Playoff prep roundup: St. Francis and Mitty cruise in CCS Open volleyball semifinals, Foothill and Head-Royce advance in NCS

WCAL cross country championships top performers, Newark Memorial and Clayton Valley Charter advance to the NCS water polo playoffs.

Female Volleyball


On Saturday, the two best girls volleyball teams in the Bay Area will compete for the Central Coast Section Open Division title.

Archbishop Mitty defeated Sacred Heart Prep 3-0, and St. Francis defeated Valley Christian 3-0 to set up the season’s fifth meeting between the West Catholic Athletic League’s top two teams at Palo Alto High.

Sacred Heart Prep 3, Archbishop Mitty 0

No. 1 Mitty defeated No. 4 Sacred Heart Prep 25-18, 25-23, 25-19 at home. Isabella Romero had several kills and played excellent defense on the right side, and Nicole Macalintal’s passing and defense “turned around” the second set, which SHP led 15-10 at one point.

“SHP played very well,” Wallace wrote in an email, “but Mitty was able to dig some balls and convert them into points.”

Valley 3, St. Francis 3 0 Christian

Second-seeded St. Francis defeated No. 3 seed and WCAL rival Valley Christian for the eighth time in a row, winning 25-15, 25-22, 25-19. The game against Mitty has yet to be scheduled. Mitty and St. Francis split the regular season series 2-2, and regardless of the outcome on Saturday, both teams will advance to NorCal play, where they could face each other for the sixth time this season.


Amador Valley 1, Foothill 3

The top seed Foothill won 25-21, 17-25, 25-22, 25-18 over Pleasanton rival Amador Valley to advance to the North Coast Section Division I final against No. 3 seed Marin Catholic. Katie Salonga had 36 assists and nine digs to Paige Bennet’s 22 kills, 14 digs, and 10 service points. Nisa Kincaide had four blocks and three kills, while Kaycie Burdick had 12 digs and 11 kills. Foothill improved to 35-1 and will play Marin Catholic at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Marin Catholic defeated San Ramon Valley 3–2.

Marin Catholic will face red-hot Foothill after defeating No. 2 seed San Ramon Valley 25-13, 11-25, 18-25, 25-22, 15-8. In the marathon match, Lucy Chertock had 19 kills, 20 digs, and blocks, while Ellie Hunt and Sophia Vella combined for 19 kills and seven digs. Ali Cook had 18 digs and 20 assists, while Audree Vasconi had 20 assists and 12 digs. SRV coach Brian Fujinaga wrote in an email. “Losing the first set in such a definitive manner really seemed to jump-start our offense, but we couldn’t hold the momentum in the fourth and fifth sets.”

Cardinal Newman 3, Head-Royce 0

The fourth seed After defeating top-seeded Cardinal Newman, Head-Royce advanced to the NCS Division IV championship game. 25-19, 25-15, 25-19. Outside hitters Hailey Hilsabeck and Melina McKinney aided the No. 4 seeded HR rally from a 10-5 first-set deficit. Morgan Ross had several big blocks for the Jayhawks, and libero Natalie Kwon was a fantastic passer.

Long-distance travel


Evie Marheineke of Archbishop Mitty won the WCAL girls individual championship in 17:55.1, and Miles Cook of Sacred Heart Cathedral won the WCAL boys individual championship in 15:10.8.

Bellarmine’s boys scored the most points, defeating St. Francis 32-27. The top five finishers were SHC’s Luke Moore (15:39), Mitty’s Liam Saxton (15:47.8), St. Ignatius’ Trey Wright (15:48.2), and St. Francis’ Matthew Mullane (15.48.9).

St. Francis dominated the girls cross country race, winning 28-23 over Mitty and finishing with six of the top ten finishers. After Marheineke, the top finishers were St. Francis’ Sabrina Zanetto (18.32.9), Caitlin Cilley (18.44) and Lauren Draper (18.49.9), and Sacred Heart Cathedral’s Alex Martinez (18.55).

Water polo for boys


El Cerrito 9, Newark Memorial 22

With a convincing win over El Cerrito, Newark Memorial advanced to a quarterfinal matchup against Piedmont in the NCS Division II playoffs. Adrian Rosales had six goals and three assists, and Miguel Medrano had three goals, six steals, and four assists. Kanoa Sarino, Thomas McGrath, and Sashreek Shrestha each had two goals, while Noah Caron scored three. Each of Bronson Beliso, Bryan Cao, and Daniel Macias scored a goal. Isaac Taylor came up with eight saves. In an email, Newark Memorial coach Johnelle Cabading said, “Defensively, the team played well, which helped lead the offense to counter the other direction.”

Alhambra 5, Clayton Valley Charter 9

After defeating Alhambra in the round of 16, the Ugly Eagles will face NCS Division II No. 1 seed Marin Academy. CVC took an early 5-1 lead, with senior Keegan D’Arcy scoring four goals. Zeke Chapman scored twice, while Evan Beaubian and Dominic Maffei each scored once. Clayton Valley coach Gabe Martin stated via email, “It was a tight game the rest of the way with Ruari Murphy, our goalie, getting 12 saves.”

Livermore 13, Cardinal Newman 11

The season for Livermore ended in double overtime, but not before a pair of seniors made history. Nathan Thompson scored five goals and set a school record for goals in a season with 151, according to Livermore coach Nathan Brandon. Meanwhile, Aidan Chirica saved 23 shots, including a five-meter penalty, to set a program record with 416 total saves. Tyler Holm and Jacob Niles each had two goals, and Niles tied Thompson for the team lead in assists with three. Lance Dalida scored as well.

Mission San Marin 11 10 San Jose

10th Mission In the first round of the NCS Division II playoffs, San Jose went on the road and gave No. 7 seed San Marin everything they could handle. Vinny Yao led Fremont with four goals, and Ryan Kumar added two. MSJ’s first section playoff appearance since 2017 featured goals from Elton Yu, Noah Lee, Kaidinh Tran, and Justin Ho. “I’m extremely proud of the effort and heart these guys showed today!” wrote coach Amy Tolbertson in an email. Although our season has come to an end, our program’s future looks promising.”

Water polo for girls


Alhambra 6, Terra Linda 7

Alhambra’s season ended in heartbreak, as the NCS Division II game on Wednesday night required three overtime periods to determine a winner. “It was a well-played game on both sides,” Alhambra coach Frank Reichert wrote in an email. It’s too bad someone had to lose.” Terra Linda took a 6-5 lead with three minutes left in the game after Alhambra led 4-2 at halftime. Alhambra equalized on the next possession, but Terra Linda won the golden goal period on a penalty shot after two scoreless overtime periods. Julia Arrizon had three goals, while Chiara Ke, Susannah Karbo, and Izzy Cooley each had one. Frankie Schulze and Cooley each had three steals, and Zoe Jimenez made nine saves.

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