Girls Volleyball: Leagues, Playoffs, Rankings, Standings

With this being the final week of the regular season, let’s take a look at the league pictures, and then the playoff pictures for the teams within those leagues.

This league is already wrapped up, regular season-wise, as Head-Royce has won the title, and is the favorite in the BCL-E Tourney. Head-Royce and College Prep are safely in while Athenian appears qualified with a 10-8 record against Division V teams.

Heritage and Liberty are tied for the league lead and it looks likely that a tiebreaker scenario could come into play, with both being favored to win their final two games.
As far as the playoffs go, Heritage, Liberty and Deer Valley are all qualified due to their league or overall record.

Campolindo and Las Lomas are tied atop the league standings and are likely to finish tied. The DFAL tiebreaker is based on who wins the final of the two meetings between the two tied teams, so it looks like the Knights have the edge to win the league.
Campolindo, Las Lomas, Dougherty Valley and Dublin have all easily qualified for the playoffs and it appears Acalanes is on its way in as well. A win over Alhambra will keep them above .500 overall, which means the win over Dublin recently was a big one.

Northgate needs just one win or a College Park loss to win the league, which means you can pretty much put this one in the books.
Northgate, College Park and Berean are in great shape to get into the playoffs, while Clayton Valley needs to go 2-0 in their final two league games, and it looks like Concord might come up short, but I might not have their record accurate.

California needs just one win in their last two games to clinch the league title because they have beat San Ramon Valley twice. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies, the Wolves, Monte Vista, Amador Valley and Foothill are all safely in. It appears Carondelet will get in if they beat Livermore, because they’ll be over .500 against Division II teams.

Newark Memorial needs just one win to clinch thanks to a pair of wins over Moreau Catholic, so the Cougars just need to beat MSJ or Kennedy. Newark, Moreau, Irvington and Logan are all safely qualified.


Albany has already won the Rock Division heading into the league tournament while John Swett has won the Stone Division. Albany, St. Joe’s, St. Mary’s, St. Pat’s, Swett, Hercules and Pinole Valley have all qualified.


Bishop O’Dowd has won the Foothill League while Arroyo is your Shoreline League winner meaning both teams are in the playoffs. Berkeley, Castro Valley and Piedmont have qualified while San Leandro is on the fence.


Ranking the top seven teams this week was nearly impossible. I think it was a job well done, but I know I am open to a lot of criticism from Las Lomas. But here is the reason for it…
Cal is an easy No. 1, because they held serve and the team above them lost. Campo was penalized a spot for the LL loss, but stays above BOD for topping them recently. Albany is one spot behind BOD, which also makes sense since the two teams played. Northgate winning a 32-team tournament, and beating San Ramon Valley, moves them up to No. 5 and SRV drops one spot. Las Lomas might feel slighted, but after the big win over Campolindo, they didn’t follow it up, losing twice at Northgate, including to Heritage, their second loss to a BVAL team. One big win was canceled out with a couple of losses, one of them very unexpected, and both unlikely.
The bottom of the rankings was tough as well as the MVAL made it hard on me. Newark beat Moreau to know them out, but Irvington beat Newark and Carondelet beat Newark. Hence Carondelet comes back in the rankings, so does Dougherty Valley. St. Joe’s drops for a tournament loss to Granada, while Liberty comes into the rankings.
Finding a 15th team was hard because Castro Valley, Berkeley and Piedmont have all had losses and beat each other recently and I went with Liberty over Heritage because the Lions won a head-to-head matchup 3-0, and both have wins this season over Las Lomas.

