East Bay Girls Volleyball Notes: NorCals, NCS Finals, Rankings

Momentum is a funny thing.

In the North Coast Section Division I final, it looked like Foothill had all of it. The Falcons rolled in game one, were playing at home and had the crowd behind them. But San Ramon Valley was able to snatch the momentum back, and look very good in the next three games.
Now the focus is on a state playoff run. The Wolves get to host Skyline on Tuesday, and if they win, would travel to top-seeded Palo Alto. Foothill has to play the No. 2 seed in St. Francis-Sacramento.
The road will be tough for both teams, but Campolindo has shown recently that it is possible for NCS teams.
Speaking of Campolindo, the Cougars ran into a very hot and talented Albany team. Now its the Cougars who will look to make a run in the Division III state bracket.
Christian Brothers and then a possible matchup with another SJS team in Vista del Lago will certainly not be easy, as both teams are tough. Christian Brothers split with Bishop O’Dowd this year, and lost to Campolindo. Top-ranked Sacred Heart Cathedral will likely be awaiting Albany if it gets past the first two rounds.
In Division IV, Salesian has a legit chance to upset No. 2 Soquel, and would love another crack at Marin Catholic in the NorCal semifinals after falling to them in four in the NCS finals.


The team most thought was the best in the East Bay, San Ramon Valley, has proven to be just that. The Wolves will likely end the year ranked No. 1, unless they run into Foothill again in the NorCals, or if Albany makes a run to the state title game.

1. San Ramon Valley (34-8)
2. Foothill (29-9)
3. Albany (33-6)
4. Campolindo (20-11)
5. Salesian (28-10)
6. Monte Vista (22-15)
7. Northgate (26-9)
8. Bishop O’Dowd (25-12)
9. Heritage (24-14)
10. California (18-8)
11. Granada (16-14)
12. Las Lomas (21-16)
13. Carondelet (22-15)
14. St. Joseph Notre Dame (30-6)
15. Miramonte (15-6)


Team   W-L   GB

Berkeley (23-7, 12-0) –
Alameda (17-9, 10-2) 2
El Cerrito (7-5) 5
Pinole Valley (8-6, 7-5) 5
De Anza (3-9) 9
Hercules (3-9) 9
Richmond (0-12) 12

Team W-L GB

Chinese Chr. (16-12, 7-3) –
CSD (15-11, 7-3) –
Fremont Chr. (10-14, 7-3) –
Contra Costa Chr. (14-15, 7-3) –
OMI (2-12, 2-8) 5
Emery (1-18, 0-10) 7

Team   W-L   GB

College Prep (23-10, 11-1) –
Head-Royce (21-8, 11-1) –
Athenian (15-10, 7-5) 4
Valley Chr. (18-9, 7-5) 4
St. Elizabeth (7-13, 4-8) 7
Bentley (5-18, 1-11) 10
Redwood Chr. (4-21, 1-11) 10

Team   W-L   GB

Albany (33-6, 13-0) –
St. Joseph (30-6, 11-2) 2
Salesian (28-10, 10-3) 3
St. Pat’s (29-7, 9-4) 4
St. Mary’s (9-18, 6-7) 7
Piedmont (12-16, 5-8) 8
Encinal (2-11) 11
Holy Names (1-12) 12
Kennedy (1-12) 12
Swett (1-12) 12

Team   W-L   GB

Heritage (24-14, 9-1) –
Deer Valley (15-22, 8-2) 1
Liberty (15-21, 7-3) 2
Antioch (3-20, 3-7) 6
Freedom (6-18, 3-7) 6
Pittsburg (0-10) 9

Team   W-L   GB

Campolindo (20-11, 12-0) –
Miramonte (15-6, 9-3) 3
Las Lomas (21-17, 8-4) 4
Acalanes (14-16, 6-6) 6
Dougherty Valley (17-15, 5-7) 7
Dublin (7-14, 2-10) 10
Alhambra (2-16, 0-12) 12

Team   W-L   GB

Northgate (26-9, 12-0) –
Berean Chr. (25-10, 10-2) 2
Concord (13-21, 8-4) 4
Clayton Valley (13-21, 6-6) 6
College Park (10-25, 4-8) 8
Ygnacio Valley (2-10) 10
Mt. Diablo (0-12) 12

Team   W-L   GB

Foothill (29-9, 10-4)
San Ramon Valley (34-8, 10-4)
Carondelet (22-15, 9-5)
California (18-8, 9-5)
Monte Vista (22-15, 7-7)
Granada (16-14, 6-8)
Amador Valley (13-16, 5-9)
Livermore (11-21, 0-14)

Team   W-L   GB

Bishop O’Dowd (25-12, 11-1) –
Moreau Catholic (23-12, 11-1) –
San Leandro (10-10, 9-3) 2
Castro Valley (15-16, 7-5) 4
Arroyo (9-13, 6-6) 5
San Lorenzo (4-8) 7
Mt. Eden (3-9) 8
Tennyson (2-10) 9
Hayward (0-12) 11

Team   W-L   GB

Irvington (21-7, 11-1) –
Logan (24-13, 11-1) –
Washington (17-18, 8-4) 3
Mission San Jose (8-22, 5-7) 6
Newark (13-16, 4-8) 7
American (8-13, 3-9) 8
Kennedy (3-19, 0-12) 11

