82

East Bay girls soccer rankings, pre-playoff seedings edition

Here is our fifth and final edition of this season’s East Bay high school girls soccer rankings, with North Coast Section playoff brackets released on Sunday:

Team Record Last Week Upcoming games
1. Carondelet 14-0-5 1 @ No. 4 Monte Vista,
vs. No. 11 California
2. Livermore 11-5-3 5 @ No. 11 California,
@ Granada
3. Liberty 13-5-1 4 @ Heritage, vs.
Deer Valley
4. Monte Vista 11-2-5 2 vs. No. 1 Carondelet,
@ No. 5 SRV
5. San Ramon Valley 13-4-2 6 vs. No. 15 Foothill, vs.
No. 4 Monte Vista
6. Las Lomas 13-1-4 9 vs. Campolindo, @
No. 14 Alhambra
7. Saint Mary’s 12-1-1 7 TCAL-Rock Division
playoffs vs. TBD
8. Acalanes 8-2-2 3 vs. No. 14 Alhambra,
@ Miramonte
9. Castro Valley 13-3-1 11 @ No. 10 Bishop
O’Dowd, @ Piedmont
10. Bishop O’Dowd 12-4-1 15 vs. No. 9 Castro Valley,
vs. Alameda
11. California 9-5-2 8 vs. No. 2 Livermore,
@ No. 1 Carondelet
12. Clayton
Valley Charter
10-4-4 12 @ Berean Christian,
vs. College Park
13. Hercules 10-3-2 13 TCAL-Stone Division
playoffs vs. TBD
14. Alhambra 11-3-3 14 @ No. 8 Acalanes, vs.
No. 6 Las Lomas
15. Foothill 10-8-1 NR @ No. 5 SRV,
vs. Amador Valley

Others considered: Piedmont (11-3-2), Dublin (10-5-5), College Park (10-3–5), James Logan (11-4), Pinole Valley (12-2-3).

 

53

East Bay high school girls soccer rankings

Here is our fourth edition of the East Bay high school girls soccer rankings:

Team Record Last Week Upcoming games
1. Carondelet 14-0-2 1 @ Foothill,
vs. Amador Valley
2. Monte Vista 11-1-4 2 @ No. 8 California,
@ No. 5 Livermore
3. Acalanes 8-0-2 4 vs. No. 9 Las Lomas,
@ Dublin
4. Liberty 9-5-1 6 vs. Freedom,
vs. Antioch
5. Livermore 10-5-2 8 @ Amador Valley,
vs. No. 2 Monte Vista
6. San Ramon Valley 10-4-2 3 @ Granada, vs. No. 8
Cal, vs. No. 12 CVC
7. Saint Mary’s 12-1-1 7 Regular season over
8. California 9-5-2 9 vs. No. 2 Monte Vista,
@ No. 6 SRV
9. Las Lomas 12-1-4 5 @ No. 3 Acalanes
10. Piedmont 11-2-1 10 @ No. 15 Bishop
O’Dowd, vs. Mt. Eden
11. Castro Valley 11-3-1 13 @ Mt. Eden,
@ Alameda
12. Clayton Valley Charter 9-3-4 14 @ Ygnacio Valley,
@ No. 6 SRV
13. Hercules 10-3-2 15 vs. El Cerrito
14. Alhambra 9-3-3 12 vs. Dougherty Valley,
@ Campolindo
15. Bishop O’Dowd 11-4-1 NR vs. No. 10 Piedmont, @Berkeley

Others considered: Foothill (9-8-1), Pinole Valley (12-2-3), College Park (9-3-4), Dublin (9-5-4), James Logan (9-4).

34

East Bay high school girls soccer rankings

Here are our second East Bay high school girls soccer rankings. Records are through Saturday. Expect some shuffling this week as the top four teams face off, including a rivalry match-up between Monte Vista and San Ramon Valley on Tuesday that I’ll be covering. Check contracostatimes.com/high-school-sports for that recap.

  1. Carondelet (12-0-1)
  2. Monte Vista (8-1-3)
  3. San Ramon Valley (9-2-1)
  4. California (7-3-1)
  5. Las Lomas (11-0-2)
  6. Acalanes (6-0-2)
  7. Liberty (6-5-1)
  8. Saint Mary’s (8-1-1)
  9. Piedmont (8-1-1)
  10. Foothill (8-5-1)
  11. Alhambra (8-2-2)
  12. Clayton Valley Charter (7-3-2)
  13. Pinole Valley (9-1-1)
  14. Bishop O’Dowd (7-3-1)
  15. Livermore (6-5-1)

Others considered: Castro Valley (8-3), Dougherty Valley (7-5-1), Dublin (7-5-3), College Park (8-3-2), Washington (7-4-2).