1. California (24-3)
2. Campolindo (22-4)
3. Bishop O’Dowd (25-6)
4. Albany (31-5)
5. Northgate (27-8)
6. San Ramon Valley (27-9)
7. Las Lomas (30-7)
8. Monte Vista (22-9)
9. Amador Valley (17-10)
10. Foothill (17-14)
11. Dougherty Valley (19-11)
12. Carondelet (13-15)
13. St. Joseph Notre Dame (23-9)
14. Head-Royce (19-5)
15. Liberty (21-18)


Team Record GB

Head Royce (19-5, 12-0) –
College Prep (13-11, 10-2) 2
Valley Chr. (19-11, 8-4) 3
Athenian (12-11, 6-6) 6
Holy Names (4-11, 3-9) 9
Redwood Chr. (9-16, 2-10) 10
Bentley (4-16, 1-11) 11

Team Record GB

Heritage (17-14, 7-1) –
Liberty (21-18, 7-1) –
Deer Valley (10-17, 6-2) 1
Freedom (5-15, 2-6) 5
Antioch (3-19, 2-6) 5
Pittsburg (0-11, 0-8) 7

Team Record GB

Las Lomas (30-7, 9-1) –
Campolindo (22-4, 9-1) –
Dougherty Valley (19-11, 7-3) 2
Acalanes (11-10, 5-6) 4.5
Dublin (19-10, 5-6) 4.5
Miramonte (4-19, 1-9) 8
Alhambra (10-17, 0-10) 9

Team Record GB

Northgate (27-8, 10-0) –
College Park (24-10, 9-2) 1.5
Berean Chr. (13-15, 7-3) 3
Clayton Valley (12-16, 5-5) 5
Concord (12-16, 5-6) 5.5
Ygnacio Valley (2-13, 2-9) 8.5
Mt. Diablo (0-17, 0-11) 10.5

Team Record GB

California (24-3, 11-1) –
San Ramon Valley (27-9, 10-2) 1
Amador Valley (17-10, 8-4) 3
Monte Vista (22-9, 7-5) 4
Foothill (17-14, 7-5) 4
Carondelet (13-15, 3-9) 8
Granada (14-19, 2-10) 9
Livermore (7-19, 0-12) 11

Team Record GB

Newark Memorial (21-8, 11-1) –
Moreau Catholic (19-6, 10-2) 1
Irvington (17-8, 9-3) 2
Logan (13-13, 8-4) 3
Mission San Jose (10-19, 4-7) 6.5
Washington (2-16, 2-9) 9
American (11-12, 2-10) 9
Kennedy-Fremont (3-19, 1-10) 10

Rock Division
Team Record GB

Albany (31-5, 10-0) –
St. Patrick-St. Vincent (29-4, 8-2) 2
St. Joseph Notre Dame (23-9, 6-4) 4
St. Mary’s (11-9, 4-6) 6
Salesian (7-15, 2-8) 8
El Cerrito (1-10, 0-10) 10

Stone Division
Team Record GB

Swett (9-3, 9-1) –
Pinole Valley (8-6, 8-2) 1
Hercules (6-6, 6-4) 3
De Anza (5-7, 5-5) 4
Kennedy-Richmond (1-11, 1-9) 8
Richmond (1-9, 1-9) 8

Foothill League
Team Record GB

Bishop O’Dowd (25-6, 14-0) –
Castro Valley (15-11, 12-2) 2
Berkeley (18-10, 11-3) 3
Piedmont (18-12, 11-5) 5
San Leandro (10-11, 8-8) 8
Alameda (10-15, 5-9) 9

Shoreline League
Team Record GB

Arroyo (15-15, 10-6) –
Mt. Eden (9-13, 8-8) 2
San Lorenzo (5-18, 4-12) 6
Tennyson (6-13, 6-10) 4
Encinal (2-15, 2-14) 8
Hayward (0-21, 0-16) 10

Matt Smith

  • Loudfan

    Can anyone provide more detail about the pool and bracket play at the Northgate Tourney?

    Did ACT testing impact rosters at the tourney?

  • Andrew Brown

    I’d like to note that California is being rewarded for not playing or beating any of the top teams in the Bay Area. While Campo was losing to Las Lomas BOD was beating Presentation, Berkeley, Castro Valley & Piedmont,recently.

  • Matt Smith

    So there are no good teams in the EBAL? They didn’t play Sacred Heart or Campo?
    They play a tough schedule, and they keep winning. They should be rewarded. That’s how rankings work.

