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NorCal volleyball playoffs: St. Vincent wins opener

St. Vincent took a big first step in the CIF NorCal volleyball championships Tuesday night, defeating Vacaville Christian, 3-1 at home in the Division V opener.

Vacaville Christian came into the match with a 16-10 overall record and as the unbeaten champion of the Sierra Delta League, and gave St. Vincent a battle with every set tensely contested.

The Falcons won the first set, 25-18, before St. Vincent's Mustangs rallied to win, 25-21, 25-19, 25-20.

St. Vincent, the second-place finisher in the North Coast Section playoffs, was led, as usual, by Amanda Zeryny, who had 27 kills and 28 digs. Alexandaa Saisi helped with 25 assists, while Sarah Sarlatte contributed 28 digs.

Freshman Katarina Cespedes had a solid all-around game for the Mustangs, and finished off the victory by providing the game's final point on a block.

Now 25-7 on the season, St. Vincent will play Colfax in the second round on Thursday.

Other local teams come up short

A strong Petaluma season came to an end Tuesday night when the Trojans were beaten by Lowell of San Francisco, 3-0, in the first round of the Division III playoffs.

Lowell, the undefeated champion of the Academic Athletic Association, pretty well dominated, winning 25-15, 25-15, 25-12.

“We had our moments,” said Petaluma coach Ryan Hughes. “There was more positivity than negativity. They are a very, very good team.”

Hughes noted the play of junior Anna Hospodar for the Trojans.

“She had a great passing game,” he said.

The coach also noted the effort of senior Juliet Mattox.

“Her energy and positive attitude kept us going,” he said.

Petaluma finished the season with a 19-7 record, was second in the tough Vine Valley Athletic League and won two North Coast Section games and reached the semifinals.

Lowell, now 26-8 on the season, moves on to play No. 3 seed Head-Royce of Oakland on Thursday.

Also in Division III, Cardinal Newman fell, 3-1, to Vacaville, while in Division IV, Roseland University Prep lost, 3-0, to Pierce of Arbuckle.

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