O'Dowd girls fall in NorCal semifinals After a straight-set victory in the opening round of the California Interscholastic Federation Division III Northern Regional playoffs, the Bishop O'Dowd High girls volleyball team fell in four sets to No. 1 seed Valley Christian-San Jose. Valley Christian won 21-25, 25-13, 25-20, 25-18. O'Dowd, the No. 4 seed, beat No. 5 Vista del Lago-Folsom 25-19, 25-11, 25-12 on Nov. 26. Bryanna Davis slammed a game-high 10 kills, and teammate Brianna Karsseboom added seven kills and five digs in that victory. Sophomore setter Katie Orbeta dished out 35 assists and had six digs for the Dragons.
Chuang repeats as section champion Albany High's Allison Chuang won her second straight North Coast Section Division I girls singles tennis championship with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Dougherty Valley's Rickimae Torres in the finals on Nov. 25. Chuang, who was undefeated this season, is the eighth player to repeat as singles champion since the NCS tournament began in 1997. The most recent girl to repeat before Chuang was San Marin's Laura Posylkin in 2009-2010. Chuang won her three tournament matches in straight sets, including a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Acalanes' Isabella von Ebbe in the semifinals.
On deck El Cerrito vs. Marin Catholic at Burrell Field-San Leandro, football, Dec. 6, 7 p.m. -- This NCS Division III championship matchup is a rematch of last year's Division III championship game, in which Marin Catholic outlasted El Cerrito 31-28 in awful weather. This season, El Cerrito (11-2) is the No. 3 seed and Marin Catholic (12-0) is the No. 1 seed. CIF Division V state championship, girls volleyball, Dec. 7, 10 a.m. -- The winner of the St. Joseph Notre Dame-Branson match on Dec. 3 will face the Southern California champion at Santiago Canyon College in Orange. St. Mary's vs. Fortuna at Humboldt State, football, Dec. 7, 1 p.m. -- The Panthers aim for their third straight win over a higher seed in their first NCS championship game since 1999.
Stars of the week Sophia Mills, Piedmont girls cross country -- The junior led the Highlanders to a fourth-place team finish in the California Interscholastic Federation Division IV girls state championship race on Nov. 30, as she finished 24th in 19 minutes, 12 seconds. Ivan Rabb, Bishop O'Dowd boys basketball -- The Dragons star scored a game-high 28 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and blocked four shots in O'Dowd's 90-76 win over Bullard-Fresno on Nov. 30 in the NorCal Tip Off Classic. Gabe Arias-Sheridan, St. Joseph Notre Dame boys cross country -- Arias-Sheridan placed fourth in the CIF Division V boys state championship race on Nov. 30 at Woodward Park in Fresno with a time of 15 minutes, 42 seconds for the 3.1 mile course, leading the Pilots to their second straight team state championship. Liam Godfrey, St. Mary's football -- Godfrey caught six passes for 164 yards, including touchdowns of 10 and 97 yards, and also scored on a 36-yard end-around run as the Panthers upset No. 1 seed San Marin 35-29 in the NCS Division IV semifinals on Nov. 30. Jalen Harvey, El Cerrito football -- The Arizona State-bound Harvey caught touchdown passes of 50 and 18 yards and also scored on a 73-yard punt return as the Gauchos beat previously undefeated Campolindo 49-34 in an NCS Division III semifinal game on Nov. 29. Harvey finished with three catches for 86 yards.