The Newark Memorial High girls volleyball team took a huge step toward putting a bow on its first Mission Valley Athletic League title with an impressive performance on the road against second-place Moreau Catholic on Tuesday.
The Cougars (19-5, 11-0 MVAL) rallied to win the first game and used that momentum for a 27-25, 25-15, 21-25, 25-17 win.
"We knew coming in that we had to be prepared and that this was going to be a big game," said Newark Memorial senior captain Bailey Gamez.
Newark Memorial was in a 15-10 hole in the first game, but thanks to eight kills by Ni'yesha Brown, the Cougars battled back, parlaying that into a big win in game two.
The Mariners (18-7, 9-2) had a chance to create a tie atop the league standings and didn't go quietly.
In fact, they built a 13-1 lead in the third game, looking unstoppable in the process as Jessica Imlach had five kills in the game.
But what was probably the most impressive thing the Cougars did was turn a 13-1 deficit into just a 19-16 deficit, putting the finish of the third game in doubt and using that momentum to win the fourth game.
"Finishing that game strong got us ready for the next game," Brown said. "It prepared us to come out strong and to take it."
Las Lomas d. Campolindo: The visiting Knights (26-5, 9-1 Diablo Foothill Athletic League) moved into first place in the league by a half-game with a 25-17, 25-23, 25-20 victory over the Cougars. Las Lomas' Rachel Nieto, Geneva Duffy and Rachel Linden combined for 34 kills, and teammate Youki Bradley served the final five points of the match. Campolindo fell to 8-1 in DFAL action.
Athenian 6, Bentley 1: Alex Kim and Juan Rodriguez-Rivera both scored two goals to help the host Owls (14-1-3) defeat the Phoenix in a Bay Counties League-East semifinal game. Kim has 32 goals in 18 games. Ben Lehman had 11 saves for Bentley (10-6).