The Mira Costa boys volleyball team has had an amazing season, taking two CIF titles one week apart, beating Loyola High for the CIF Southern Section Division I championship and then Oak Park for the CIF Southern Section Division II Regional championship.
The squad's stellar play couldn't have come at a better time, peaking to avenge earlier season losses to Loyola and concluding season play with a 19-match winning streak and a 35-4 record.
The only thing left for the team is to wait to see if they become the No. 1 ranked nationwide team in the Powerade Fab 50 poll online on ESPN.
In the poll's first week, after games of March 10, Mira Costa was ranked No. 6 nationwide and the pollsters wrote: "Mira Costa is never short of talent thanks to its perennial pipeline, but it will miss starting outside hitter and USC commit Chris Orenic, who is out with a broken hand for eight weeks."
In week two, MCHS moved up to No. 5. In week three, the team moved up to No. 4.
After beating No. 2 ranked Punahou in Hawaii, MCHS then was catapulted into the No. 2 spot in week four, just behind the ever-present No. 1 ranked Loyola.
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Then, in week five, the boys found themselves dropped to No. 4 after losing to Esperanza, and remained in the No. 4 spot in week six, with the EPSN poll site writing, "Outside hitter and USC commit Chris Orenic is still not cleared to play after breaking his hand but should be back for playoffs. Mira Costa won matches last week over West (Torrance, Calif.) and No. 50 Redondo Union (Redondo Beach, Calif.)."
In week seven, the Mustangs advanced to No. 3 nationwide, where they remained for weeks eight and nine.
In week ten, posted online for games as of May 22, the Mustangs advanced to No. 2 behind the undefeated Wheaton-Warrenville South squad of Wheaton, IL, who will play in the Illinois state finals this weekend.
Now players and fans await word of whether or not the Mustangs will have earned the No. 1 nationwide ranking, according to the pollsters. Here's the link to the Powerade Fab 50 poll.
Mira Costa boys volleyball coach Mike Ninnins told the Easy Reader, “There is absolutely no comparison between us and the team in Illinois. Quite honestly, if you really want to be considered for the number one team in the nation, you have to come out to California and play the best teams in the nation. Punahou (Hawaii) does that, coming over here every other year to play in the Best of the West tournament. In the last couple of weeks we’ve played Dana Hills, Esperanza, Loyola and Oak Park, which is firing on all cylinders. We play a tough competition out here. We went to Hawaii and faced Punahou and Hawaii Baptist and it’s a playoff atmosphere there.”
What do you think? Is Mira Costa No. 1 in boys volleyball nationwide and will the ESPN poll reflect that in the near future? Are California volleyball players the best?