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NCS volleyball: St. Vincent falls in title game

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The St. Vincent High volleyball team found its footing a little late to recover from a strong start by host Marin Academy on Saturday night, falling by a 3-0 score in the North Coast Section Division 5 championship match.

The top-seeded Wildcats secured the section title with a 25-12, 25-9, 25-22 victory over the third-seeded Mustangs. St. Vincent had advanced to the championship match with playoff victories over Mendocino, Bay School of San Francisco and Urban School of San Francisco.

The Wildcats jumped out to big wins in the first two sets, and the Mustangs couldn’t quite recover. St. Vincent fell to 24-7 on the season with the loss.

“It was a faster game than we anticipated,” St. Vincent coach Kelsey McIntire told the Petaluma Argus-Courier.

Amanda Zeryny led the Mustangs with nine kills, while Alexandra Saisi added six assists and Sarah Sarlatte contributed 23 digs to the St. Vincent effort. Marin Academy’s 6-foot-1 senior leader Ramona Dewane gave the Mustangs a hard time much of the night.

St. Vincent rallied in the third set to threaten the Wildcats, playing good defense and working their way into a 20-20 tie before Marin Academy closed out the set, and the match.

“We got into a defensive rhythm in the third set and had some longer rallies,” McIntire said.

The Mustangs, champions of the NCL II league, dispatched two league champions to reach the semifinals, beating Mendocino of NCL III in three sets and then taking care of the Bay School of the Bay Counties Central league, the team that had eliminated the Mustangs in the NCS quarterfinals a year earlier. Their semifinal victory was over No. 10 seed Urban School, a strong three-set victory.

St. Vincent was the only local school that advanced to the NCS final round in volleyball this year, and the Mustangs will find out Sunday if they will be in the NorCal playoffs.

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