Sacred Heart Prep will defend its Division IV volleyball title


It could be a very busy day for local girls' volleyball teams at the Central Coast Section championships on Saturday at Independence High in San Jose.

Top-seeded Castilleja is expectded to be playing for the Division V title, which begins at 10:30 a.m.

Likewise, top-seeded Palo Alto should be on the floor along with No. 3 Menlo-Atherton when the Division I finale gets going around 2:30 p.m.

For sure, fourth-seeded Sacred Heart Prep will be playing when the Division IV title match gets under way at 4:30 p.m.

Castilleja, Palo Alto and Menlo-Atherton all had to win on Thursday night in their respective semifinals. Should all three join SHP on Saturday, all four will be assured of moving on to the NorCal playoffs that begin on Tuesday.

Semifinals will be held Nov. 27 with regional finals scheduled for Nov. 30. The highest seeds will host throughout the playoffs. The state finals will be held Dec. 3 at The Event Center at San Jose State University.

Sacred Heart Prep will be making its second straight appearance in the finals and its third since 2005. The Gators (20-10) earned the opportunity to defend its Division IV title following a 25-21, 21-25, 26-24, 25-23 triumph over No. 1 seed Soquel in a semifinal match Wednesday night at Christopher High in Gilroy.

Junior Sarah Daschbach had a huge game of 19 kills and 31 digs for the Gators (20-10) while sophomore Sonia Abuel-Saud added 10 kills and 14 digs. Senior setter Hannah Elmore provided 22 assists while junior setter Amelia Alvarez added 16.

Sacred Heart will face No. 2 Notre Dame-Belmont in the finals. SHP lost to ND-Belmont back on Sept. 23 in a nonleague match.

In Division I, Palo Alto (35-1) takes on No. 5 Carlmont (21-13) in a semifinal match on Thursday at Watsonville High. That winner will play in the finals against the winner between No. 2 North Salinas (28-4) and No. 3 Menlo-Atherton (21-7).

In Division V, Castilleja (26-8) is favored against No. 4 Santa Catalina (17-10) in a semifinal match Thursday night at Alma Heights in Pacifica. That winner will play either No. Mt. Madonna or No. 3 Crystal Springs for the section title.

Palo Alto and Menlo-Atherton are looking for their first-ever CCS titles while Castilleja is shooting for its first since 2006.

-- Palo Alto Online Sports

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