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UPDATED AGAIN: Bill Powers takes over Monte Vista girls basketball after Ron Hirschman retires

The résumés of Monte Vista girls basketball’s recently-retired coach and newly-named coach are remarkably similar. The two men are also well-acquainted.

Both Ron Hirschman and Bill Powers have twice helmed hoops teams to North Coast Section titles, including when both did so in 2009 — the latter with the Mustangs’ boys basketball team.

Hirschman resigned from the girls post after the season and former boys coach Powers was hired Friday to assume the role, Monte Vista athletic director Andy Popper confirmed Monday.

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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).

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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).

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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)

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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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Semifinal matchups for East Bay teams in the North Coast Section girls volleyball playoffs

Among the North Coast Section girls volleyball semifinals set for 7 p.m. Saturday, seven involve at least one local team. Here’s a look at the local teams in those matchups.

DIVISION 1

No. 1 Monte Vista hosting No. 4 Liberty

  • The defending champion Mustangs (30-5) swept College Park and San Leandro in the first two rounds, respectively. They lost just once in the hyper-competitive EBAL and recently took second at the strong Northgate Varsity Tournament despite dealing with injuries — though their health is improved now as they ready to face a team they beat 3-1 in their season opener.
  • The Lions (31-9) cruised through BVAL play undefeated and swept Dublin in the first round of the playoffs before battling Amador Valley in a four-set win in the quarterfinals. They’re looking to win the school’s first NCS title since a three-peat from 2003-2005.

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Semifinal matchups in the North Coast Section boys and girls water polo playoffs

Here are Wednesday’s semifinals in the North Coast Section boys and girls water polo playoffs, with how each team won it’s second-round game:

BOYS — DIVISION 1

  • No. 1 Sir Francis Drake-San Anselmo vs. No. 5 Acalanes (6:15 p.m. at Drake)
    • After a 6-6 tie at halftime the Dons broke away from Las Lomas for an 11-9 win behind a hat trick from Casey Conrad and two goals apiece from Tommy Fellner, Evan Wentzel and Jack Winther.
    • The Pirates pounded Monte Vista 14-5 to stay undefeated on the season.
  • No. 2 San Ramon Valley vs. No. 6 Campolindo (6 p.m. at San Ramon Valley)
    • Hat tricks by senior Mikey Williams and underclassman Jack Deely and Mason Chambliss, Williams, plus nine saves by Keaton Fox, made the Wolves winners over De La Salle 12-7.
    • The Cougars edged rival Miramonte 10-9 in a rematch of last year’s championship game, which the Matadors won.
    • These two teams have split two games this season, both by a single goal. Campolindo beat host San Ramon Valley 8-7 on Sept. 15 and SRV returned the favor with a 7-6 victory at the NCS/CCS Tournament on Sept. 26.

GIRLS — DIVISION 1

  • No. 1 San Ramon Valley vs. No. 4 California (7:15 p.m. at San Ramon Valley)
    • Sarah Klass went off with four goals and four assists as the Wolves dominated College Park 19-1, with two goals apiece also coming from Lexi Liebowitz, Laine McPherson, Erin McCreary and Emily Ryan.
    • The Grizzlies downed Amador Valley 15-5.
    • These teams faced off in EBAL play in an Oct. 8 game that San Ramon Valley won 23-2.
  • No. 2 Monte Vista vs. No. 3 Las Lomas (6 p.m. at Miramonte)
    • The Mustangs pulled away from Washington in the second half for a 20-8 win with the help of Lauren Indart’s six goals and Jolie Trujillo’s four goals and five assists.
    • The Knights downed Foothill 16-5.

