The Foothill varsity football team closed out the regular season with a defensive gem, beating cross-town rival Amador Valley 15-0 in the East Bay Athletic League's final game last Friday.
Thanks to the win the Falcons (6-4 overall, 6-2 (EBAL) move on to the North Coast Section Division I playoffs, starting Saturday when Foothill travels to California High.
Amador (3-7, 3-5) ended its season, after suffering through a campaign rife with injuries.
Foothill is the No. 6 seed and California is seeded third. The two sides met in the second week of the season, a game that saw Foothill play well early before falling 28-15.
The Falcons have been battling injuries as well this year and will go into the Cal game shorthanded once again. But the team showed its resiliency after battling back from a 0-3 start to go 6-1 over the final seven games.
In addition, the Cal-Foothill rivalry is arguably the most intense in the area and the Falcons will be looking to even the score in this rematch.
Rounding out EBAL teams that are in the playoffs are Monte Vista (No. 1, D-I), San Ramon Valley (No. 7, D-I), Livermore (No. 4, D-II) and Granada (No. 6, D-11).
The Foothill High School boys’ varsity water polo team finished their season with a 14-7 loss to Las Lomas in the first round of the NCS playoffs last Thursday at Acalanes High School.
Defensively, Foothill played a much better balanced game than their loss to Las Lomas earlier in the season. Offensively, Foothill had 28 attempts on goal, seven of which were very good looks that didn’t convert.
Scoring for Foothill were junior Matthew Dotson (3 goals), Matthew Kim (1), Aaron Li (1), Nathan Williams (1), and Fabio Salvioni (1).
Leading defensively were Salvioni with four steals and three caused turnovers. Goalie Harrison Carter had 10 saves and a pair of steals.
The Foothill girls’ varsity team won a pair of thrilling matches last week and advanced to the North Coast Section Division I playoffs.
The Falcons opened the tournament with a 25-23, 21-25, 25-18, 25-14 win over Maria Carrillo of Santa Rosa.
Foothill setter Kellie Hughes, who will play for the University of Portland next year, had an all-around great performance setting up hitters Andreea Paduraru and Kate Goto. Amal Peermohammed turned in her usual solid performance as the Libero (defensive specialist) for Foothill.
The second round of the tournament last Saturday at Foothill brought an even higher level of intensity as the Falcons took on fellow EBAL opponent Daugherty Valley.
The Falcons had already played and beaten the Wildcats four times this season and beating a team five times can be a tall task. And it was, as Foothill had to rally from an 0-2 deficit to pull out the 20-25, 19-25, 25-19, 25-18, 15-12 win.
The night started off with Peermohammed singing the national anthem before the game, but that was the only thing that went right early as Dougherty Valley took advantage of a slew of Foothill mistakes to win the first two games.
But a team doesn’t run off a 32-6 record without having the ability to figure things out as the game goes on. Behind solid play from Hughes, Goto, Padararu (headed to Cal to play beach volleyball next year), Peermohammed and players like Natalie McGaughy, Maddy Ward, Amaya Wilson, Alex Cravens and Ekaylah Rampola, Foothill charged back.
After falling behind 4-0 in the third set, the Falcons charged back and took the game to force a fourth. In that set, Foothill again controlled the flow before closing out the match and sending it to the winner-take- all final game.
Foothill jumped out to a big lead, but the Wildcats stormed back, cutting the lead to 13-12. But a serve into the net was a followed by a defensive error from Daugherty Valley and the Falcons had the win to move on to the semifinals.