ANTIOCH -- Jordan Ewert drove home 21 kills and Thio Grigley rang up three key scoring blocks in the third game as the top-seeded Deer Valley High boys volleyball team rolled to a second straight North Coast Section Division I championship with a 25-16, 25-21, 26-24 win over No. 2 Foothill on Friday.
"I think the experience overall was amazing, and I think the fact it was a much closer game made it a lot more exciting," Ewert said. "There were different aspects, but this year I feel a lot more proud to have earned it."
The visiting Falcons (31-6) never led until early in the third game, a seesaw contest in which neither team led by more than three points. Foothill grabbed a 17-14 lead when Cory Frederickson slammed a kill into the corner.
But the Wolverines (39-2) came right back. Jacob Brannon's block gave the ball back to Deer Valley trailing 17-15, but Grigley scored on three consecutive blocks -- two against Frederickson -- for an 18-17 lead.
The two sides traded points until a defensive kill by Ewert knotted the game 24-24 and sent him to the service line. Jacob Stark made it 25-24 with a kill, then Brannon gave the Wolverines the title when his shot over the net was unreturnable.
It was a third straight three-game sweep for the Wolverines. The Falcons came into the match having swept their two playoff opponents. Both teams advance to the Northern California playoffs, which begin next week.
"We played them a few times this year and each time they got a couple of points closer," Ewert said of Foothill. "I thought it might go four or five sets, but the fact we beat them in three, I'm really proud I could help make that happen."
Frederickson had 15 kills and four scoring blocks for Foothill, but he was most of the Falcons' offense. Erik Thornally was next with three kills.
It was the first back-to-back NCS title for a Deer Valley team, but not the first time for coach Lou Panzella. He led Antioch to consecutive titles in 1995 and 1996 before moving to Deer Valley, when the school opened in the fall of 1996.
Division I championship Deer Valley d. Foothill
Scores: 25-16, 25-21, 26-24. Highlights: DV -- Ewert 25 kills, 3 blocks, 10 digs; Wahidi 8 kills, 7 digs; Grigley 8 kills, 4 blocks; Evans 42 assists. Records: Deer Valley 39-2, Foothill 31-6.