CORRECTION (Published 11/19/2012)
A story about the North Coast Section girls volleyball playoffs incorrectly stated the winning team in the Division II championship match. Las Lomas defeated Maria Carrillo-Santa Rosa.

It's not the path the Campolindo High volleyball team planned to take. But the Cougars still ended up where they wanted to be.

Campolindo let a late lead in game three slip away, let a 2-0 lead in games get away and was forced to a fifth game by Bishop O'Dowd on Saturday night.

But the host Cougars recovered and found a way to win the North Coast Section Division III title in a wild 25-18, 25-13, 20-25, 21-25, 15-9 victory over the Dragons.

"Our whole motto this season is that we never doubt ourselves," Campolindo senior captain Annie Shurtz said. "When our back is against the wall, that is when we push the hardest and dig down to get the job done."

The top-seeded Cougars (27-4) dug themselves into early holes in games one and two.

They trailed 10-5 in the first game but rallied. They trailed 11-7 in the second game only to score 18 of the game's final 20 points.

Up 19-15 in the third game, it seemed academic. But the No. 2 Dragons (29-7) came storming back.

Behind Brianna Karsseboom -- who had 13 of her 17 kills after game two -- they scored eight points in a row to turn the 19-15 deficit into a win. The Dragons then pulled away late in game four, and seemed to have all the momentum heading into game five. But Shurtz came up with four of her 22 kills in the fifth game, and Campolindo won its second title in three years.


Advertisement

California d. San Ramon Valley: Led by senior Sabrina Clayton, California (29-3) won its first NCS title since 1982 with a 23-25, 25-15, 25-6, 25-19 win over second-seeded San Ramon Valley in the Division I final.

"This feels unreal," said Caitlyn Quingoy, a junior who spent most of her night setting up Clayton with 38 assists. "It will probably set in tomorrow."

Clayton had a match-high 29 kills and 11 digs as the top-seeded Grizzlies dispatched their East Bay Athletic League rival for the third time this season.

"We just believed the whole that we were the best team," said Clayton. "This was amazing, and we just pushed ourselves throughout the year."

Emily Reder had 19 kills, seven digs, three aces and three blocks to pace San Ramon Valley (30-10), and freshman Katherine Claybaugh added 17 kills and 18 digs.

-- Robert Jordan, correspondent

Las Lomas d. Maria Carrillo: The visiting Knights (36-7) scored the last three points of the fifth game to earn a 25-16, 23-25, 17-25, 25-21, 15-12 victory and capture the NCS Division II championship for the school's first section title in volleyball. Las Lomas and Maria Carrillo (29-6) advance to play in the Northern regional playoffs, which begin Tuesday.

-- Staff