Northern California Regional Playoffs are under way and only five local teams remain, all of which won their opening matches on Tuesday.
Liberty: The Lions cruised in their first round win over Yuba City. It seems as if Liberty is building up for a rematch with Neveda Union-Grass Valley, the same team that has knocked the Lions out of NorCal’s the last two seasons. The Miners are the two-time Division I state runner-ups.
Northgate: The Broncos bounced Oak Ridge, but Saturday’s Goliath isn’t going to be easy. The Broncos have their work cut out for them. Northgate coach Jim Changaris knows all about the volleyball powerhouse that is Archbishop Mitty-San Jose, the two-time defending Division II state champion. He said that a few years back, when the Broncos traveled to Mitty’s gym for a playoff match, his team was in awe with the amount of banners hanging from the walls. If Northgate wins, to call it an upset would be an understatement.
Foothill: The Falcons like to make things interesting and have made a living on pulling out the tightly-contested games. Which is why it seems ironic that the only slip-up against Carlmont on Tuesday was a 26-24 loss in game three. The other games were won by the Falcons by 9, 5, and 10 points. They’ll need to bring their A game against Nevada Union-Grass Valley.
Campolindo: I bet the Cougars were happy to play any one after that classic NCS Division III final against Bishop O’Dowd. They easily dispatched Union Mine and could possibly see O’Dowd in the NorCal regional finals. Remember, the Cougars upset No.1 seeded St. Francis-Sacramento last year and the Dragons have a shot to do the same.
St. Mary’s: The Panthers dominated Golden Sierra, the team that sent them home last season. Of course, it wasn’t the exact same players, but it still must have felt good. Roles were reversed this time around as St. Mary’s holds the No. 1 seed and the Grizzlies (the Division IV state runner up in 2003 and 2004) the No. 8 seed. Next up for the Panthers is Menlo-Atherton, who partcipated in the Division state finals from 1999-2002, losing all of those matches to Marymount-Los Angeles.
Who will survive Saturday’s matches?