There are moments that help define a league champion, and the Newark Memorial High girls volleyball team might have had two special moments Tuesday.
In a battle of Mission Valley Athletic League unbeatens, the Cougars twice had a chance to fold when they appeared to be heading to a 2-0 deficit and again when Irvington seemed poised to win the match in the fourth game.
But both times Newark battled back, eventually forcing a fifth game and keeping alive its surprising run to first place after a 20-25, 28-26, 15-25, 25-19, 15-12 win at Irvington.
"It's amazing, and it's a good feeling for the girls," Newark Memorial coach Lindsay Simeone said. "I'm excited, and they're excited. We've always been competitive, and now we're coming out on top."
The Cougars (13-5, 5-0 MVAL) battled back from a deficit to win an ultra-competitive second game, then really showed grit in the fourth game.
Following a big defeat in the third game and facing a 14-10 deficit in the fourth game, Newark scored 15 of the final 21 points in game four and then started the fifth on a 5-2 run as Carley Ward ended the match with her third block of the fifth game.
"We fight until the end," Simeone said. "There is a lot of fight in these girls."
The Cougars held off a valiant effort by Irvington (12-6, 4-1 MVAL), in particular from Danielle Carothers and Laura Hubacek. Carothers had 21 assists, 15 kills and three blocks, and Hubacek had 19 kills. But 32
Dublin d. Acalanes: Tiffany Harris produced 17 kills, and teammate Emma Neckar added 15 kills and 15 assists as the Gaels edged the visiting Dons 25-15, 23-25, 25-17, 20-25, 16-14 in Diablo Foothill Athletic League action. Dublin improved to 12-4 overall and 3-2 in the DFAL.
Amador Valley 196, Monte Vista 204: The Dons (12-3, 10-1 East Bay Athletic League) had all five scorers between one-under par and five-over to edge the Mustangs (4-7 EBAL) at Callippe Preserve Golf Course in Pleasanton.
The Dons' Kimberly Liu was the medalist with a 1-under par 35. Hailey White paced Monte Vista with a 37. Kelly Shotwell posted a 39 for Amador Valley.