By Matt Smith
Monday, May 24th, 2010 at 10:02 am in Boys volleyball.
The 2010 season has come to a close. Congrats to Foothill and College Prep as East Bay teams that won North Coast Section championships.
The Falcons were very dominant around the net against the Dons in the Division I final. Foothill had 24 blocks, playing very fundamentally at the net and taking a hard-hitting Amador Valley team out of its game. Foothill got back to its brand of volleyball, playing aggressive and with passion. Pat Berrigan was dominant in the middle while the heart of this team, Nick Csongor, helps other guys play at a very high level, getting the most out of each one of his teammates. Jon Harold really came on and became a stud outside hitter this year.
I saw Drake against Northgate in the semifinals, and it appears it was much of the same against Campolindo. Drake likes to run a stack that teams have a hard time adjusting to, and once they do, the Pirates go to the pins and even though their outside hitters are small, they have hops and hit the ball straight down. It sounds like the Cougars made more mistakes in this game, which to me is the only way Campolindo could have lost in four. That is a talented team, but if they make the bulk of the errors, not even they can overcome it, especially against a good Drake team.
The most thrilling of the NCS championship games, it would appear. College Prep was down 15-10 in the first game, but made adjustments and won 25-20. After losing the second, Nikhil Rajapuram had eight kills in the third game for another 25-20 win. A 25-19 loss in the fourth setup a thrilling fifth game.
College Prep coach Blair Sly made an adjustment to his rotation, and it worked out when Collin Styles found his way to the service line in a 7-7 tie and served four straight points.
With College Prep holding on to a 14-13 lead, El Molino set a high outside to their big hitter Scott McMahan and Rajapuram blocked him perfectly, roofing him for the championship point. Rajapuram had 23 kills, five blocks and 15 digs. Senior Cole Stites-Clayton had 22 kills, 13 assists and 14 digs. Daniel Eager finished with 41 assists.
Here are the final rankings
2. Amador Valley
5. De La Salle
6. Mission San Jose
7. Deer Valley
8. College Prep
13. Clayton Valley
14. De Anza