Entering Thursday night's high school showdown, both the Monte Vista and Foothill girls volleyball teams were chasing unbeaten San Ramon Valley in the East Bay Athletic League standings.
With an eye towards staying just a game out of first place and keeping pace with their rivals, the Mustangs looked impressive at home, beating the Falcons 25-13, 25-20, 25-12.
"This was a really important win for us to establish where we are and where we want to be," Monte Vista senior setter Jessy Ober said. "But this is just the beginning. We plan on getting better."
The Mustangs (18-3, 5-1 EBAL) showed why they were a preseason EBAL favorite and why they are ranked No. 2 in the Bay Area News Group's East Bay rankings, displaying a vast offensive arsenal. They had four players with five or more kills, led by eight from Lo Utchen and seven from Rachel Underwood.
They also didn't let down after getting up two sets, keeping their foot on the throttle. Monte Vista trailed 5-1 in the third set but scored 19 of the next 21 points.
The Falcons (12-9, 4-2) have shown they can compete with anyone with wins over California and Carondelet, but they have also shown inconsistency. Thursday's match hinged on passing.
"They're a good serving team for sure," Foothill coach Dusty Collins said. "When our passing game was on, we were point for point, but we gave away too many points and gave them away in bunches."
Girls water polo
James Logan 5, Newark Memorial 4: The Colts (5-0 Mission Valley Athletic League) took a 5-2 lead in the fourth quarter, then held off the host Cougars. Amy Tolbertson and Nicole Flores both scored twice for Logan.
For expanded features on high school sports, go to www.contracostatimes.com or