Matt Smith

  • Chris Markle

    Yeah SRV was awesome in the NCS finals holding the Falcons to .100 hitting percentage in the last three sets after getting thumped 13-25 in the first set. Their big three of seniors Erin Sherwood and Sarah Board, and junior Emily Rader all played really well. The Falcons stayed within 4-6 points of the Wolves but just couldn’t mount any kind of sustained run. Congrats to the Wolves…


    How about that srv 7th man…

  • Just Saying

    Getting a little tired of Matt’s lovefest with Foothill. For the supposedly “unbiased” perspective of a news reporter, Matt continues to gush about Foothill. Yes, SRV had big game jitters and lost the first set. But regrouped in set two and absolutely dominated Foothill in the next three keeping their home crowd silent. SRV’s 7th man was AWESOME in Foothill’s house! Why didn’t Matt report those facts? Oh, right, because he’s infatuated with Foothill…

  • Matt Smith

    And finally, Just Saying checks in with the most unintelligent and uninformed comment of the year.
    Let me ask you this: Was I gushing over Foothill, or was I using their play in game on as a pre-text to pay the ultimate compliment to San Ramon Valley? The answer, of course, is the latter. I am not infatuated with any team, and I’m sorry that you couldn’t see that this notebook, and the story in the paper, was all about how awesome SRV has been playing.
    Secondly, the SRV 7th Man, as you call them, I think were incredible, amazing, awesome and probably the best volleyball crowd I’ve ever seen. You see what I did there? I said “I think” and then said things like “incredible, etc..” and “probably the best volleyball crowd I’ve ever seen.”
    Those words are opinion, not facts. You asked for me to report the facts. As a reporter, we report fact, not opinion. All I said about Foothill’s crowd is that they were the home crowd. Is that not true? Is that a compliment? Nope, just a fact.
    SRV’s crowd is out of control good, but that is opinion.
    Lastly, you’ve taken all the focus off the kids and put it on yourself, which is a terrible exercise in narcism that I won’t even delve into.

  • Just Saying

    It’s a style thing. The important choice for Sunday’s opening paragraph was about Foothill winning set #1 rather than SRV winning the NCS Division I Championship. Later, it’s about Foothill losing momentum, rather than SRV asserting dominance. Writers make story-line choices about which factual perspective to present. These choices could be construed as a back-handed compliment to the SRV team but also could lead the reader to infer a sense of bias. Congrats to the SRV Wolves for their well-earned NCS Championship!

  • Matt Smith

    It’s unfortunate that is how you interpreted it. We all see the world through a different lens, so it’s too bad it came across that way to you. I’ve sent this story to several people who are not affiliated with either school who have said that the style I asserted was an excellent build up to SRV’s dominance. I’m happy to know people who are completely unbiased agree with me.
    Good luck to SRV tonight and through the rest of NorCals.

  • epcthree

    Hey, I’ll jump in here…

    First, I have no dog in this hunt in any way, shape or form. Although I enjoy volleyball, I would not call myself a “fan” per se` and I have no allegiance to either Foothill or San Ramon High Schools.

    I went back to check out Matt’s story on the Foothill/SRV championship match and in no way did I come away with the feeling that he was dissing SRV or putting Foothill up on a pedestal. It seemed to me to be relatively up front reporting with no leaning one way or another and while I might have chosen to start out the story differently, I understand and can appreciate the “turn around” the lead in ultimately implied. I guess I would ask others their opinions on the matter. Here’s the original story:

    The Foothill High girls volleyball team absolutely tore through San Ramon Valley in the first game of Saturday night’s North Coast Section Division I championship game. The Wolves weren’t fazed.

    After getting blown out in the first game, San Ramon Valley looked dominant in the next three games, denying the Falcons back-to-back titles and winning its first since 2008 with a 13-25, 25-19, 25-18, 25-17 victory.

    “I think the first game was definitely nerves, it was a new experience for us still,” San Ramon Valley co-head coach Brian Fujinaga said. “Once we got that out of our system, we just went out there and played like we know how and it was exciting to watch.”

    The Wolves (34-8), considered the team to beat by many throughout the season, survived a late-season swoon, righted the ship and looked dominant throughout the playoffs, dropping only one game.

    “They’ve been outstanding and all the hard work is paying off,” Fujinaga said. “We’re playing incredibly well and it’s fun to watch.”

    Foothill (29-9) lost the momentum in game two, and could never get it back, suffering its first home loss of the year thanks to 36 kills between senior Erin Sherwood and junior Emily Reder.

    “We’re a pretty well rounded team and we have hitters coming from every angle,” Sherwood said. “We have great passing and setting. We’re just a very good team all the way around.”

    Due in large part to excellent passing in games two, three and four, the Wolves controlled the game behind setter Sarah Board, whose 42 assists facilitated play and saw to it that San Ramon Valley never trailed after the first game.

    “Once we got the momentum we had to keep it,” Sherwood said. “And once we got the lead, we weren’t going to give it back.”

  • 925

    settle down JS you’re making SRV look bad but they are in reality champs! Congrats team! -class of 09

    Anybody who loves SRVHS is happy they even have a story the way newspaper layoffs have severely cut back stories and reporters from the days of the tri valley herald and Dennis Miller when I was in school haha ;P