When the Heritage High girls volleyball team lost the first set to Monte Vista on Wednesday in the North Coast Section Division I semifinals after it held a big lead, it might have led the Patriots to fold.

But Heritage did not fold, not even after losing a heartbreaking fourth set, and instead will be playing in the school's first championship game on Saturday after topping the Mustangs 22-25, 25-14, 25-21, 25-27, 15-5 at Monte Vista.

The Patriots will play at No. 1 seed San Ramon Valley, which rallied for a 25-20, 20-25, 14-25, 27-25, 15-13 win over California in the other semifinal.

"I'm so thrilled because they didn't give up," Heritage coach Janet Hannigan said. "I've seen them do this time and time again, where they never quit, because they play with so much heart."

That heart showed on the final point of the fifth set, when the third-seeded Patriots (27-8) burst into a teary-eyed celebration.

"We worked so hard for this," Heritage senior Brileigh Boyce said. "We wanted to leave with no regrets and show that we never give up."

Heritage cruised in the second and fifth sets and won comfortably in the third against Monte Vista (29-7), which features a taller lineup.

"We just felt confident the whole time," Hannigan said. "They are an amazing team, and we just kept playing defense and kept getting the ball up."

The second-seeded Mustangs appeared to have the momentum after winning a hard fought fourth set. But the Patriots took control right away, building a quick 8-3 lead and never looking back.


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Carondelet d. Maria Carrillo-Santa Rosa: Rachael Haggen had 10 kills, and Andie Zaharias-Kern had seven kills and three blocks to help the third-seeded Cougars beat the No. 2 and host Pumas (29-7) 25-18, 22-25, 25-16, 21-25, 15-13 to advance to the NCS Division II title match for the first time since 2006. Carondelet (28-11) will play at No. 1 Redwood in the championship on Saturday. Redwood beat No. 4 Las Lomas 25-17, 31-29, 26-24 in the other semifinal.

-- Staff

Girls golf

Acalanes senior Elizabeth Schultz shot an even-par 71 to finish tied for second at the state championship at Quail Lodge Golf Course in Carmel Valley.

Schultz, who is headed to San Jose State, had three birdies in her state-tournament debut.

"It was a nice way to end my season, or my high school career," Schultz said, adding that she is excited to be heading to San Jose next year.

Schultz finished in a five-player tie for second, four shots behind medalist Andrea Lee of Mira Costa, who had a bogey-free 67. Torrey Pines, which had a five-player score of 364, won the team title by 32 shots over runner-up Diamond Bar.

Amador Valley finished last in the six-team event with a 447. Kimberly Liu, playing in her fourth state tournament, led the Dons with an 86.

Schultz, the Dons' best placer at state, was pleased with her putting, especially the 75-footer she drained for a birdie on the par 3 fifth hole, the 14th hole of her round. She settled down after a shaky start in which she bogeyed her first hole, a short par-4 10th.

"I hit an OK drive, but my second shot was in the bunker," she said. "Then I hit a bad shot out of that, so I was kind of nervous on my first couple holes, but after that I kind of calmed down and found my swing and my pace."

Schultz qualified for state as an individual by finishing second at the Northern California tournament Nov. 10 in Ripon. She also tied for the top individual qualifier at the NCS Division I Tournament of Champions in San Rafael on Nov. 3.

-- Matt Schwab