NorCal volleyball playoffs: Bellarmine, Valley Christian, Monta Vista advance to semifinals

Bellarmine 3, Oakland 0

Top-seeded Bellarmine swept the Oakland Section runners up 25-12, 25-14, 25-20 in the NorCal Division IV opening round and punched its ticket to a semifinal home matchup with Lincoln-SF.

“We are proud of their efforts and are excited to return to the gym tomorrow to fine-tune a few aspects of our game,” Bellarmine coach BJ Prudencio told the Bay Area News Group via email. “This preparation will be crucial as we gear up for our semifinal match at home on Thursday.”

He said that sophomore outside hitter JJ Barton was the player of the game for the San Jose private school coming off a Central Coast Section Division I title. 

Oakland still had some standouts despite the lopsided final result. Senior Hugo Newton had four digs in the first set, and teammate Raul Henriquez had six kills. Moses Heida, a freshman, had two blocks. 

Oakland coach Kao Saephanh told this news organization that Alexander Lonh had a block and a kill. The Wildcats end their season at 11-13, while Bellarmine improved to 18-18.

Valley Christian 3, Bishop O’Dowd 0

Valley Christian brought out the brooms in San Jose as the Warriors swept visiting Bishop O’Dowd 25-17, 25-16, 25-23 in the first round of the NorCal Division I playoffs. 

The San Jose private school will travel to Sanger High for the semifinal matchup. 

Andy Xu, Harry Shi and  Andrew Salisbury were all standouts for the West Catholic Athletic League powerhouse that won the CCS Open Division title on Saturday. Shi set up Greg Li for the game-winning kill to close out the sweep. 

Valley Christian advanced to the next round with a 32-10 record, while O’Dowd ended its season 35-3. 

Monta Vista 3, International-San Francisco 0

Monta Vista went into San Francisco and handled International-SF 25-23, 25-23, 25-16 to advance to the second round of the NorCal Division III semifinal, where they will visit Moreau Catholic.  

“There were several spectacular defensive saves at critical junctions of the first 2 sets that turned the tide of those two close sets,” Monta Vista coach Paul Chiu wrote in an email to BANG. 

Elijah Kang again led the team in kills, and Henry Hu and Varchas Athreya also contributed on that end. Pratham Kannan and Joaquin Garcia also had big blocks for Monta Vista.

Chiu said Rahul Pothenini “again anchored the defense and led the team in digs and served very effectively throughout the match.”

Monta Vista improved to 20-13, and International ended its season 24-5. 

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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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