  • VB Coach JJ


    6 of the top 8 seeded teams won their pools. They included Northgate, San Ramon Valley, Branson, Maria Carillo, Monte Vista (beat #1 Novato), Vista Del Lago, Marin Catholic (beat #1 Las Lomas), and Cardinal Newman. Northgate beat Cardinal Newman in the quarters, Maria Carillo beat Monte Vista in the quarters, San Ramon beat Vista del Lago, Branson beat Marin Catholic (not positive about those last two matches). San Ramon beat Branson and Northgate beat Maria Carillo to meet in the finals. San Ramon took game 1, but Northgate swept the next two to win. High quality play by all.

  • Loudfan

    Any team that is 11-1 in the EBAL gets my vote. WACC is a one-trick pony.

  • volleyball fan

    Cal beat Las Lomas in the Deer Valley tourney(just to clarify). I’d disagree and look at who has won Div 1 since 2006. To say EBAL doesnt have top teams is simply not true. The answer is an EBAL team

  • Andrew Brown

    BOD won the Deer Valley Tournament, including beating Campo (for the Championship)& Sacred Heart along the way. Didn’t see California compete in the high profile Stockton tournament.

  • volleyball fan

    Your claim was that EBAL wasnt a competitive league (SRV is good?). I’m not arguing who should be ranked where. Just noting that EBAL is highly competitive. Wouldnt have a problem w/Campo or BOD above Cal at all. Stating that EBAL is probably one of the tougher leagues to win.

  • Andrew

    Please note that Cal Hi Sports has BOD ranked #2 in the Bay Area (behind Mitty) because they recognize BOD plays and win games throughout Northern California & not limit themselves to their league.

  • dubcvball

    Hey Matt…as a Las Lomas fan I have no problem with the 7th ranking. I think the Knights got a little relaxed after the Campo win and struggled at the Northgate tournament. You have to reward consistency and certainly Northgate deserves to advance with their nice tourney victory.

  • NCS

    Let talk about NCS seeding for 5 divisions.

  • Loudfan

    My two cents…

    Div 1: Cal, San Ramon Valley, Amador Valley, Monte Vista
    Is there any Div 1 team outside of the EBAL that can challenge Cal and SRV?

    Div 2: Northgate, Las Lomas, Redwood, Carrillo
    I believe that the only head to head matchup was Northgate beating Carrillo.

    Div 3: Campo, O’Dowd, Albany, Sonoma Valley
    Maybe the most interesting division.

  • Disappointed

    Great match between Northgate and San Ramon this weekend. Too bad one of the Northgate parents was watching and sharing the San Ramon coaches serving signs with Northgate players during the 2nd match. Not sure it was used, but parent should be spectators. Probably did not change the match, but still…

  • Disappointed

    Great match between Northgate and San Ramon this weekend. Too bad one of the Northgate parents was watching and sharing the San Ramon coaches serving signs with Northgate players during the 2nd match. Not sure it was used, but parents should be spectators. Probably did not change the match, but still…

  • VBT

    Well Matt, I do not envy you the position of ranking the teams, but you seem to have contradicted yourself on the reasoning for putting California into the #1 spot and dropping Campolindo from it. When asked earier in the season why you continued to keep BOD as #1 and not move Campo up given the strength of their schedule and strong wins, you said that Campo had lost to BOD in a head to head match so that took priority and it wasn’t until Campo beat BOD in Stockton that you moved them to #1(Campo’s only loss in that tourney was to #5 nationally ranked Mitty). Campolindo beat California relatively easily in 2 games in the very same DV tournament which kept BOD at #1 for so long.

