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Girls Volleyball

Torrey Pines, Mitty Head Field in Santa Barbara’s Tournament of Champions

Torrey Pines and Archbishop Mitty, two nationally ranked girls volleyball teams, lead the field for Santa Barbara High’s annual Tournament of Champions on Friday and Saturday.

Torrey Pines is the top seed. The Falcons are 23-3, ranked No. 15 in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 national poll and No. 2 in the state. They are led by setter Kiara McNulty, a Northwestern commit, and Jaden Whitmarsh, who has committed to UCLA for beach volleyball. She is the daughter of former AVP beach volleyball star Mike Whitmarsh.

Mitty, of San Jose, (24-4) is a perennial powerhouse. The school won the first CIF State Open Division title last season, giving the program its 13th state championship overall, the best in the state.

Seniors Nicole Liddle and 6-2 Julia Devine lead the Monarchs’ attack.

Torrey Pines beat Mitty in four sets back in early September at Corona del Mar.

Another player to watch in the tournament is Peyton Wilhite, a 6-foot-4 junior from San Diego’s Cathedral Catholic, the defending Division 2 state champions.

The tournament format is all matches are best of five sets.

The semifinals are at 10:45 a.m., on Saturday and the championship is at 6:15 p.m., at Santa Barbara’s J.R. Richards Gym.

Santa Barbara and San Marcos are both competing. The Royals open Friday against Mira Costa at 11 a.m., while the Dons face  Wilhite and Cathedral Catholic at 2:30 p.m.

In other first-round matches on Friday: Torrey Pines plays Newport Harbor at 11 a.m.; St. Francis faces Ventura, and Presentation meets Corona del Mar at 12:45 p.m.; Westview plays Vista Murrieta at 2:30; Rancho Cucamonga takes on Arroyo Grande, and Mitty plays the San Marcos JV at 4:15 p.m.

The quarterfinals are at 6 p.m. and 7:45 p.m.

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