After a strong 3-0 start, including two victories over teams ranked in the Orange County preseason Top 10, the Loyola Cubs have strengthened their hold on the No. 1 spot in the Week 1 LA coaches poll. The Cubs received 19 of 20 first-place votes this week, with the lone remaining first-place vote going to No. 6 Agoura (3-0).
Loyola opened with a 7-5 win over St. Margaret’s, ranked No. 4 in the Orange County preseason coaches poll, and followed that Saturday with an 18-1 drubbing of Great Oak (Temecula), ranked No. 6 in that preseason poll. St. Margaret’s reached the OC title game last spring, while Great Oak went 17-3 in 2016, losing in the second round of the playoffs.
Palos Verdes (0-1), which lost Saturday to St. Margaret’s, remains No. 2, and Harvard Westlake (2-0) remains No. 3. Thousand Oaks (2-0) moves up one to No. 4, and Westlake, which opens its season Friday at Harvard Westlake, dropped one spot to No. 5.
The biggest risers in the Week 1 poll were Oak Park (3-0), which moved from No. 11 to No. 8, and Crespi (2-1), which moved from 18 to 13. Chaminade (1-1) and Mira Costa (2-1) each moved up two spots.
Peninsula (1-1) and Sierra Canyon (1-1) each fell four spots, the Panthers from No. 8 to No. 12, and the Trailblazers from No. 10 to No. 14.
Santa Monica (3-0), which has outscored three opponents a combined 54-13, narrowly missed cracking the Top 20. Twelve ballots had the Vikings among the Top 20, but the eight remaining ballots had them low enough that they finished 21st in the voting. Santa Monica plays Hamilton at home today and St. John Bosco at home on Wednesday before facing its first ranked opponent Thursday at No. 11 Mira Costa.
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Also receiving Top 20 votes: Santa Monica (3-0), Valencia (2-0), Birmingham (2-1), Santa Barbara (2-1).