NCS volleyball playoffs: Petaluma advances over Sonoma Valley

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As things begin to return to normal after a chaotic week due to the Kincade fire, Sonoma County high school volleyball teams got back to business in the quarterfinal round of the North Coast Section playoffs on Saturday night.

In a battle matching two Vine Valley Athletic League rivals, No. 5 Petaluma defeated host No. 4 Sonoma Valley 3-0 (25-15, 25-23, 25-15) in a Division 3 game. The Trojans (19-5) play Wednesday night in a semifinal at No. 1 Branson of Ross.

“Tonight we played great overall. Our passing, hitting, and setting were all great,” Petaluma coach Ryan Hughes said. “We had very low errors. It is good to be clicking at the end of the season.”

The Dragons (15-6) defeated Petaluma in both regular-season VVAL meetings 3-0.

“Tonight was a total revenge game. It is hard to beat a team three in a row in a season,” Hughes said. “I think we had a good game plan. We stacked on the left side tonight for the outside hitters. We had a lot of blocks tonight.”

The Trojans were led by senior twin sisters Kaliegh Weiand (9 kills, 12 assists) and Emma Weiand (7 kills). Anna Hospodar added 9 kills and Juliet Mattox had numerous blocks.


In a Division 4 game, the top-seeded Cardinals (26-5) defeated the visiting No. 8 Tigers (24-7) by scores of 25-20, 25-19 and 26-24, and will move on to host a semifinal on Wednesday night against No. 4 Head-Royce of Oakland.

“We haven’t been able to practice this week (due to the fire) and our play definitely showed that. We were a little disjointed tonight, understandable. Arcata brought more energy than we did tonight,” Cardinal Newman coach Jeff Nielson said. “We made a lot of unforced errors. Our focus was a little off tonight. But we were able to do enough right to win.”

Cardinal Newman was led by Cassie Taylor (12 kills), Kimi Waller (8 kills, 4 aces) and Cami Loxley (16 kills).


The visiting No. 7 Vikings (17-12) went down to the favored No. 2 Cougars (26-6) of Concord in a Division 2 showdown to end Montgomery’s season, 25-15, 25-19, 25-16.

“We were just outmatched. Carondelet was the better team tonight. They had six big hitters. They were by far the best team we have played this year,” Montgomery coach Becky Stavropoulos said. “We did a really good job of competing throughout the game.”

The Cougars’ height on the front line caused numerous headaches for the Vikings.

“We served well, but Carondelet put up a huge block. They really made us work hard hitting,” Stavropoulos said. “Offensively, we didn’t get what we needed.”

Laney O’Neil had 11 assists, 4 kills and 11 digs to lead the Vikings. Amy Iroz added 12 digs.

“I’m super proud of the girls and our season,” Stavropoulos said.


The host No. 3 Mustangs (23-6) relied on the leadership and experience of their five seniors to defeat the No. 6 Breakers (19-11) in a Division 5 game and advance to a Wednesday night semifinal, winning 25-14, 25-14, 22-25, 25-13.

“Bay School knocked us out of the playoffs (second round) last year so the girls really wanted redemption. We were highly motivated,” St. Vincent coach Kelsey McIntire said. “It is exciting to show how far this team has come.”

Amanda Zeryny had 30 kills and 32 digs to lead the Mustangs.

“This is kind of typical for Amanda,” McIntire said. “She was just mixing it up, moving her shots around.”

Other Mustangs leaders included Grace Hood (14 kills, 14 digs), Alex Saisi (25 assists), and Grace Augusto (7 aces).

“It was tough with the fires; we had to take a few days off. We kind of got out of our grove,” McIntire said. “I’m impressed that we were able to bounce back.”


In a Division 4 game, the visiting No. 5 Lions (25-8) struggled with their serve-receive in a 25-21, 27-25, 25-15 loss to the No. 4 Jayhawks (20-12).

“Our serve-receive passing wasn’t very good,” Lions coach Becky Sani said. “Head-Royce is very powerful. They have a quick offense. Our blocking is not up to that kind of speed.”

El Molino trailed 1-0 but was leading 23-17 in game 2 before collapsing and losing 10 of the next 12 points to lose the game and go down by two games. The Lions never recovered from the loss of momentum.

“There was that one momentum shift or we could have had them,” Sani said. “The more experienced team won. Head-Royce is a very strategic team.”

The Lions were paced by Kassidy Sani (13 kills, 8 digs, 2 aces), Sasha Senal (11 kills, 13 digs, 2 aces), Grace McCormick (25 assists, 7 digs, 2 blocks) and Yasmin Sierra (13 digs).

“We are a well-rounded team,” Sani said upon reflection of her team. “We played together very well. We showed that a small team can hang.”


In a Division 2 contest, the visiting No. 5 Pumas (23-11) went down in three games to the No. 4 Giants (26-6) of Larkspur, 25-16, 25-14, 25-21, to end their season.

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