SAN JOSE -- Ten days after surviving a tense, five-set battle against Los Altos to win a Central Coast Section girls volleyball championship, Archbishop Mitty was much more efficient and dominant with a berth in the state final on the line Tuesday night.
Playing on their home court, the Monarchs won a competitive first set and then cruised past Los Altos to win the Northern California Division II title 25-20, 25-12, 25-14.
Mitty advanced to the Division II state final Saturday in Orange against Santiago of Corona, the Southern California champion. The Monarchs will be aiming for a second consecutive state championship and 10th overall.
Clare Powers, whose injured ankle appears to be completely healed, had 12 kills and 14 digs for Mitty on Tuesday. Alexa Dreyer added 12 kills and four blocks, and Kelsey Crawford had 44 assists and 11 digs.
"We all played our game," Dreyer said. "We've been practicing really hard. I feel like when we are all playing together and when we are playing our best, we're unstoppable. I think we're going to carry that over to the state championship."
Mitty (40-4) won seven of the first nine points Tuesday, looking crisp and strong with the 6-foot-3 Powers showing no signs of the ankle injury that had slowed her since the West Catholic Athletic League tournament final.
But Los Altos charged back, evening the score 17-17 on one of Carmen Annevelink's 11 kills.
It wasn't to be for the Eagles (34-7) as Mitty won the big points to close out that set and carried the momentum continued through the rest of the match.
"We played clean at times, we played very aggressive at times," Mitty coach Bret Almazan-Cezar said. "But I think we played in personality continuously the entire match -- whether it was establishing the middle, whether it was getting the outsides going.
"I thought the smalls handled the ball well. We did our serving assignments. Everyone did their job."
Powers called the performance amazing.
"Los Altos is a really good team," she said. "So I'm really proud of the way we came out strong and aggressive from the start."
Since its five-set loss to Mitty in the CCS final, when it had two match points against the Monarchs, Los Altos won road NorCal matches in Chico and Larkspur to get a rematch against Mitty.
But the Eagles' playoff run ended just a few miles from home.
"Like the great team they are, they really came out to play," Los Altos coach Peter Kim said of Mitty. "We were a little off our game, but I am just really super proud of these girls getting to this point. Mitty played defense, they were hitting balls, they did everything. I don't expect them to lose at the state championships."