29

East Bay high school girls soccer rankings

Here are the East Bay high school girls soccer rankings with just over a month until the North Coast Section playoff seeding meeting. Records are through Saturday.

Carondelet is the clear No. 1 with an unblemished record, wins over four ranked teams and a goal differential of 43-7. The Cougars host No. 3 Monte Vista on Thursday in an East Bay Athletic League showdown that we will be covering. Check contracostatimes.com/high-school-sports for that recap.

But beside Carondelet and No. 2 San Ramon Valley, the EBAL is a mess, with a carousel of losses among the teams. The other leagues, though are a bit less complicated. The best example is defending North Coast Section Division 1 champion Liberty, a front-runner in the Bay Valley Athletic League after splitting four games at the prestigious National Elite Prep Showcase in Texas.

1. Carondelet (11-0)

2. San Ramon Valley (8-1-1)

3. Monte Vista (7-1-2)

4. Foothill (8-4)

5. California (6-2-2)

6. Liberty (5-4)

7. Las Lomas (10-0-1)

8. Acalanes (4-0-2)

9. Dougherty Valley (6-3-1)

10. Alhambra (7-1-1)

11. Piedmont (6-1-1)

12. Saint Mary’s (6-1)

13. Clayton Valley Charter (6-3-2)

14. Pinole Valley (6-1-1)

15. Bishop O’Dowd (4-3-1)

0

Football: Second-round playoff matchups in NCS playoffs

Here are the North Coast Section football playoffs games featuring East Bay schools and what the matchup looks like:

DIVISION 1

  • No. 1 De La Salle vs. No. 8 California (7 p.m. Friday): The Spartans (9-1) won a previous matchup 56-0 behind their usual unstoppable offense and strong defense, so the Grizzlies (7-4) will have to ride their first-round win and roll on offense to upset the 25-time champs.
  • No. 2 Antioch vs. No. 7 Amador Valley (7 p.m. Friday): The Panthers (10-0) have sat a week after their epic comeback win over rival Pittsburg while the Dons (8-3) got back on track after falling to Foothill by beating San Leandro handily in the first round. Antioch’s Najee Harris has the speed of Amador Valley’s Ledre McCollough, but with more power, so the Dons must slow the Alabama commit and score in bunches.
  • No. 3 Foothill vs. No. 6 Freedom (7 p.m. Saturday): The first matchup between these two Falcons squads, back in September, went Foothill’s way early but Freedom rallied in the second half to get within two scores. Foothill (10-0) needs to rely on Isaiah Floyd and Freedom (7-4) must stop him.
  • No. 4 Monte Vista vs. No. 5 Pittsburg (7 p.m. Saturday): Their first matchup was a barnburner that the Mustangs (7-3) won with a late touchdown drive and a stop on defense, but that surely motivates the Pirates (9-2). Monte Vista will have to hold off Pittsburg early, when that fire fuels it most, and hope QB Jake Haener can come up big late again.

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Football: First-round playoff matchups in NCS Division 3

Here are this weekend’s slate of opening-round games in the North Coast Section Division 3 football playoffs and, for games involving East Bay schools, what brought the teams here:

No. 16 Ygnacio Valley at No. 1 Campolindo (1 p.m. Saturday)

  • Campolindo (9-1): The way coach Kevin Macy saw it after a 37-0 shutout of Miramonte, “It’s been a long year of everybody in the league wanting to knock us off. They look at us like wounded prey with all of our big-name kids gone.” They still rolled through league play, after a loss to Napa broke their streak of 19 straight wins, and are looking to repeat as NCS and state champions.
  • Ygnacio Valley (3-7): The Warriors scored 60-plus points in each of their three wins but just 122 total in their losses. They have a junior-heavy roster (17 of 28 players), most of whom were there last year when the Warriors lost to Campolindo in the first round of the playoffs

No. 9 Eureka vs. No. 8 Acalanes (7 p.m. Friday)

  • Acalanes (3-7): When the Dons score 30 or more points this season, they prevail, so that will surely be their target in the game. Running back Leo Barakos should be key to hitting that.
  • Eureka (4-6): The Loggers are on a three-game win streak that includes last week’s 53-7 win over Arcata last week.

No. 13 Piner-Santa Rosa at No. 3 Bishop O’Dowd (1 p.m. Saturday)

  • Bishop O’Dowd (5-5): The Dragons, whose two league losses were by a total three points, are a defense-oriented team this year behind linebacker Chris Flood, free safety Jevon Holland and Je’Quari Baggett. On offense, quarterback Nick Allen and freshman running back Austin Jones provide the most punch.
  • Piner-Santa Rosa (6-4): The Prospectors are on a three-game win streak with the help of running back Jose Ramirez and two-way lineman Sean Terry.

