The host Albany High girls volleyball team clinched its second straight Tri-County Athletic League-Rock Division championship Tuesday night with a 26-24, 31-29, 21-25, 25-22 victory over St. Joseph Notre Dame.
It did not come easy for Albany (14-2, 9-0 TCAL), which had to dig deep to win the first two sets. Both times the Pilots (22-6, 6-3) had set point, but couldn't deliver the knockout punch.
"Up through last week I thought we were moving really well, but tonight we took a step back," Albany coach Roger Worsley said. "We had a complete lack of focus and an expectation they'd roll over for us on our senior night, and they didn't."
Each team struggled to hold leads. The Cougars led 23-19 in the first set and 20-13 in the second set, only to see the Pilots come back to take the lead each time. But Albany came alive when it counted, as Amber Erhahon had eight kills for the Cougars in each of the first two sets, and 26 kills for the match.
The Pilots then held an 18-14 lead in the fourth set, only to see Albany score 11 of the last 15 points.
The Pilots were led by the outside hitting duo of Rebecca Langowski and Emma Doud, who combined for 32 kills.
Newark Memorial d. Washington: Ni'yesha Brown had 13 digs and 11 kills as the host Cougars beat the Huskies 25-18, 25-16, 25-10 to stay a game behind first- place Moreau Catholic in the Mission Valley Athletic League.
Brooke Hadfield had 22 assists and five kills for Newark Memorial (16-2, 8-1 MVAL), which plays Moreau Catholic on Thursday. Washington dropped to 10-11 overall and 4-5 in the MVAL.
Miramonte d. Dougherty Valley: Outside hitter Kacey Sorenson had 15 kills and sophomore setter Emily Fabian had 30 assists as Miramonte (9-9, 4-3 Diablo Foothill Athletic League) topped host Dougherty Valley (18-12, 3-5) 26-24, 25-23, 25-11 in DFAL play.