BOYS — DIVISION 2

  • No. 5 Northgate vs. No. 9 Bishop O’Dowd (6 p.m. at Campolindo)
    • The Knights held off Justin-Siena-Napa 10-9 with the help of hat tricks from Ivan Koroleu and Decklan Cashman, along with goals from Sebastian Stahl, Conner Rutledge, Shawn Forer and Andrew Joseph.
    • The Dragons edged top-seeded Redwood-Larkspur 7-6 behind hat tricks from Tyler Labot and Joey Isola as well as what coach Jim Ulversoy called an “epic” block by goalie Nick Entriech.
  • No. 2 Tamalpais vs. No. 6 Marin Academy (6 p.m. at Sir Francis Drake)

GIRLS — DIVISION 2

  • No. 1 Miramonte vs. No. 4 Marin Catholic (7:15 p.m. at Miramonte)
    • The Matadors cruised by Carondelet 17-3 powered by sophomore Grace Tehaney’s five goals and hat tricks by Carson Broad and Rose Tuttle.
    • Marin Catholic defeated Novato 10-7.
  • No. 2 Campolindo vs. No. 3 Acalanes (7:15 p.m. at Campolindo)
    • The Cougars defeated Northgate 16-7 behind their usual leaders, Katie Klein (four goals, two assists) and Olivia Price (three goals, four assists).
    • The Dons downed Drake 11-5.
    • Acalanes avenged a 7-4 loss to Campolindo at its own tournament Sept. 12 by beating the host Cougars 9-8 in triple overtime during league play Oct. 7.
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Improved Monte Vista High football hosts EBAL co-leader Foothill

Foothill's Isaiah Floyd (22) celebrates a touchdown with Ruben Mercado (1) in the second quarter of their high school football game against San Leandro in Pleasanton, Calif., on Friday, Aug. 28, 2015. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group File)

Foothill’s Isaiah Floyd (22) celebrates a touchdown with Ruben Mercado (1) in the second quarter of their high school football game against San Leandro in Pleasanton, Calif., on Friday, Aug. 28, 2015. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group File)

The last two football matchups between Monte Vista and Foothill have been one-sided in favor of the Falcons, but this year may be different. Backed by a high-powered, pass-happy offense, the Mustangs (5-1, 2-0 East Bay Athletic League) welcome Foothill (7-0, 3-0) on Oct. 16 in a 7 p.m. game that could wind up deciding the league title.

Quarterback Jake Haener bounced back from Monte Vista’s lone loss, a 21-17 defeat at the hands of Clayton Valley Charter, by connecting repeatedly with receiver Noah Sol in a 34-12 win over Amador Valley last week. Twelve of his 18 completions were to Sol, who finished with 164 yards and a touchdown. That combination, along with fellow senior receiver Traehone Banda, should threaten unbeaten Foothill.

The Falcons feature a more run-oriented offense behind running back Isaiah Floyd, whose statistics on MaxPreps are listed at 1,100 yards and 16 touchdowns. But their defense is just as important. In three EBAL games this season, Foothill has allowed 14 total points. Its closest margin of victory is a 28-14 non-league win over Freedom, a rematch of last season’s North Coast Section Division 1 semifinal won by Foothill.

Monte Vista and Foothill have two common opponents this season. Both teams planted 42 points on Castro Valley, though the Mustangs allowed fewer points (14) than the Falcons (19). Monte Vista downed Livermore 48-17 while Foothill prevailed 42-7 against the Cowboys.

Even with a win, either the Mustangs or Falcons would have another roadblock en route to an undisputed EBAL crown: California High (5-1, 3-0). Foothill visits the Grizzlies on Oct. 16 and Monte Vista hosts them Oct. 23.

This week California plays Amador Valley (4-2, 1-1) and San Ramon Valley (1-5, 0-2) hosts Livermore (3-4, 0-3).

 

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East Bay girls volleyball rankings, with comments

