There are always wrinkles and confusion after implementing a new format, especially in seeding high school playoff brackets.
This season, the Sac-Joaquin Section removed power ratings from its seeding process for the girls volleyball playoffs, but the change was not a total upheaval from the previous system.
Looking at the Division II seedings from the last four seasons, the only team to receive a top-three seeding and not have a league title was Bella Vista in 2011. The Broncos finished second in the Capital Valley Conference and received the No. 3 seed in D-II.
This year, El Camino is the top seed in D-II for the second straight season. But the biggest change to the D-II field is the absence of Bella Vista and Rocklin from the top four.
Rocklin, the No. 6 seed this season after placing second in the Sierra Foothill League, is out of the top four for the first time since 2005. The Thunder won the 2010 section title and has reached the title match four of the last five years.
Rocklin hosts No. 11 Tracy at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the first round.
Bella Vista, on the other hand, moved up to Division I this season. After finishing third in the Capital Valley Conference, the Broncos are the No. 12 seed.
Saturday, Bella Vista defeated Bethel 3-0 in an outbracket match to advance to a first-round match at Pitman of Turlock on Tuesday.
Broncos coach Troy Songer said he understands the reasoning behind his team's low seed.
"I was told they gave all the teams that won their league a top seed, then second-place teams, then third, so this is why we dropped so far," Songer said.
Balance in D-III Arguably the toughest and deepest playoff field is in Division III.
Six of the 14 teams in the bracket top seed Oakmont, No. 2 Vista del Lago, No. 5 Rio Americano, No. 6 Placer, No. 7 Christian Brothers and No. 13 El Dorado are ranked in The Bee's Top 20.
"All of the teams are amazing," Rio Americano coach John Grix said. "I think the bottom half of the bracket is going to be a battleground."
The bottom half features a possible second-round match between Vista del Lago and Christian Brothers on Thursday in Folsom.
Placer, the Pioneer Valley League co-champion with Division IV No. 2 seed Bear River, hosts No. 11 Sacramento in the first round.
Rio Americano, which shared the Capital Athletic League title with El Camino, hosts Pacheco of Los Banos in the first round, and Grix said he is intrigued by his team's position in the bracket.
"I think we are playing some of the best volleyball we have been all season," Grix said. "We are doing everything different from the beginning of the season. All of the players are very excited and very hungry."
Out of area In the D-I and D-II brackets, there is a strong field of teams from outside the Sacramento region.
St. Francis, ranked No. 1 by The Bee, is the No. 1 seed in D-I. St. Mary's of Stockton is the No. 2 seed. After SFL champion Granite Bay at No. 3, the next three seeds are out-of-area teams Vintage of Napa, Pitman and Lincoln of Stockton before Davis comes in at No. 7.
In the D-II bracket, a top-two seed comes from outside the Sacramento area for the first time since 2005. Gregori of Modesto is No. 2 behind El Camino.