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November 16, 2010 > MVAL volleyball teams fall short in NCS

MVAL volleyball teams fall short in NCS

By Nick Zambrano

After having their best season in almost 30 years, the Irvington High Lady Vikings volleyball team suffered a tearjerker when they lost to California High in the quarterfinals of the North Coast Section Division I Tournament.

Irvington came into the Saturday, Nov. 13, match riding high on an opening-round victory against San Leandro that saw them win uncontested and coach Kim Martin earn her first career NCS victory.

After quickly falling behind in the first set, 4-1, the Vikings battled back with the Grizzlies to gain their first lead of the match at 14-12. Before taking the lead, Irvington had tied the set up three times but were unable to answer for Cal's ability to stretch out a lead. Later in the set, with the score tied at 18-18, the Lady Vikings finally garnished a lead with three straight points to make it 21-18.

Cal would not go down as they rallied back to bring the set within one point at 22-21. But the play of Irvington seniors Katie Lopez, Anaszsa Thompson and junior Jinny Yan eventually helped seal the set at 25-21.

Much like the first set, the second unraveled the same way, as the Lady Grizzlies jumped out to a 7-0 lead. Irvington needed to dig in to make the set respectively close, and did exactly that. Now down 15-20, Yan provided with a jolt as her clutch spike and block gave Irvington their shortest deficit, 19-21. The set was finally brought down to the wire as Irvington was unable to complete their comeback and fell 23-25, and tying the match, one set apiece.

After falling short in the second set, the Lady Vikings came out and fired on all cylinders in the decisive third set. Up 12-8, Irvington went on a tear and rallied for six consecutive points and looked to be in full control of the third set. That was, however, before Cal came back and sparked a rally of their own. This one for a shocking 10 straight points, evened out the score at 20-20.

The bleeding continued when Cal closed another Irvington lead and tied the set up, this time at 23-23. Irvington fell behind 24-23 but quickly responded by tying everything back up at 24-24.

Then the Lady Grizzlies foreboding comeback finally came to fruition as they were able to muster out the final two points to give a 26-24 win and a pivotal 2-1 lead in the match.

"I think they (Irvington) stopped pounding it for a while and they just let them get back in it. We softened up when we shouldn't have" said Martin about the whirlwind third set.

Cal rode the coat tails from their go-ahead set and marched over the Lady Vikings for a clinching 25-17 set. For Cal, it was a sweet victory to cherish as Irvington beat in their previous meeting this season. They'll go on to play No. 1 seed Foothill on Wednesday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m.

As for Martin and her Irvington squad, it will be a bittersweet ending to a storybook season. This year marked Irvington's first Mission Valley Athletic League title since 1982.

"We played great. I can't be ashamed," said Martin regarding Irvington's season. Martin's squad finished the season with a 24-6 record overall.

In other MVAL volleyball action. Washington advanced up into the Division II quarterfinals by defeating Ukiah High 25-13, 25-19 and 25-21. That would be their last win of the season because they would lose their next match to Redwood High in three straight sets. American and Mission San Jose lost their first round matches as well, losing to Maria Carrillo and Heritage respectively.

Outside of the MVAL, Moreau Catholic High School, as the No. 6 seed, advanced to the NCS DIII Semifinals with a straight-set win over No. 11 Hercules High in the opening round, then an upset win over No. 3 Miramonte High in five sets. Moreau, the only local girls volleyball team still alive, will go to No. 2 Sir Francis Drake High on Wednesday, Nov. 17, for a 7 p.m. match and a berth in the DIII Championship at stake. And in NCS DVI action, No. 8 Rio Lindo Adventist Academy downed No. 9 California School for the Deaf in five sets in the opening round.

NCS Water Polo
Washington High School's Lady Huskies water polo team advanced all the way to the Division I semifinals before losing to the eventual champions, Foothill High, by a 17-3 count. Irvington High School's boys water polo went through the same demise as the Washington girls when they lost in the quarterfinals to top-seeded Acalanes High, the future 2010 NCS Division I Champs. Mission San Jose and Newark Memorial's girls teams also advanced into the quarterfinals before being eliminated by Foothill and Monte Vista high schools, respectively.

NCS Boys Soccer
Fremont Christian High School's Cinderella soccer season came to a not-so-happy ending on Wednesday, Nov. 10. After upset wins over No. 7 Archbishop Hanna (3-2 in OT) and No. 2 Point Arena (2-0) high schools in the first and second round respectively, the No. 10-seeded Warriors were dropped, 1-0, by No. 2 Sonoma Academy (who lost in the championship to Anderson Valley, 2-1). Fremont Christian finished its 2010 season 16-3-3.

Giovanni Albanese Jr. contributed to this article.






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