  • More dissappointed

    Funny statement about serving signs, how sad that a parent needs to make a statement and essentially blame a loss on anothers team parent, or accuse that parent of cheating. Especially when that SRV parent confronted the NG parent who tried to educate the SRV parent what the hand gester meant. For the readers benefit that so called signal was the sign for screening which was directed at the officials, not the NG players. The signal is actually an officials sign to indicate that a team is intentially blocking the other teams vision of their server, giving them unfair advantage, found in the rule book number 12.5. The SRV parent should learn to tell the whole truth when making public statements. Agreed – parents should be spectators, however they all like yelling “the ball was in when out or the reverse, or yelling touch etc” They all do it…Some parents are just more educated in rules etc and dont have to yell at officials… It was a great match filled with excitement and intensity, both teams played to win and provided amazing entertainment.Congrats to both teams for a great finals…

  • Disappointed

    From my location on the court the Northgate’s parents’ hands were mimicking the SRV coaches serving signals. My bad if I mis-read it and saw it wrong, but it happened through most of the second game. You sound awfully upset, but just so you know, Reader is not the one that wrote this. Like I said, not sure how much it impacted the match. All the girls brought their best play all 3 games! I wish them all the best going forward.

  • EbalFan

    Cal against Campo was not a blow out VBT. Cal won first set easy and the coach then put in other players who don’t play much in the second game. That score was 24 – 26. The third set was 11 – 15. Which if you want to get to the details of that game. They screwed up on the score in the third, everybody new they did and the campo parents that I know avoided us after the game. When Cal goes to Tourns. everybody plays not just the starting lineup.

  • More dissappointed

    All good fun.

    Quick FYI – “readers” stated in the first note was intended for those reading these notes not someones name and nor would it be ethical to write someones name without their permission. YIKES…

    Note on hand signals:

    The one hand signal being referenced was two hands coming together index finger to index finger the officials sign for screening. A coaches serving signal would indicate a number 1 – 6 representing the six positions of the court and where the coach would want the serve to go.

    Providing that information would be “unsportsmanlike” just like the act of screening hence the rule…and often not called.

    Great game – got to love it.

  • Disapppinted

    Not sure what you mean about referring to someone’s name. I meant I watched the match. BTW- Thanks for the hand signal lesson. Always useful. Best of luck to all the players going forward.

  • volleyball fan

    I do not envy Matt Smith. It is a thankless job he does and we should be happy that somebody out there is willing to give our sport some pub. It will be a fun filled playoff for all of the teams that will be participating this year. Good Luck Ladies!

  • Matt Smith

    I hardly contradicted myself. BOD hadn’t lost to an East Bay team until losing to Campo. When they did, I moved them down. Campo lost to LL, so they have to move down. Are you guys familiar with how rankings work?

  • Prep Fan

    Matt has been consistent in his rankings. A team that keeps winning will tend to move up. Recent losses will cost you.

    I guess I don’t understand why a parent would be worrying about screening to the point of signalling to a ref. The girls would know if they are screeened and not able to see the server, not the parents. If a girl is screened, she should go through the normal channels with her coach, captain and the ref, and not involve parents (regardless of how educated that parent might be on the rules). Let the kids and team handle it.

  • Coach

    There hasnt been anyone on here that gives Matt a harder time than me. These rankings are done week to week. Ive been sitting back reading all of your takes. I feel that BOD and Campo could easily be ranked above Cal, but they both lost so they have to move down. I agree that it isnt easy to rank and someone is going to feel slighted. Here’s how you silent everyone else…just win baby! Matt, i wish you luck with all of these armchair writers.

  • Matt Smith

    Thanks Prep Fan, and thanks to all you guys for the support and the comments, both positive and negative.
    The thing about rankings, is that it’s a combination of head-to-head, common opponents and recent play. Look at college football/basketball rankings. A team could destroy one team, but then lose the next week and fall below that team.
    So in this context, if a team loses to another East Bay team, it’s going to be easier to move them down.
    A good example is Liberty. The lost to Granada in three in the first match of the year. But they have been playing very well lately, so should I rank 21-18 Liberty who has really turned it on, or 14-19 Granada? A lot happens over the course of the season.
    And also, I don’t mean to impune Granada, it’s just an example. If that team is in any other league, they are ranked and are heading to the playoffs.

