Westlake, Harvard Westlake Swap Spots in Week 8 Poll

Westlake moved up one spot to No. 3, and Harvard Westlake slipped one spot to No. 4 in the Week 8 coaches poll from US Lacrosse and MaxLaxLA. The Warriors (11-3) won three games last week, while the Wolverines (10-4) lost a Mission League game at No. 7 Chaminade and beat No. 13 Oak Park.

Westlake was named No. 2 on one ballot, No. 3 on 16 ballots, and No. 4 on four ballots. Harvard Westlake was listed No. 3 on four ballots and No. 4 on 12 ballots, but the Wolverines also received votes at No. 5 (two), No. 6 (two) and No. 7 (one). That ultimately gave Westlake enough points to move ahead.

While a somewhat minor move in terms of the Top 20 teams, it could be significant come next Sunday’s playoff seeding meeting.

With Palos Verdes (14-2) — a unanimous No. 1 pick on the 21 ballots submitted — expected to be the top seed in the postseason tournament and No. 2 Loyola (13-4) — named No. 2 on 20 ballots and No. 3 on one — expected to be on the opposite side of the bracket, the difference between Nos. 3 and 4 ultimately will determine which of those opponents a team must face in the semifinals May 7 at Glendale.

Barring surprising seeding decisions and early round upsets, the No. 3 seed in the 16-team bracket would have to beat Loyola to reach the US Lacrosse L.A. title game. Westlake has not faced the Cubs this season, while Harvard Westlake has lost to Loyola twice — 10-5 and 12-6 — in Mission League play.

The No. 4 seed ultimately would have to beat Palos Verdes in the semifinals — again, barring upsets. Westlake beat the visiting Sea Kings 9-8 in early March — PV’s opening game, when it was without Jarrett Jones (Georgetown) and Peter Henkhaus (Marquette). Harvard Westlake traveled to Palos Verdes and lost 14-2 in late March.

So No. 3 or No. 4 — pick your poison. Again, barring upsets.

Elsewhere in the voting, No. 10 Oaks Christian (7-7), No. 15 St. Francis (8-6) and No. 18 El Segundo (9-4) all moved up one spot, bumping down No. 11 Mira Costa (11-5), No. 16 West Ranch (9-5) and No. 19 Brentwood (9-6), respectively.

So St. Francis was rewarded mildly for its upset of No. 7 Chaminade (10-5) last week, but the Eagles weren’t punished in the voting for that loss, remaining at No. 7. Mira Costa, though, slipped a spot to No. 11 after losing to Palos Verdes and No. 9 Peninsula, and Brentwood slipped a spot to No. 19 after losing at No. 12 Sierra Canyon and at Crespi.

With one week to play and plenty of league games between ranked opponents left on the schedule, there could be more movement by Sunday morning, when coaches meet to determine playoff qualifiers and their seeds.

[table id=28 /]

Biggest jump: Westlake, Oaks Christian, St. Francis and El Segundo moved up one spot each.
Biggest fall: Harvard Westlake, Mira Costa, West Ranch and Brentwood moved down one spot each.
Newcomers: None.
Dropped out: None.
Worth consideration: Valencia (6-7); Santa Monica (7-8); San Marcos (7-1).