East Bay Volleyball Poll (8)

Just call me Dragon Slayer, because I apparently don’t give the Dragons of Bishop O’Dowd enough love on the blogosphere.

So the Bishop O’Dowd faithful came out of nowhere last week and blasted me for vaguely mentioning the Dragons in a recent post after they won the Northgate Tournament.

BOD is not in our coverage area, so I tend to stay away from the Dragons unless they venture into this side of town and play one of our coverage area teams and that’s exactly what happened last Saturday when BOD beat Deer Valley in three games for the championship.

(Of course, I also steer clear of Dragons because that fire breathing business is bad for my health)

Say hello to Bishop O’Dowd, the new No. 1 team in the poll and first No. 1 team other than Amador Valley since Week 1.

The first thing I noticed about the Dragons was this: Robyn Hall can probably jump OVER the net if she wanted to. The girl has springs for legs and just pounds the ball. BOD coach Tim Newman said he didn’t set her as much that day as he would’ve liked to and that’s scary. But BOD did just fine as strong performances from Blaire Safir, Rachel Stier and Natalia Wagner carried them through. It’s easy to see why the Dragons reign supreme atop of the poll and why they will probably enter as the top seed in the Division III when North Coast Section playoffs start after next week.

Amador Valley’s loss to Las Lomas at the tournament didn’t hurt the Dons as much, dropping them one spot to No. 2 while Carondelet slides down two spots to No. 4 after its loss to Castro Valley in a extremely tight match at the NG tournament.

Coaches may have casted their votes before the following matches took place…

San Ramon Valley knocked off Foothill on Tuesday, which isn’t a complete surprise. It’s the way the Wolves did it (in 3-games) that’s the shocker. Same goes for Albany beating Carondelet on Halloween 25-16, 25-20, 25-18. Again, the scores not the result raises eye-brows. Now Monte Vista, led by Gabby Cowden and Chelsea Rashoff, beats Amador Valley 16-25, 25-12, 25-18, 25-17 on Thursday night. The Mustangs finally catch a break and get a key win against a Division I opponent. The Mustangs could potentially finish the season with wins against Foothill and San Ramon Valley. Ah, the wackiness continues as these results should go toward determining next week’s poll.

I’ll leave you with this story from Campolindo coach Scott Bishop.

Outside of Las Lomas beating AV, the talk at the Northgate Tournament was how Campolindo’s middle blocker Alex Shurtz fell and hit her head on the floor during a match. She received over 20 stitches for splitting her forehead right above her left eye. Well, Bishop said fiery setter Mary Vaccaro was in on the collision as Shurtz fell head first to the ground during a pool play match. Vaccaro yelled at Shurtz to “GET UP NOW” because the play was ongoing. Shurtz somehow jumped right up and finished out the rally. It wasn’t until play completely stopped that everyone realized Shurtz was hurt and there was blood everywhere.

Who says volleyball players aren’t tough?

— Ricardo Sanchez Jr.


1) Bishop O’Dowd – (wins Northgate Tournament)
2) Amador Valley – (loss to Las Lomas is tough)
3) Deer Valley – (beats Monte Vista and Castro Valley at NG tourney before falling to BOD in final)
4) Carondelet – (loses tight one to Castro Valley in quarters)
5) Castro Valley – (big win over Carondelet but loses to DV in semis)
6) Foothill – (Presentation too tough in SRV tourney final)
7) Albany – (can’t get past BOD in NG quarterfinal match up)
8) Las Lomas – (gets big win over AV)
9) Monte Vista – (falls short against DV)
10) San Ramon Valley – (comes in 3rd at own tournament)

Others receiving votes: Washington, Campolindo, Berkeley