Archbishop Mitty continued its magical season Wednesday night, outlasting league rival St. Francis to reach the Central Coast Section Division II girls volleyball final.
In a tense battle between traditional powers, the top-seeded Monarchs were a little too strong for the fifth-seeded Lancers, winning 25-20, 22-25, 25-20, 25-20 at Los Gatos High.
Mitty (33-0) advances to play No. 3 seed Los Gatos in the title match Saturday at Independence High.
The Monarchs entered the match having lost just six games in their previous 32 matches, but one of those losses had come in a 3-1 win over St. Francis on Oct. 18.
The Lancers (21-14) seemed determined to win even more Wednesday, but the upset was not to be as Mitty took another step toward an undefeated season.
"The Lancers are beasts -- of any of the teams we've played this year, they're one of the top five," Mitty coach Bret Almazan-Cezar said. "Their seed doesn't reflect how good they really are. They give us fits."
Allie Wheeler and Shirin Tooloee had 15 kills apiece for Mitty. Kelsey Crawford had 50 assists, and Anne Marie Schmidt had 32 digs.
In the first semifinal, it was only fitting Riana Brennan served out Los Gatos' five-game victory over Presentation. The senior had 40 kills in 94 set opportunities to lead the third-seeded Wildcats into the final with a 25-22, 22-25, 25-18, 21-25, 15-13 victory over the second-seeded Panthers.
"There is no secret to what we do," Los Gatos coach Joe Ripp said. "We set her a lot, obviously. If she plays well, we play well."
Los Gatos (23-6) needed every bit of Brennan's power to hold off Presentation (22-13).
Two-time state champion Palo Alto's run came to an end as No. 4 seed Homestead swept the Vikings 25-20, 27-25, 25-17 in a CCS Division I semifinal at Santa Clara High.
Homestead (23-8) will play No. 3 seed Menlo-Atherton for the title Saturday at Independence.
Menlo-Atherton advanced to its fourth consecutive CCS Division I championship match with a 25-9, 25-19, 20-25, 21-25, 15-8 win over No. 2 seed Salinas in the first match.
Homestead lost to No. 1 seed Palo Alto (28-7) three times this season but saved its best performance for the CCS semifinals.
"It was a great victory for us," Homestead coach Gary Carroll said. "We knew we hadn't given them our best shot."
Emily Reed, a senior who will play at USF next year, had 22 kills to lead the Mustangs.
"It's huge," Reed said. "Every time I played them over the last four years we lost. To beat them when it mattered most is the best feeling ever." Menlo-Atherton has lost in the CCS championship match in each of the last three years.
Monta Vista won its sixth CCS team title in 10 years with an 11-7 victory over St. Francis at Courtside Club in Los Gatos. The Matadors improved to 24-0.