Miners on their minds
I’m almost positive no members of St.Francis’ (Mountain View) girls volleyball team woke up last Friday morning with that night’s CIF NorCal State Championship semifinal match with Nevada Union on their minds.
And as good catholic school girls, maybe, which plaid skirt-white shirt-cardigan sweater combo to wear.
But, definitely not a bunch of country girls from Green Valley, or Grass Grove, or wherever.
If you walked around in their shoes for awhile, though, I guess you really couldn’t blame them.
They were members of a program which had won 11 of the last 12 North Coast Section titles and six CIF State Division II titles since 1993, including the last two.
In more recent history, the team entered the North Coast Section Tournament ranked No.1 in the country by a national prep sports Web site, http://www.studentsports.com, and played like it.
The Lady Lancers, who made the move back to Division I this season after a nine-year absence, gave up a total of 23 points in a pair of wins to set up a showdown with defending state Division I champ, Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) in the final.
The first game was close, but St.Francis pulled out a 16-14, 15-8, 15-13 decision to take the section title.
Next up for St. Francis was Oakland Section Champ, Oakland Technical, in the first round of NorCals.
The Lady Lancers dismantled the Lady Bulldogs 15-6, 15-1, 15-4 to up their overall record to 28-1 and set up the semifinal match with NU.
The Lady Miners, who won their first-ever section title in three games over perennial power St.Mary’s (Stockton), entered the match focused on the seemingly impossible: a win.
NU brought the Lady Lancers back to earth with its first punch – a 15-13 win in game one.
“I don’t know how successful they were in their league, but I don’t think there were too many teams who took a game off of them, especially a first game,” NU head coach Bob Rogers said. “I don’t think they expected us to threaten to win that first game. The crowd seemed to be astonished (to look up) during a couple of timeouts and see we were ahead.”
Up 9-8 in game two, the Lady Miners saw their chance to move in for the knockout, but St.Francis scored seven straight points to win that game.
The Lady Lancers went on to win the next two games, 15-11, 15-2 and earned a berth in the finals.
Odds are, they’ll beat Archbishop Mitty for the NorCal title, and then spank whichever team SoCal puts up against them in the state finals Saturday.
So, with trophy in hand and smiles all around, the Lady Lancers won’t have to think about those girls from lil’ old Grass Valley.
At least, maybe, until next year.
Keith Jiron is a sports reporter for The Union. He can be reached at
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With a balanced offensive attack and a strong defensive effort, the Nevada Union football team went on the road Friday night and knocked off Napa, 33-14