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Teams Change CIF Playoff Divisions for Girls Volleyball, Tennis, Boys Water Polo

The Laguna Blanca girls volleyball team will play in a higher division this fall while San Marcos and Santa Barbara High each drop one level in the CIF-Southern Section’s competitive equity playoff format that was released Thursday.

The CIF determines the division groupings of schools by a power-point formula that takes into account strength of schedule and regular and post-season performances for the last two seasons.

Laguna Blanca, which won a Southern Section title in 2015 and was a semifinalists in Division 6 last year, is moving to Division 5 this fall. The Owls will be joined in the playoff division by such schools as Santa Ynez, Righetti, La Reina of Thousand Oaks and Woodcrest Christian, the team that beat them in the section semifinals and in the second round of the state tournament.

San Marcos, which lost in the first round of the Division 1 playoffs last season, moves to Division 2. The Royals return most their team that finished second in the Channel League last season.

Santa Barbara, which missed the playoffs last season, will be playing in Division 3 along with Dos Pueblos. 

The playoff groupings for the other local schools are Cate in Division 7, Bishop Diego in Division 8 Carpinteria and Providence in Division 9 and Garden Street Academy in Division 10.

From the North County, Pioneer Valley and St. Joseph are in Division 6, Lompoc in D7, Cabrillo and Santa Maria in D8 and Dunn in D9.


Santa Barbara and San Marcos are listed among the top 27 programs in the Southern Section, based on the power-rankings formula. Those 27 teams will be separated into Division 1 and 2 during the 2017 season.

Like it does in basketball, the CIF will establish a “Watch List” of the top 20 teams, with the top 10 representing Division 1. Using power rankings and a committee determination, the top eight will be designated as Playoff Division 1. The remaining 19 teams will comprise Division 2. The divisions will be finalized during the last seedling meeting on Oct. 27.

Dos Pueblos and Righetti are in the 36-team Division 3 playoff grouping. Santa Ynez is the 40-team Division 4, Carpinteria is in Division 5 (38 schools); Cate, Cabrillo and Santa Maria are in Division 6 (43 schools); Pioneer Valley, Lompoc and St. Joseph are in Division 7 (74 schools).


San Marcos and Cate were placed in Division 1 while Santa Barbara High and Dos Pueblos are in Division 2.

The county teams in Division 3 include Carpinteria, Santa Ynez, Cabrillo, St. Joseph and Righetti.

Lompoc, Pioneer Valley and Santa Maria are in Division 4 and Laguna Blanca and Bishop Diego in Division 5.


Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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