  • volleyball fan

    I agree that Granada would be a top 3 team in many of the other divisions this season. They will only be graduating 5 this year so they look to be in great shape for a run next year. Predictions; Div1 Cal,Div2 Las Lomas,Div3 Albany. Div4 St. Patrick/Vincent,Div5 Branson. Just my opinion

  • The SRV Parent

    To: More Dissappointed.
    Let’s make one thing perfectly clear…the Northgate Parent sitting next to me was signaling SRV’s serve signs. No misunderstanding of the signs, no lessons in what hand gestures mean. I knew the answer to the question “are you stealing our signs?” when I asked the question. I watched him signal on 3 consecutive SRV serves, immediately after the SRV coach signaled the location to our server, he held his hand up and flashed the same sign.
    What the Northgate blogger failed to mention was the parents response to me upon being asked the question……which was “maybe…but your team is screening and that’s illegal”. Only after I told him that was poor sportsmanship and there was an awkward silence did he reply….”actually, I was giving the screening signal to the official”.

    What would have been nice is for that Northgate parent to take ownership for his poor judgment and not create another mistake by inpugning the integrity of another parent for calling him on it.

    Fortunately, and most importantly, Northgate won the third set without advantage….due in large part to a dominating performance by Michelle Lawrence, who I have enjoyed tremendously watching improve and flourish over the last two years of club ball while on the same team as my daughter. I wish her the best on her experience in Colorado playing Div. I volleyball.

  • Jake

    D1 Cal high
    D2 Northgate
    D3 Albany
    D4 Cardinal Newman
    D5 Branson

  • dubcvball

    My NCS predictions…D1-San Ramon Valley, D2-Las Lomas (hoping the committee seeds to set up a possible Northgate/LL final), D3-Campo, D4-St. Pats, D-5-Branson. Good Luck to all teams…it’s been a fun season!

  • Bronco Fan

    SRV Parent,

    I asked my daughter about the “alleged” signally and she had no idea what I was talking about. I was sitting behind the Northgate bench ans knew nothing about this issue. I do find it very hard to believe that you feel that Northgate received ANY advantage from someone who you allege was signalling hand signals from across the gym. There is no way Northgate players could read how many fingers someone was holding up from 60 feet away. This issue only discredits a hard fought victory by the Broncos.

  • Bronco Fan

    SRV Parent,

    I asked my daughter about the “alleged” signally and she had no idea what I was talking about. I was sitting behind the Northgate bench ans knew nothing about this issue. I do find it very hard to believe that you feel that Northgate received ANY advantage from someone who you allege was signalling hand signals from across the gym. There is no way Northgate players could read how many fingers someone was holding up from 60 feet away. This issue only discredits a hard fought victory by the Broncos.

  • Observer

    Prep fan, just an expression similar to parents that yell out at the officials,”in”, “out” and give hand motions that correspond. Both teams fans were yelling at the officials for many of the calls, you should see the play that the ball hit the floor with no one within 2 feet of the ball and played on. The fans went crazy loud and many hand motions were witnessed. Do those parents impact the normal channels? Or influence anything?

  • Loudfan


    Div 1 Cal High
    Div 2 Northgate
    Div 3 Campolindo
    Div 4 Marin Catholic
    Div 5 Branson

  • VBT

    Matt and All, be assured that I am not taking this stuff too seriously, just fun to discuss the subject. My only point regarding the move of California to #1 over Campo was that a team sitting at #1 should not get bumped by a team they had beaten head to head. This was Matt’s rational when it was BOD and Campo earlier; seems no different.
    As for Ebalfan, are you really going to pull out the “They screwed up the score” & “We played our reserves” Card?? Come on, you can be assured that Campo also played their entire roster in that preseason tourney. Regardless, a Head to Head win is still a Win. Just sayin…

  • volleyball fan

    For VBT, So you’re saying even though Campo lost to Las Lomas recently, who Cal beat at the same tourney in which they lost to Campo.. that they should stay ahead of Cal? If the answer is yes, then why wouldnt Campo have to drop below LL? Seriously trying to say that there is no perfect system. Ask the BCS and AP

  • DVAL Parent

    Northgate parents PLEASE stop. The girls on this team have worked so hard since summer S & C thru to just about ready to take league. You are doing nothing to enhance this team your only fitting into the stereotype. Just STOP let the team enjoy this time.

