burnett

A pioneer in the flag football community, Travis helped co-found the Flag Football World Championship Tour, FlagSpin and USA Flag. Featuring 15+ years of content creation for the sport of flag football, creating and managing the largest flag football tournaments on the planet, coaching experience at the youth and adult level as well as an active player with National and World Championship level experience.

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