The Deer Valley High boys volleyball team's historic season came to an end May 25 with a 25-20, 25-21, 25-21 loss to Archbishop Mitty-San Jose in the first Northern California Division I title match at Dublin High.
The Wolverines, who finished with a 42-2 overall record that included their first North Coast Section championship, stayed close in the early stages of the first two games but were unable to keep up with the Monarchs (31-5), who made critical plays when it counted.
"Unfortunately if you don't win it all, your season finishes on a down note," Deer Valley coach Lou Panzella said. "But this has been an unbelievably fantastic year for us."
In the first game, the Wolverines and Monarchs were tied 15-15, but Mitty scored five straight points to pull away. In the second game, after Deer Valley's Jordan Ewert's kill made it 20-20, Mitty scored five of the final six points.
Deer Valley trailed 20-12 in the third game and pulled to within 23-20 before running out of steam.
Wolverines senior setter and captain Derrico Kwa finished with 37 assists. Ewert had 16 kills and Marcus Lee had 11.
Deer Valley matched up well with Mitty at the net, but had a difficult time handling the Monarchs' serving.
"We're a really good passing team and they made us look not so good," Panzella said. "They served well and played great defensively. We kept getting close, but couldn't get over the hump."
The Wolverines won a remarkable four regular season tournaments, capturing events at Dougherty Valley, Granite Bay, San Ramon Valley and California. The only tournament Deer Valley did not win was its own in mid-March, as it lost to College Park in the semifinals.
After that match, Deer Valley reeled off 36 straight victories before its loss to Archbishop Mitty.
Correspondent Matt Smith contributed to this story.