No. 12 De Anza at No. 5 Alhambra (7 p.m. Friday)

  • Alhambra (6-4): The Bulldogs are on a three-game win streak, including over playoff-bound Dougherty Valley, and have outscored their last two opponents 66-13. Their leaders on both sides of the field is tailback/safety Jonathan McCart.
  • De Anza (6-4): This is the first time since 2004 that the Dons reached the playoffs, thanks largely to third-year head coach Richard Gaskell. His run-heavy offense uses a rotation of Joseph Sedillo, Jalen Placide and Devon King.

No. 15 Albany at No. 2 Analy-Sebastapol (7 p.m. Friday)

  • Albany (4-6): The Cougars haven’t been to the playoffs since at least 2003 and are back behind second-year coach Donnell Carson. “We finally got a weight training program established as well as players bonding and sticking together,” Carson told me Wednesday. They are led by captains Uthman Sabir, Amin Fusion, Corey Sterner and Wynter Huntenburg.
  • Analy-Sebastapol (10-0): The Tigers are unbeaten behind quarterback Jack Newman, who has 2,631 passing yards and 34 touchdowns and just four interceptions.

No. 10 Kennedy-Fremont at No. 7 El Cerrito (7 p.m. Saturday at De Anza)

  • El Cerrito (5-5) The Gauchos have won four straight, including three over playoff-bound teams. Their a young team with just 14 seniors and six underclassmen out of 35 players.
  • Kennedy-Fremont (4-6): The Titans are riding a three-game win streak, including an overtime win over playoff-bound Washington, behind running back Joshua Mckinnie.

Also on tap, outside of the East Bay: No. 14 Terra Linda-San Rafael at No. 3 Rancho Cotate-Rohnert Park (7 p.m. Saturday) and No. 11 Novato at No. 6 Petaluma (7 p.m. Friday)

 

 

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Girls volleyball: Alhambra aiming at NCS playoffs after extended absence

A year after registering its first Diablo Foothill Athletic League win since 2007, the Alhambra High girls volleyball team is taking aim at North Coast Section Division 3 playoffs.

The Bulldogs’ 14-match win streak to start the season sure seems like reason to believe it could happen for the first time in, well, a while.

“Nobody knows exactly when but everybody thinks it’s been at least 20 years” since Alhambra made the postseason, coach Willie Marchesano said. “The girls have put a lot of work. I’ve got to give them props.”

Eleven players returned from last year’s 12-18 squad, which graduated only senior libero Glenna Herbert, and Marchesano said all eleven elected to participate in open gym sessions this summer.

“In the past we’ve been pretty good hitting-wise, but people weren’t playing defense,” said Marchesano, a Northgate alum whose twin brother Andrew is an assistant at Alhambra. “They’re really buying into the fact that they need to be good at defense.”

The change was immediately obvious, with road sweeps of Mt. Diablo, Ygnacio Valley and Antioch to start the season. Five more wins later, including a 3-2 victory over Freedom, the Bulldogs won all five of their matches in the third tier of the East County Invitational, even beating Freedom 2-0.

“I’m very impressed by the work they put it and how much better they are in four years,” Marchesano said. “Before, teams couldn’t wait to play us, but now they’re like, this team is a real challenge.”

Alhambra ran into its second challenge of the season in its Sept. 24 league opener at Miramonte. Senior libero Emma Farr sustained a concussion during a match that the Matadors won 3-1. “She got blasted in the face,” Marchesano said of Farr, who will be out at least another week.

That didn’t bode well for the Concord Varsity Tournament last weekend, when the Bulldogs went 2-3. “We lost we couple matches we definitely would have won with her,” Marchesano said. But even then Alhambra pushed Benicia, which was 29-2 and a Sac-Joaquin Section semifinalist last year, to a third set before falling.

That’s because Farr is far from the only skilled Bulldog. Senior captains Haley Jones and Lexy Swenson, middle blocker and setter respectively, lead the way with senior middle blocker Lexi Hammer also integral. Marchesano also mentioned junior outside hitter Ainise Taimani, a returning starter who missed the first few weeks while recovering from a leg fracture, and freshman middle blocker Sterling Parker, who stands 6-foot-1-inches.

“The cool thing is, this is the deepest team we’ve ever had, so it makes practices much better,” said Marchesano, who is in his fourth year with the program and third at the helm. “When they play each other at practice, everybody is just about equal.”