ANTIOCH — If the Deer Valley Tournament is any indication, and it usually is, there could be a changing of the guard among powers in the East Bay girls volleyball scene.
Six teams that played for a North Coast Section title in 2012 were in the field on Saturday, but none reached the championship match as Monte Vista topped Carondelet 25-22, 25-21 in an all East Bay Athletic League final.
"Everybody played well and there is great chemistry with this team," Monte Vista coach JJ Utchen said. "I couldn't be more pleased, but there's a lot more in this team, so we're really excited."
The turning point came in the first set. After the Mustangs had rallied from an early deficit, Sarah Thompson's block made it 24-22 for Monte Vista when it seemed destined to be tied at 23.
Hailey Lindberg was a force all day for Monte Vista, and she showed up big in the finals with nine kills. Teammate Lo Utchen had seven.
Both teams had to get through powerhouses in the semifinals as the Mustangs (7-0) beat perennial Central Coast Section Division I power Palo Alto while Carondelet (5-1) beat NCS Division III champ and CIF runner-up Campolindo.
The Mustangs impressive run also included a quarterfinal win over last year's NCS Division I champ California.