  • Great Pumpkin

    NORTHGATE PARENT stole / was stealing serving signs this weekend in their finals win over SRV at the NORTHGATE tourney- end of story.

    Get a grip. Let the kids play and decide the match, not bad refs, and no cheaters.

  • Prep Fan

    I understand the parents getting miffed for a ball that looks out that is called in or visa versa, as many times they have a better view of it than the ref or JV player who made the call. Or even the false pancake or bad set, but how does a parent know if a player is screened out from the server unless they are directly behind them peering over their shoulder? And even then, if the player can’t see, they should advise the ref and not have mom or dad in the stands even involved in the process.

  • Matt Smith

    But you don’t understand that it wasn’t my rationale. I keep explaining this.
    I said that there was no reason to move BOD down (they hadn’t lost to another East Bay team). Campo did, Cal hasn’t in a long time. At some point, the head-to-head matchup becomes attenuated.

  • More dissappointed

    SRV Parent,and others. One thing is clear there was NO “communication” of serving signs.

    Conversation between 2 or 3 parents did occur and Saracasim was used at the Surprisingly insulting accusation especially from this person. “Maybe” was the response at the surprise and disgust of the question.

    These are very damaging statements and they should cease.

    You are taking away the excellent play of both teams and coaches. The teams played great not only the two powerhouse hitters, there was great setting by both leaders on the floor with the distribution of sets, amazing defensive digs, the SRV libero made amazing digs that often translated to a point, the blocking was outstanding. The athletes need the accalades to their performance.

    A very exciting and passionate match.

  • VB Player

    SRV and Northgate parents – you have both had your say, many times. NO ONE CARES to read about it anymore. For cryin’ out loud it was one non-league match.

  • BOD Fan

    Campo seems to have been rewarded in the rankings despite following up their game against BOD by losing to a lower ranked league game against Las Lomas and California is rewarded by playing in esentiall a league Northgate tournament while BOD seems to be penalized in the rankings for playing against top teams from Sacramento to San Jose. The rankings seems to be playing to their audience.

  • Matt Smith

    Haha, wow, not sure how that makes any sense. BOD is penalized? They are ranked third in the entire East Bay! Campo moved down for losing, so how are they being rewarded?
    BOD Fan is not going to let up about this until the Dragons are ranked No. 1.

  • Matt,

    Don’t be so hard on the BOD Fan. Others have been relentless like “TS” who went on and on about Campo’s tough schedule claiming that it should have been a factor to determine the top spot. Sometimes you are comparing apples and oranges but overall I believe you have been fairly consistent in your analysis. Since we are talking about BOD, there’s not a whole lot of love out there for the Lady Dragons, what’s up with that?

  • BOD Fan

    Happy to explain,BOD lost to the #2 Ranked team at the time, Campo, and drop two spots to #3. The next week Campo loses to the #7 ranked team, Las Lomas, and only drops one spot to #2. Plus BOD previously beat Campo for the Deer Valley tuornament’s Championship game! California was also in the same DV tournament and wasn’t even competitive. Evidently less is more in these rankings.

  • volleyball fan

    Cal lost to Campo in the semi’s of the DV tourney in 3 25-22,24-26,11-15 but wasnt competitive? You could argue that CAl lost that game and didnt get beat. Bottom line is Campo won a tough match. Know your facts before you popoff BOD.

  • Loudfan

    Any of the top 7 can beat each other on a given night.

    Not sure why anyone spends two minutes to post a message whining because Matt has ranked their favorite team #4 instead of #2 or #3 instead of #1.

    Every team will get its chance to prove themselves in the NCS playoffs.

    Campo and BOD will get to settle the argument head to head in D3.

    Northgate and Las Lomas normally schedule each other — but didn’t this year. That will be a great D2 match.

    Can Cal beat SRV for a 3rd time this year in D1?

