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East Bay Boys Volleyball: Oakland, BCL-E pair, pose playoff threats

By Matt Smith
Monday, April 26th, 2010 at 9:36 am in Boys volleyball.

The Division III teams in the North Coast Section might not get the attention of the Divison I and II teams, but this year’s playoffs should be compelling with a deep pool of talented teams.
A pair of those teams are from Oakland and hail from the Bay Counties League East in the form of College Prep and Head-Royce High Schools.

The Cougars, at 21-4 and 5-0 in league, not only look like the favorite in the league, but have a compelling case for the top seed in the playoffs.
They have stepped up and played Division I and Division II teams in tournaments, taking a game off Amador Valley, hanging with Northgate and falling to Logan in a deciding third game, 16-14.
They have wins over bigger NCS schools (some five or six times bigger) such as American, Acalanes, Redwood and Kennedy-Fremont.
College Prep was the No. 2 seed in last year’s playoffs, reaching the finals and falling to the host and top seed, El Molino.
“We see El Molino as one of the top teams in our division,” College Prep coach Blair Sly said. “We would really like another shot at them. We are motivated to win out because we think we’d be deserving of a No. 1 seed and that would be huge.”
The one thing that defines this College Prep team, and that would give them a chance to win the NCS title this year, is their balance.
“We definitely have that balance and it’s really nice,” Sly said. “On any given day any of the six guys out on the floor can step up.”
A deep line of hitters and blockers, which include Cole Stites-Clayton, Nikhil Rajapuram, Collin Styles and Noah Hadfield-Menell, a solid libero in Patrick Glass and very good setting with Daniel Eager makes this a tough team to stop.
Eager can also be an effective hitter, and Stites-Clayton was the setter last year, and has no problem filling that role at points in the game.
“A lot of teams have just that one go-to-guy and luckily we have a lot of guys that can step up,” Stites-Clayton said. “We spread it around and because of that we like our chances this year. But we really enjoy playing and we don’t look past anybody. We’re going to work hard and take nothing for granted because there is still a long way to go.”
Head-Royce, the No. 3 seed in last year’s NCS playoffs, might not be seeded that high this year, but they are a team to watch out for. The Jayhawks (11-5, 5-1) have a few first year players, basketball players, who are just starting to learn the game.
Guys like Jeremiah Kreisberg, the league’s hoops MVP, who are just starting to get the hang of this game, could end up making a huge impact in a playoff run.
“We have a lot of new guys who are basketball players,” Head-Royce outside hitter Mike Eidlin said. “In a couple of more weeks, when they have all the fundamentals down, that could make us a dangerous team.”
Eidlin, possibly the top hitter in the league, as well as another hitter in Tyler Mitchell and a solid setter in Eric Tam are going to make the Jayhawks tough for any opponent.
A recent loss to Berean Christian might hurt as far as getting a top four seed, but they are still going to be a team to be reckoned with.
“I feel like our guys are starting to play their best volleyball,” Head-Royce coach Scott Tay said. “We are starting to get tested late in the season and I think we have a good chance to go deep in the playoffs if we stay healthy and play with confidence.”

Rankings

1. Foothill
2. Campolindo
3. Amador Valley
4. Northgate
5. Mission San Jose
6. De La Salle
7. Deer Valley
8. Logan
9. Washington
10. College Prep
11. Granada
12. California
13. Alameda
14. Dougherty Valley
15. Monte Vista

League Standings

The BSAL is not completely accurate, and I won’t even try with the BCL East because I really have no clue about most of the schools. Most of the ACCAL teams’ overall records are not accurate. Same with a couple of teams in the BVAL, DFAL, DVAL and MVAL. I’m doing my humble best.

