The Foothill High boys volleyball team seemed primed to snag a co-East Bay Athletic League title on Thursday, taking the first two games from league-leading Amador Valley. A win not only would have given Foothill a banner but a likely higher seed in the North Coast Section playoffs.
Instead, the Dons stormed back and won the last three games, including erasing a late deficit in the fourth, to win the EBAL title outright, 27-29, 14-25, 25-23, 26-24, 15-12.
The win also will give Amador Valley (25-7, 13-1 EBAL) a higher seeding in the Division I playoffs, but that wasn't what was important on this night.
"We weren't worried about all that other stuff, we just wanted to get that banner to hang in our gym," Amador Valley coach Aaron Harper said. "This is the best rivalry in the area, our guys came out very pumped up, and I had to tell them to settle down and play their game."
The Falcons (23-8, 11-3) were up 2-0 after a decisive second-game win, and had leads of 18-14 and 19-16 in the fourth.
But behind Ryan Genn, who had 27 kills, and Roy Xue, who had 19 kills, including the league-title winner, the Dons would not be denied.
Foothill's Cory Frederickson, who, along with Genn, is one of the top hitters in the area, had 37 kills. Each team's setter, Amador Valley's Blake Barkdull (61 assists) and Foothill's Matt Lee (54), also had remarkable numbers.
Dougherty Valley 6, Alhambra 4: Bradley Gosiengfiao slammed an inside-the-park grand slam to left-center field in the sixth inning for the visiting Wildcats, who improved to 11-9 overall and 3-5 in Diablo Foothill Athletic League play.
Nico Perez had two hits and a run for Dougherty Valley. Nick Revetta was 2 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI for Alhambra (13-7, 5-3).
Redwood Christian 4, Head-Royce 3: Chris Johnson pitched a four-hitter and also drove in the first run of the game for the Eagles (11-7, 3-3 Bay Counties League-East), who handed the Jayhawks their first BCL-East loss of the season. Steven Farinaro hit a solo home run for Head-Royce (17-2, 5-1). Redwood Christian never trailed in this game, played at San Leandro Ballpark.