Oakmont volleyball falls in first round of NorCal playoffs

Senior Carte goes out with a bang; Granite Bay wins in The City, returns home Saturday
By: Bill Poindexter, Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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Katie Carte said she’ll miss her Oakmont High School teammates next fall.

“We’ve grown really close,” she said Tuesday night. “We’ve become a big family.”

The Vikings are going to miss Carte, too. The senior outside hitter had 16 kills, and even as San Francisco-Sacred Heart Cathedral inched closer to victory with every point, Carte kept slamming balls at the Fightin’ Irish, chased everything she could get her hands on, served hard and dug well.

But it wasn’t enough, as Sacred Heart Cathedral defeated host Oakmont 21-25, 25-17, 25-18, 25-17 in the first round of the CIF Northern California Division III playoffs.

In Division I, second-seeded Granite Bay (40-6) went on the road to sweep San Francisco-Lowell 25-15, 25-16, 25-15 and will play host to No. 3 San Ramon-California (28-7) at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Carte and the fourth-seeded Vikings (34-3) had several good swings, but No. 5 Sacred Heart Cathedral (31-9) dug everything it could get its forearms under — and then some.

“Their defense was phenomenal,” Oakmont coach Shelby Weinberger said. “They picked everything.”

The match began to turn early in the second set. Oakmont was missing senior setter Brennah Gladwill, but senior Maura Uebner and sophomores Ally Wubben and Kyra Rogers offered a competitive block at the net. Rogers had six of her 11 kills in set four.

Even so, 6-foot-1 Irish sophomore Kaitlyn Jochum and 5-10 seniors Sarah Jones and Niamh O’Kane hammered kills, and 5-9 senior Courtney Wong took meaningful swings from the middle.

“There were some amazing ops, and it’s inspiring to the team,” Irish coach Margi Beima said. “Our defense has been one of our hallmarks. We had to be, because there is some great offense on that Oakmont team.”

It wasn’t quite the ending Oakmont hoped for, but it didn’t erase 34 wins, a perfect 10-0 run through the Capital Valley Conference, the top seeding in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs and the school’s first section championship in volleyball.

“It was a tough loss, but it was a good season for us. I’m proud of my girls,” Weinberger said. “We have two banners to contribute from this season, so we are very proud of that.”