The562’s coverage of Long Beach Volleyball in the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by Misty May-Treanor and the Dream in Gold Foundation.
Five Long Beach high school volleyball teams learned where their playoff roads will begin on Saturday with the release of the CIF Southern Section’s girls’ volleyball playoff brackets. As expected, Lakewood was a top five team in Division 1 while the other three Moore League schools will compete in Division 3, and St. Anthony made it in as an at-large in Division 4.
Lakewood had been No. 4 in Division 1 the last few weeks but the Lancers were No. 5 in the Division 1’s new format, which will mimic how the CIF-SS handled basketball’s Open Division. The top eight teams were in Division 1, all of whom will pass on to the state bracket. This year each team is guaranteed three games in a four-team pool–the winners of the two pools will meet Nov. 5 for a championship.
“The brackets are tough this year, it’s a clear top three but four through eight have fluctuated all year and we have been beating each other,” said Lakewood coach Mike Wadley. “The road will not be easy but we can compete with anyone.”
The Lancers will open up on the road Wednesday at Mira Costa in one of the best matches anywhere in the country this week. After that the Lancers will visit Mater Dei on Oct. 25 and then host Palos Verdes on Oct. 29.
Wilson, Millikan, and Long Beach Poly are all in Division 3 this year, and will all open up on Thursday.
Wilson will host Bonita on Thursday and would face the winner of Serrano and West Ranch in the second round Saturday with a win.
“I’m excited we get to host,” said Wilson coach Gerald Aquiningoc. “I don’t know much about our opponent, but we just have to play good volleyball.”
Millikan finished third in the Moore League and will start the playoffs on the road, traveling to Paloma Valley. If the Rams win they would face the winner of top-seed Mayfield and Alemany on Saturday.
“We’re looking strong and we’re super excited,” said Millikan coach Ashleigh Atsaros. “It’s going to be tough going to someone else’s gym but I’m confident in how we’re playing.”
Poly will travel to Chino Hills, and would see the winner of ML King and Palm Desert Saturday if they win.
“I feel good about how we’ve been practicing,” said Poly coach Megan Moenoa. “If we can come in consistent and stay consistent, we have a good chance.”
St. Anthony got in as an at-large from the Del Rey League and has a tough road with a first-round match at Big VIII League champ Roosevelt on Thursday. With a win the Saints would play the winner of South Hills and Valley Christian.