The Eighth Grade division featured teams from the School of the Madeleine, Berkeley, and St. Anthony, Oakland.
BILL FORD/SPECIAL TO THE CATHOLIC VOICE
The Madeleine wins first diocesan
Twenty-four girls CYO volleyball teams from around the diocese recently met for the season-ending Girls' CYO Volleyball Playoffs, hosted by the Oakland diocese CYO.
Following first-round and semi-final matches on the previous weekend, two teams from each of the participating sixth, seventh and eighth grades played in the finals before a packed gym at St. Bede's Parish Center, Hayward.
The Eighth Grade division featured two teams from the East Bay Parochial League. School of the Madeleine, Berkeley, and St. Anthony, Oakland, faced off, with Madeleine winning the championship in two sets, 25-9, 25-16. In the second set, with the score tied at 15, Madeleine player Sofia Bailey hit on 10 consecutive serves to win the crown for her school.
This was the third time that the Madeleine team has been in the playoffs but it was their first trip to the finals, finishing with their first diocesan championship. The runner-up St. Anthony team played for the first time in the playoffs following a "Cinderella season," finishing in third in their league but winning their league playoffs to advance to the diocesan playoffs, and then winning their two preliminary diocesan playoff matches, each in three sets to the match, to advance to the final game.
In the Seventh Grade division final, a dominate Holy Spirit, Fremont, team won the championship over Assumption, San Leandro, 25-6, 25-16. After dropping the first set, Assumption came back behind the serving of Amelie Ritter in the second set. But with the strong serving of Bianca Punzalan, Holy Spirit moved ahead and won the match on a final serve by Tiana Pastor.
In the highlight match of the finals, the Sixth Grade division was captured by Corpus Christi, Piedmont, over St. Leander, San Leandro, in a three-set match, 18-25, 25-22, 15-11. After losing the first set, and close to elimination in the second set, Corpus Christi was then led by the outstanding play of Piper Bunkers. The team then won the championship on a tight third set with the match point served by Emma Swinney. Kendall Kibanoff led the scoring for St. Leander.
Previous to the final games held at St. Bede's in February, the first and second round games were played at St. Theresa Parish Center, Oakland, and St. Elizabeth Oliver Lynch Gym, Oakland.
Other parishes and Catholic schools that participated in the playoffs were: St. Joseph, Pinole; St. David, Richmond; St. Anne, Union City; St. Edward, Newark; All Saints, Hayward; St. Patrick, Rodeo; St. Felicitas, San Leandro; St. Joseph, Fremont. Participating teams were qualified in each of the four CYO volleyball leagues, representing 125 teams and 1,300 players who participated in CYO girls' volleyball this past season.
For complete results of the matches, or for more information on CYO, visit the CYO website: www.oaklandcyo.org.
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