  1. Campolindo (6-7) — The Cougars took care of business against Acalanes and Dougherty Valley, both teams that have been ranked this season, and attended another stacked tournament, the Presentation Panther Challenge, where they went to three sets with three teams that have a combined 41-9 record.
  2. Monte Vista (13-3) — After falling behind early in the first set against Foothill on Thursday, the Mustangs raced to a 3-1 win over the then No. 3 Falcons before sweeping No. 9 Granada.
  3. Bishop O’Dowd (7-3) — A quiet week for the Dragons included only a sweep of Berkeley, but they’ve clearly faced tougher opponents than Head-Royce.
  4. Head-Royce (16-0) — The Jayhawks, who have only dropped two sets all season, kept their undefeated streak going with three sweeps in league play.
  5. Foothill (12-5) — The Falcons lost on the road to Monte Vista but came back to sweep California.
  6. Miramonte (11-5) — The Mustangs beat No,. 7 San Ramon Valley and No. 12 Alhambra, impressive enough to bump them up eight spots.
  7. San Ramon Valley (10-4) — Though the Wolves lost to No. 6 Miramonte, they defeated No. 8 Carondelet and No. 10 Amador Valley.
  8. Carondelet (11-5) — A win over Granada offsets a loss to No. 7 San Ramon Valley, pushing the Dons into the rankings from the bubble.
  9. Granada (10-6) — In a pair of five-set thrillers this week, the Matadors beat No. 11 California and lost to No. 8 Carondelet.
  10. Amador Valley (9-5) — After sweeping No. 11 California, the Dons were swept by No. 7 San Ramon valley and St. Francis, ranked No. 3 by the San Jose Mercury News.
  11. California (12-5) — Four straight losses, including to No. 10 Amador Valley and No. 5 Foothill, drops the Grizzlies four spots.
  12. Alhambra (14-4) — The Bulldogs had a tough week, not only suffering their first, second, third and fourth defeats but also losing their libero to a concussion.
  13. Albany (12-5) — The Cougars edged No. 15 Saint Joseph Notre Dame in five sets before a 2-2 trip to the St. Ignatius Golden Gate Challenge, where they beat defending NCS D4 champ Marin Catholic.
  14. James Logan (13-4) — Winning seven times this week extended the Colts streak to nine victories and vaulted them into the rankings despite not being on the bubble last week.
  15. Saint Joseph Notre Dame (12-4) — The Pilots fell to No. 13 Albany in five sets but beat St. Patrick-St. Vincent, a NCS D4 semifinalist last year.
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Girls volleyball: Monte Vista fends off Foothill in EBAL victory

DANVILLE — Senior Maclaine Fields made her presence known Thursday night at Monte Vista High School, blocking six shots and assisting on two others as the Mustangs’ girls volleyball team rallied from early first-set deficit to secure a 3-1 match victory over visiting Foothill.

“She had a lot of one-on-one blocks,” Monte Vista coach J.J. Utchen said. “The different of the match was, we took control of the net.”

Asked about memorable moments in the East Bay Athletic League match, Mustangs junior E’lan Riter said simply: “Mac’s blocks.”

Lots of credit goes to Riter, too, since she tallied team-highs of 13 kills, 24 digs and seven aces. Several of her swings added momentum for Monte Vista (12-3, 2-0 EBAL), which coasted in sets two through four but trailed big in No. 1.

Foothill (8-3, 1-1 EBAL) built first-set leads of 15-6 and 19-10 partly thanks to four of senior Erin Page’s six aces.

“They came out with all guns blazing, totally fearless,” Utchen said, lauding the Falcons.

A block by Fields edged Monte Vista within 19-14 and induced a timeout from Foothill coach Dusty Collins.

“They turned us on our heels very quickly,” Collins said. “And that’s what it felt like for the rest of the match.”

The Mustangs tied things up at 19 and 23 — boosted by another Fields block, two aces by Ava Patterson and a pair of kills by Morgan Burroughs — but Foothill prevailed on a service error and a block by sophomore Hana Okuhara (6 aces, 9 digs).

That first-set surge, though, spilled into the second set. Monte Vista pulled away midway through the second set and coasted to a 25-18 win.

In the third set, Monte Vista took an early lead largely because junior Alex Nickerson accomplished the volleyball version of a hat trick: ace, kill, block. And again the Mustangs galloped to a 25-18 win.

Foothill fought off a fourth-set deficit of 23-16 with the help of Andrea Paduraru, who totaled 16 kills two days after missing a match because of flu-like symptoms. Also integral was senior libero Taylor Campbell (15 digs).

The Falcons inched within 24-21, but Burroughs buried a swing to end the match.