Volleyball TOC draws power-packed lineup

The top two seeds in this weekend’s Santa Barbara High girls volleyball Tournament of Champions have key players who are the daughters of world champion professional athletes.

The 16-team TOC runs Friday and Saturday at Santa Barbara and at Dos Pueblos.

No. 1 Torrey Pines of San Diego is led by 6-2 Reily Buechler, the daughter Jud Buechler, who played with Michael Jordan on three NBA championship teams with the Chicago Bulls. Reily Buechler has pounded more than 250 kills this season.

Maddie Dilfer runs the offense as the setter for second-seeded Valley Christian of San Jose. If her last name rings a bell, it?s because her dad is ESPN NFL analyst and Super Bowl 35-winning quarterback Trent Dilfer.

Dilfer has signed with Notre Dame while Buechler is headed to UCLA. Their high school teams are among the best in the state: Torrey Pines is No. 1 and Valley Christian is fifth.

TOC VB bracket

The Tournament of Champions annually draws premier volleyball teams in the state to Santa Barbara for two days of high-level competition. The event is a final tune-up for the CIF Section and State playoffs.

San Marcos coach Erica Menzel is hoping her team can place well in the tournament.

“The TOC is great for seeding for CIF,” she said. “We?ve yet to be successful in the TOC, so we?re hoping this year will be our year. We?re hoping we can go in and surprise some people.”

The action begins Friday at 11 a.m. at Santa Barbara?s J.R. Richards Gym. The semifinals are Saturday at 10:45 a.m. and the championship is slated at 6:15 p.m. Sovine Gym at Dos Pueblos will be used for consolation round matches.

The other teams in the field include San Jose?s Archbishop Mitty (3rd in the state), Pasadena-La Salle (No. 1 in the CIF-SS 1-A Division and fourth in the state), Mira Costa (4th in 1-AA Division), Corona del Mar (5th in 1-AA), San Diego?s La Costa Canyon and Cathedral Catholic, Campolindo of Moraga, Newport Harbor, Salinas, Anaheim-Esperanza and local teams San Marcos, Santa Barbara and Dos Pueblos.

“We’re excited to be able to bring these great teams to Santa Barbara,” Dons coach John Gannon said. “This is a great opportunity for young players in Santa Barbara to see some really good volleyball teams.”

Dos Pueblos opens the tournament at 11 a.m. against Torrey Pines; San Marcos plays La Salle at 12:45 p.m. and Santa Barbara faces Corona del Mar at 2:30 p.m. The second round winner?s bracket matches are at 6 p.m. and 7:45.