DANVILLE -- The host Monte Vista High boys volleyball team improved its chances for a spot in the North Coast Section Division I playoffs with a 20-25, 25-15, 25-20, 25-21 East Bay Athletic League win over the Spartans on Thursday.

De La Salle (6-10, 4-6 EBAL), the two-time defending section champion, has now lost three straight matches. To qualify for the playoffs, the Spartans need to have at least a .500 record overall, in its own league or against other Division I teams. They have four league games left and will play in the Northgate Tournament on April 27.

Monte Vista (11-9, 4-5) let an early lead get away in game one, but rolled in game two and turned the corner in the pivotal third game.

"This win makes us a lot more confident going forward," Monte Vista coach Cory Whelchel said. "We finally have our lineup set to be in a position to do what we need to do. We had the players, now we have the right mix."

In the fourth game, the Mustangs built an 11-2 lead and held off De La Salle's ferocious comeback attempt.

Monte Vista was led by Blake Nichols' 10 kills and Ryan Peterson's 26 assists. De La Salle's Alex Long and Nick Hernandez combined for 19 kills.



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