ACCAL

Alameda (16-8, 3-0)
De Anza (11-5, 2-1) 1 GB
El Cerrito (3-5, 2-1) 1 GB
Berkeley (7-9, 1-2) 2 GB
Richmond (2-6, 0-3) 3 GB

BSAL

St. Patrick-St. Vincent (16-11, 5-0)
St. Joseph Notre Dame (3-11, 2-2) 2.5 GB
St. Mary’s (2-6, 1-1) 2.5 GB
Salesian (4-12, 1-2) 3 GB
Encinal (0-7, 0-3) 4 GB

BVAL

Deer Valley (17-5, 9-0)
Antioch (13-10, 7-2) 2 GB
Heritage (8-10, 5-4) 4 GB
Freedom (4-6, 4-5) 4 GB
Pittsburg (2-7, 2-7) 7 GB
Liberty (0-15, 0-9) 9 GB

DFAL

Campolindo (19-5, 4-0)
Dougherty Valley (15-8, 3-1) 1 GB
Acalanes (5-10, 1-2) 2.5 GB
Las Lomas (5-6, 1-2) 2.5 GB
Alhambra (1-9, 0-3) 3.5 GB

DVAL

Northgate (25-2, 6-0)
Clayton Valley (10-5, 6-1) .5 GB
Berean Christian (11-8, 4-3) 2.5 GB
College Park (5-8, 4-3) 2.5 GB
Concord (3-11, 2-4) 4 GB
Ygnacio Valley (3-20, 1-6) 5.5 GB
Mt. Diablo (0-6, 0-6) 6 GB

EBAL

Foothill (24-1, 8-0)
Amador Valley (20-3, 7-1) 1 GB
California (16-11, 5-3) 3 GB
De La Salle (21-8, 4-4) 4 GB
Granada (7-7, 4-4) 4 GB
Monte Vista (8-9, 3-5) 5 GB
San Ramon Valley (2-15, 1-7) 7 GB
Livermore (3-18, 0-8) 8 GB

MVAL

Mission San Jose (19-4, 7-0)
Logan (19-10, 6-2) 1.5 GB
Washington (15-6, 6-2) 1.5 GB
Kennedy (6-13, 3-3) 3.5 GB
Moreau Catholic (5-12, 3-4) 4 GB
American (2-8, 1-5) 5.5 GB
Castro Valley (0-8, 0-8) 7.5 GB

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  • Chris

    American should have had two wins by that point: one against Kennedy, the other against Castro Valley.

  • http://www.volleyballdrills.tv Donnie

    Love the article! Thanks for the volleyball info, D-3 needs some respect!

  • twomanblock

    What will the NCS D1 Final 8 look like? I agree with your top 7:

    1. Foothill
    2. Amador Valley
    3. Mission San Jose
    4. De La Salle
    5. Deer Valley
    6. Logan
    7. Washington

    8th could go to either California, Granada, Antioch or Monte Vista. It depends on how they finish the season. Logan’s been inconsistent recently but I think still doing good enough to make it.

    Will give D2 a whirl next, then D3. Anybody out there have an 8?

  • SMC

    NCS D-2, I see it shaking out this way.

    Campo
    Northgate
    Drake
    Alameda
    Las Lomas
    Clayton
    Terra Linda
    Novato

  • SMC

    Check that. I forgot Dougherty. Sorry.

    Campo
    NG
    Drake
    Alameda
    Dougherty
    LL
    Clayton
    Terra Linda

  • Huge

    Dougherty is D3

  • SMC

    Dougherty is D3, jus check NCS website. I will revert back to the original 8.

  • twomanblock

    hey smc, i agree with your original 8 though my 5-7 are in a different order.

  • twomanblock

    For D1, my 8th is Granada. Decided not to sit on a fence.

  • Digsus

    For D3, based on team strength, i think it should be:

    1. College Prep
    2. El Molino
    3. Marin Catholic
    4. Head Royce
    5. Berean Christian
    6. St. Pats/St. Vincent
    7. Dougherty Valley
    8. Valley Christian

    …but Berean beat both Marin and HR head to head, so i guess they will be ranked higher in NCS, but they (Marin and HR) have been improving a lot late in the season and are better now. But maybe NCS will put SPSV and Berean higher. Dougherty could also be dangerous…