Archbishop Mitty continued its unbeaten season and rise back to the top of prep volleyball with a 25-13, 25-23, 25-14 sweep of Las Lomas-Walnut Creek in a NorCal Division II volleyball semifinal. The Monarchs improved to 36-0 behind 14 kills from Clare Powers and 10 from Allie Wheeler.
Top-seeded Mitty had a streak during 2003-2009 of seven straight NorCal titles, four of which became state crowns, before a two-year absence, but appears to be back at the height of the game. Setter Kelsey Crawford contributed 31 assists and libero Anne Marie Schmidt led the defense with 17 digs.
"We're just so experienced against a lot of different teams from the WCAL and the CCS," Mitty coach Bret Almazan-Cezar said. "We did a good job tonight of serving and keeping them out of system. And our defense did its job."
Fourth-seeded Las Lomas completed a landmark season at 37-8.
The Knights, led by middle blocker Maddie Borch with nine kills and Geneva Duffy with six kills, won their first-ever NCS crown, garnered their first-ever NorCal victory and surpassed the previous school record for wins by 11.
"Our girls played real well but we've never faced someone like that," Las Lomas coach Jim Changaris said. "They were excellent servers and it took us out of our rhythm. When we got the pass, we had a high percentage of hits that went down. But it was a great season. I am so proud of what these 14 girls have accomplished."
The NorCal title will be decided on Tuesday as the Monarchs will host second-seeded El Camino-Sacramento. The NorCal champ will meet the SoCal titlist on Saturday in Irvine.
Valley Christian 3, Bishop O'Dowd 1: The host Warriors played near perfect defense in dispatching visiting Bishop O'Dowd 25-16, 22-25, 25-12, 25-18 in the semifinals of Division III playoffs.
Valley Christian (35-8) advances to Tuesday's NorCal championship match, where it will face No. 1-seed Campolindo.
"It's really an accomplishment for us," Valley Christian coach Sheri Hess said of her team's water tight defense, "Being a tall gangly team, for us to also be a passing a defense team -- that's what we work for since August 1. As talented as these girls are offensively, if we pass and play defense, the talent can get us there."
The Warriors leaned heavily on their pair of junior setters/outside hitters Kirsten Nead and Maddie Dilfer for stability and guidance. Dilfer finished with a match 13 kills along side 18 digs, 62 assists and three aces.
-- Bill Kolb, correspondent