  • BOD Fan

    In all the 45 responses not once was it said that Cal beat either Campo or BOD, that says it all about the credibility of Cal being ranked #1 & the rest of the rankings. Enjoyed reading everyone’s excuses.

  • Loudfan

    I get the feeling that BOD has very little experience following girls high school volleyball in this area.

    Anyone who has followed volleyball in this area for the past 5 years knows that the EBAL is the toughest league BY FAR. Every other league will have 1 or 2 very good teams in a given year — but no other league ever has the depth of the EBAL.

    There have been years where the teams finishing 7th or lower in the EBAL had winning records outside of their league. No other league has ever had this depth.

    It is very uncommon that the EBAL champion can go through the league undefeated because so many of the teams in the EBAL are good. (Look at the EBAL last year. The champion (SRV) had 4 losses in the EBAL then went on to win the NCS Div 1 title.)

    Cal High’s record 13-1 record in the EBAL is remarkable. And Cal has an 11-2 record against the other teams in Matt’s Top 15. There is no doubt that they are a deserving #1 team in Matt’s rankings.

    BOD has made the point that the Dragons travel to play tough matches out of their league. They deserve credit for that– even though they have lost about 1/2 of these matches. But playing a few tough matches during the season is a less difficult challenge than facing quality teams twice a week for two straight months. BOD is 4-1 against the teams in Matt’s Top 15. That is a record to be proud of — but exemplifies the fact that there are a lot of weak teams on BODs schedule.

    There are things I do not agree with in Matt’s rankings. But Cal High at #1 is an easy pick that any unbiased observer can respect.

  • Dragon Pride

    Loudfan says “I get the feeling that BOD has very little experience following girls high school volleyball in this area.” If by “this area” he means the greater San Ramon Valley, then he is probably right. BOD volleyball has a much broader perspective than just the sheltered world of the EBAL, and BOD has been and is willing to test the deep waters of the peninsula and Sacramento, unlike most of the EBAL teams.

    For example – let’s look at Cal’s three losses (Sacred Heart Cathedral, Campo and Amador Valley). BOD is 2-1 against those same teams, compared to Cal’s 0-3. Not head=to-head, but that stat is a telling comparison against common opponents, the next best thing to head-to-head.

    What about the reverse – how has Cal fared against the teams BOD lost to? Well now, it hard to compare, because Cal just doesn’t play teams like perennial powerhouse St. Francis (BOD did twice) or Sacramento powerhouse El Camino. So Cal is 0-1 against the only teams to beat BOD this year. Bottom line is that Cal has not beat any team that has beat BOD this year, while BOD has beat two of the three teams to beat Cal so far.

    The issue is not whether the EBAL is stronger top-to-bottom than the WACC. It clearly is. The issue is whether it is stronger at the top. Cal loses a set to SRV where BOD did not. Cal lost to Presentation where BOD just beat Presentation easily in 3 (at Presentation). Cal lost to Campo where BOD has split with Campo.

    You don’t see BOD bragging about another undefeated season in the WACC (or prior HAAL). That’s because BOD is looking at the bigger picture and has bigger goals.

    Matt has a tough job of ranking because the teams take different approaches to the season and don’t play head to head (although BOD, Campo and Cal all played in the Deer Valley Tournament, Cal lost to Sacred Heart Cathedral and Campo — the same two teams BOD beat — and thus Cal never played BOD and BOD beat Campo in the finals). The EBAL rightly touts their tough regular season schedules, but they appear to use that as an excuse to avoid playing the elite NorCal teams of the Peninsula and Sacramento. Because of the relatively weak WACC, BOD has a history of seeking out those same teams.

    And for the record, BOD is 5-1 against Matt’s current top 15 teams. But that is really besides the point. Would Loudfan be happier if BOD played some more matches against Carondolet, Foothill or Head Royce instead of St. Francis (Mt. View) or El Camino (Sacramento) or Presentation (San Jose)? What would be the point of that. BOD’s goal is to be the best of the best. Loudfan’s team can be the best of the rest.