MORAGA -- The Campolindo High boys volleyball team fell behind early in the first game against Northgate on Friday in the North Coast Section Division II championship match.
But once the host Cougars revved up their attack, they didn't look back, going on to capture their fourth straight NCS Division II title with a 25-17, 25-13, 25-18 win over the Broncos.
"We are defensive-oriented, so it takes us a while to learn their offense," Campolindo co-coach David Chen said. "Once we start getting a couple blocks, we are getting into rhythm."
Top-seeded Campolindo (35-2), ranked 10th in the nation by MaxPreps.com, fell behind 5-3 in the first game to No. 2 seed Northgate (29-4).
But a kill from Jack Eisner and three straight aces by Yize Dong gave Campolindo a 7-5 advantage. After Chen called a timeout with a 14-12 lead in that game, the Cougars scored 11 of the next 16 points to win the game.
"I think they observed we would not be as quick as they were, and they shifted into their fast game," Northgate coach Vince Cutaia said. "They are a very polished club. They execute very well."
The Cougars got off to a fast start in the second game, taking leads of 6-1 and 14-5 to help go up two games to none.
Northgate trailed only 8-7 in the third game before a kill by Ryan First and a block for a point by Sean Dobbyn started a run where the Cougars won eight of the next 12 points.
"We played with a lot of integrity and fight," said First, who had eight kills in the match. "We never really let down. I think we were confident throughout the match."
Dong had five aces and Joe Worsley had 18 assists for Campolindo. For Northgate, Sam Spoden had six kills and Jackson McDonough had four blocks.
"We definitely don't take things for granted," Dong said. "We like to come prepared, and Dave (Chen) makes sure we're prepared."
Division II championship Campolindo d. Northgate
Scores: 25-17, 25-13, 25-18. Highlights: C -- First 8 kills; Bell 7 kills; Dong 5 aces. N -- Spoden 6 kills; Hall 5 kills; McDonough 3 kills, 4 blocks. Records: Campolindo 35-2, Northgate 29-4.