Yeah SOS is a big ... which is why Cal Lu, after it got screwed that year by SOS started scheduling either a second Spring trip or extra home games with non-conference teams who were looking for warm places to play. It also played a role in the SCIAC eliminating what had been their end of the season, pre-tournament round-robin. Gives them all more chances to play strong non-conference opponents. This year perhaps as a result 2 SCIAC teams are in.
Unfortunately, Cal Lu kind of sucked.
From what I can gather, the cause of Cal Lu's probably temporary decline seems to have been that two strong seeming incoming classes ended up sort of hallowing themselves out, because of guys who gave up without being pushed out the door, according to my son (who was one of them) and some of his former teammates. The team was extremely loaded with upper class studs when those guys were frosh and sophomores. One of them even looked like he was slated to be the number 1 or number 2 arm perhaps after his freshman year. Many of them seem to have been either not committed enough overall or not patient enough to wait their turns for playing time -- though that's not how they themselves would put it, I'm guessing. (Certainly that's not how my son puts it, but its clear to me that he just wasn't willing to wait his turn.) So this year the team was younger than it has been in recent years and also reliant on some upperclass transfers that didn't really shine. Maybe there's an upside though. Perhaps they are about to start another cycle with some guys who will have been 3-4 year starters by their senior years. That's what happened with the most recent cohort of studs. They got chances starting freshman year and got better and better, until they were a dominating group. (Although strangely, it wasn't really the core of that group that won the D3 WS. That WS team kinda of played over its head with just a few guys left over from the group of studs I'm talking about. )