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Cathedral Catholic volleyball sets up mighty championship clash

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The Cathedral Catholic volleyball team has remained atop the team rankings throughout the season. (Photo courtesy of Cazares Media)

The Cathedral Catholic volleyball team began the season at No. 1 and has yet to relinquish its grasp on the top spot.

The Dons passed their latest tests with flying colors, beating Torrey Pines for the third time in a month and then defeating top-10 Mira Costa in four sets to advance to the California Interscholastic Federation Southern California Open Division championship match. There was one slight blemish — Cathedral Catholic lost the second set to Mira Costa, the first time all season they have dropped a set.

It’s been that dominant of a season for the Dons, who won three regular-season tournaments, including the prestigious Durango Fall Classic.

Now, Cathedral is just one win from an undefeated season. Their final test? Fellow unbeaten Saint Francis in the state championship match on Saturday.

For the Dons, this is nothing new. They have been getting each team’s best shot all season and have yet to falter.

Cathedral Catholic remains at No. 1 in the final edition of the Just Women’s Sports team volleyball rankings. Click here to see last week’s rankings.

1. Cathedral Catholic (Calif.), 41-0

If Cathedral wins Saturday, it would be the program’s sixth state title.

2. Cornerstone Christian (Texas), 55-2

Cornerstone remains at No. 2 in this week’s rankings.

3. Bloomfield Hills Marian (Mich.), 47-1

Sophomore Izzy Busignani had a combined 38 kills, senior Lauren Heming contributed 40 digs and Kentucky commit Ava Sarafa racked up 90 assists and 25 digs as the Mustangs won twice this past week to advance to the Division I state semifinals.

4. Prestonwood Christian (Texas), 40-1

Sophomore Macaria Spears racked up 37 kills in the semifinals and final to lead the Lions to the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools Class 6A state championship. Juniors Jadyn Livings and Camille Edwards added 27 digs and 57 assists, respectively.

5. Hamilton Southeastern (Ind.), 34-1

The 4A state champions will return 10 of the 12 players from this year’s team.

6. Washburn Rural (Kan.), 45-1

The Rural Blues are still savoring their first state title in 10 years.

7. Fayetteville (Ark.), 36-2

The Bulldogs won their third consecutive state crown in late October.

8. Tompkins (Texas), 41-4

Cindy Tchouangwa combined for 30 kills and 29 digs as the Falcons recorded sweeps on consecutive days to advance to the Class 6A state semifinals.

9. Mira Costa (Calif.), 38-5

After beating Sierra Canyon to advance to the Southern California Open division championship, the Mustangs did something no other team this year has accomplished when they won a set against No. 1 Cathedral Catholic. Alas, it wasn’t enough to extend their season as they lost 3-1 on Tuesday.

10. Mother McAuley (Ill.), 39-3

Michigan commit Ellie White had 43 kills, averaging over seven kills per set, and Northwestern recruit Gigi Navarrete amassed 39 digs as the Mighty Macs won two matches in two days to claim the Class 4A state title, the program’s 16th state championship.

11. Saint Francis (Calif.), 34-0

The Lancers defeated Archbishop Mitty for the sixth time this season to win the Northern California Open Division. Next up: a state title matchup against No. 1 Cathedral Catholic.

12. Sierra Canyon (Calif.), 35-5

A week after beating Mira Costa to win the Southern Section Division I championship, the Trailblazers fell in the rematch, losing a five-set thriller in the Southern California Open Division semifinals.

13. Wayzata (Minn.), 29-4

The Trojans’ 60-plus game winning streak ended in early September, but they were crowned Class 4A state champions for their third state title in the last four years.

14. St. Thomas Aquinas (Kan.), 40-3

Yale commit Betsy Goodenow was named 5A Player of the Year, one of three Saints to earn first team all-state honors.

15. Ursuline Academy (Ohio), 25-3

Kentucky commit Brooke Bultema had 30 combined kills in the semifinal and final, Creighton recruit Sydney Breissinger totaled 37 digs, and Lindsey Green had 90 assists as the Lions won the Division I state championship.

16. Buford (Ga.), 38-5

The Wolves will go for a fourth consecutive state title next season.

17. Notre Dame Academy (Ky.), 34-5

The Pandas return 12 of 17 players from this year’s state championship team.

18. Pope (Ga.), 45-5

The Greyhounds are still savoring their state title.

19. ‘Iolani (Hawaii), 25-5

‘Iolani is the best team on the islands.

20. Corona del Sol (Ariz)., 39-5

Kierstyn Barton racked up 25 kills, Maggie Beauer and Erin Clark had 35 digs apiece, and Julia Owens played provider with 57 assists as the Aztecs knocked off the defending state champions in a five-set thriller to win the 6A state title.

21. Pace Academy (Ga.), 42-1

Pace’s sole loss was to Pope.

22. Northville (Mich.), 46-3

The Mustangs have dropped just one set during their playoff run, which has taken them to the Division I state semifinals.

23. Flint Hill (Va.), 36-0

The Huskies dropped their first set of the season in the Division I state championship but rebounded to win the next three and a state title, completing an undefeated season.

24. Immaculate Heart Academy (N.J.), 28-1

The Blue Eagles won their last 26 matches of the season to claim the Non-Public Group A state title.

25. Horizon (Ariz.), 32-10

There were plenty of bumps along the way, but the Huskies defeated Millennium in four sets to win back-to-back 5A state titles.

Phillip Suitts is a contributing writer at Just Women’s Sports. He has worked at a variety of outlets, including The Palm Beach Post and Southeast Missourian, and done a little bit of everything from reporting to editing to running social media accounts. He was born in Atlanta but currently lives in wintry Philadelphia. Follow Phillip on Twitter @PhillipSuitts.