Between the years of 2009-2011, the Northgate High boys volleyball team went on an impressive run.

Over those three seasons, the Broncos went 98-11, including a North Coast Section Division I title in 2009 went they went 34-1.

Last year, a bit of a dip came as the team went 16-9, but after one season of not being an NCS force, Northgate looks ready to be back.

"We're a young squad with only two seniors, but the majority of the team has all played together before and early on they are executing well and demonstrating solid fundamentals," Northgate coach Vince Cutaia said. "We are short-term goal oriented, focusing on what is in front of us right now and I think keeping that focus all season long, we'll find ourselves right in the mix of the DVAL top spots."

The Broncos have a couple of very big obstacles, one in the Diablo Valley Athletic League play and one in the Division II playoffs. College Park, perhaps the best Division I team, looks to be the league favorite, and in Division II, defending champion Campolindo also looks like a heavy favorite. The Cougars, ranked No. 1, and the Falcons, No. 3, enter the season as some of the top teams in the East Bay.

However, the Division II bracket has cleared up a bit with Sir Francis Drake, a team that beat Northgate in both 2010 and 2011, moving down to Division III.

With five very talented hitters, all underclassmen, the Broncos are going to pose trouble for any team they play. The group is led by juniors Will Wright, Sam Poden, Matt Hall and sophomore twins Chris and Jackson McDonough.

"As a young team, learning to work together, court presence, coverage, positive mental attitude and trusting your teammates are all goals we'll continue to focus on this season," Cutaia said.

That same young team is very talented, good listeners and their willingness to work hard on fundamentals and practical application will allow to grow both individually and as a team.

The Broncos earned bragging rights on March 7 with an intense 25-19, 16-25, 21-25, 25-21, 15-10 victory over crosstown rival Las Lomas. Jackson McDonough and Eddie Carson both had 10 kills. Carson also added eight blocks.