08232018 Volleyball Preview

Lakewood junior setter Romoni Vivao sets a ball for the Lancers last year.

Five local girls volleyball teams learned their postseason path on Thursday with the release of the CIF Southern Section girls volleyball playoff brackets. The field doesn’t include any seeded teams but does feature a defending champion in St. Anthony, and a pair of intriguing Division 1 prospects in Lakewood and Long Beach Poly, co-champions of the Moore League and both ranked in the top 10 of the final D1 poll.

Lakewood enters the playoffs as the league’s top seed. The Lancers had the right to call the coin flip for top seed or to defer because of a higher win percentag, and Lakewood coach Mike Wadley said that by the tradition of his household, he deferred.

“My wife said you should defer because you always lose,” he said. “So I called (Poly coach Leland McGrath) and told him to pick—he picked tails and it was heads.”

The Lancers (23-4) are on a roll and will host Chaparral on Tuesday.

“We’re in a good groove right now, we’ve had some good practices,” said Wadley. “This is what we worked hard the whole season for.”

Poly (28-5) will host Aliso Niguel in the first round, and McGrath said he’s optimistic his team is ready for the bright lights of the playoffs.

“We’re the type of team that can beat anyone or lose to anyone,” he said. The Jackrabbits are 4-2 against teams in the top 10 this year.

“It’s all about just trying to get to another peak, and I hope we’re primed to play some really good ball,” he said.

Poly would face the winner of Foothill and JSerra in the second round next Thursday, while an intriguing second-round  matchup could await Lakewood if Los Alamitos can go on the road and get a win over San Juan Hills.

In Division 2, defending champion St. Joseph (20-8) is the second seed out of the Del Rey league and will host Moore League third-place Millikan in an intriguing battle of two local teams. In the other Division 2 action Wilson will travel to Hart.

Defending champion St. Anthony (17-9) will host Riverside Poly.

Division 1

Poly vs. Aliso Niguel

Lakewood vs Chaparral

Division 2

Wilson @ Hart

St. Joseph vs Millikan

Division 5

St. Anthony vs Riverside Poly

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