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Boys Indoor, Girls Beach Volleyball Playoffs Open
It’s a busy season above the nets in San Juan Capistrano with two boys indoor volleyball teams and three girls beach volleyball teams taking to the court in the first round of the CIF-SS Playoffs on Thursday, April 27.
Results for Thursday’s matches were not available at press time. The second round of both the boys indoor and girls beach volleyball playoffs is Saturday, April 29.
On the boys side, reigning CIF-SS Division 4 champion St. Margaret’s is the No. 1 seed in Division 3, as the Tartans (26-5) hosted wild card-winner Downey on Thursday. If the Orange Coast League champion Tartans advanced, they would travel to either Garden Grove league champion Bolsa Grande or Pacifica Christian of Orange County for the second round.
Capistrano Valley Christian, which was the runner-up to St. Margaret’s in last season’s Division 4 Final, has been pulled up to Division 2, where the Eagles (13-9) were on the road at No. 2 seed Servite on Thursday. If CVC advanced, the Eagles would host either Long Beach Millikan or Santiago of Corona in the second round.
For girls beach volleyball, this is the first-ever CIF-SS playoffs for the sport, which is just in its second year of CIF-SS administration.
JSerra is the No. 3 seed in Division 1 after winning the Trinity League this season. The Lions (14-1) hosted Ventura in the first round on Thursday. If JSerra advanced, the Lions would travel to either Notre Dame Academy or Palos Verdes in the quarterfinals on Tuesday, May 2.
Both St. Margaret’s and Capistrano Valley Christian are seeded in Division 2. The Orange Coast League champion Tartans are the No. 2 seed, and the San Joaquin League champion Eagles are the No. 3 seed.
St. Margaret’s (8-1) hosted wild card-winner Bishop Amat in the first round at Huntington Beach, and if the Tartans advanced, they would travel to either Tri-Valley League champion Foothill Tech of Ventura or Oak Park in the second round.
Capistrano Valley Christian (12-1) hosted wild card-winner El Segundo in the first round at Corona del Mar State Beach, and if the Eagles advanced, they would either host Schurr of Montebello or travel to El Dorado of Placentia in the second round.
San Juan Hills also qualified for the CIF-SS playoffs as the third-place team out of the South Coast League, but the Stallions fell in the wild card round on Tuesday, April 25, at Palos Verdes.
JSerra Baseball Plays for Automatic Playoff Berth on Final Day
The defending CIF-SS Division 1 champion JSerra baseball team left its CIF-SS playoff fate up to the final day of the regular season, as the Lions travelled to take on Orange Lutheran at Hart Park in Orange on Thursday, April 27.
JSerra, Orange Lutheran and Mater Dei all entered the final week of the regular season tied in the Trinity League standings holding onto the second, third and fourth positions. With Santa Margarita already clinching the league title, that left two unclaimed playoff spots to be fought over by the three eligible teams.
Mater Dei split the first two games of its three-game set with rival Servite. Orange Lutheran landed the first blow against JSerra, 5-3, on Monday, April 24, at Hart Park, but JSerra responded at home, 7-3, on Wednesday, April 26.
That left JSerra, Orange Lutheran and Mater Dei once again tied in the league standings, making Thursday’s finale between JSerra and Orange Lutheran a de facto playoff game for one of last automatic playoff spots. However, there were other permutations based on a Mater Dei loss.
While one of the three teams will be left applying for an at-large selection to the CIF-SS playoffs, it’s likely they would still qualify. JSerra is ranked No. 4 in Division 1, Orange Lutheran is No. 8 in Division 1 and Mater Dei is No. 5 in Division 2.
CIF-SS playoff brackets for baseball will be released on Monday, May 1, at 10 a.m.
San Juan Hills and St. Margaret’s were in similar situations to JSerra entering the week, but both the Stallions and Tartans lost their opening games to fall out of CIF-SS playoff contention. Neither team is eligible for an at-large selection with a losing record.
CVC Baseball Coach Clemente Bonilla Earns 300th Win
It’s been a nearly unparalleled run of regular season success for the Capistrano Valley Christian baseball team that hit a milestone for the Eagles’ head coach last week.
With CVC’s 4-1 win over Tesoro on April 19, Eagles head coach Clemente Bonilla earned his 300th career win, all at the helm of the Capistrano Valley Christian baseball program.
Bonilla began coaching at CVC in 2007, and his Eagles have won 12 consecutive league championships.
Capistrano Valley Christian will aim for a 13th straight league title in a new format with the San Joaquin League Tournament on Thursday and Friday, April 27 and 28. Because of their run of league dominance, the Eagles have not played a league game all season and will face their first San Joaquin League competition in this mini-tournament.
CVC (18-10) will compete in the CIF-SS Division 2 playoffs where the Eagles will look for their first CIF-SS championship since 2014.
Several San Juan Capistrano teams were ranked in the second to last CIF-SS rankings of the season, as teams prepare for the CIF-SS playoffs next week.
In softball, JSerra is the lone ranked city team at No. 8 in Division 2.
In boys tennis, JSerra is ranked No. 2 in Division 2, and St. Margaret’s is ranked No. 6 in Division 3.
St. Margaret’s is ranked No. 4 in Division 1 boys lacrosse and No. 6 in Division 1 girls lacrosse.
CIF-SS Playoff Brackets
The spring sports playoffs in CIF-SS will open in earnest next week with the rest of the team sports brackets being released over the weekend.
On Saturday, April 29, softball brackets will go out at 10 a.m., and the boys and girls lacrosse brackets will go live at 11 a.m. On Monday, May 1, in addition to baseball being released at 10 a.m., the boys tennis bracket will be published at 11 a.m.