Much has changed for the Carlmont girls’ volleyball team since last season, but the result hasn’t.
The Scots (25-9) make their third consecutive trip to the Central Coast Section Division I semifinals Thursday despite having a new coach and an essentially new roster.
“We talked about how we’ve accomplished everything that anybody could have reasonably expected,” first-year coach Chris Crader said.
“They’re excited to be here again. They’re excited to get another shot at [Menlo-Atherton].”
Carlmont will face Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division foe Menlo-Atherton (28-5), which cruised to a three-set victory over 10th-seeded Monta Vista.
Carlmont finished second in the Bay, behind M-A, and its only two league losses were to the Bearcats.
“We had some nice runs, but we made too many errors,” Crader said. “If we’re out there scoring points for them, it’s tough.”
In Carlmont’s two losses to M-A, the Scots held leads but let the Bearcats go on long runs keyed by errors.
“We’ve got to play well and if we don’t, we will certainly lose,” he said.
Carlmont has been to the CCS Division I semifinals six of the past seven seasons and last reached the final in its championship year of 2005.
M-A has lost in the CCS Division I final each of the past two seasons.
“It’s hard to beat a good team three times,” Crader said. “I don’t mind being the team playing with house money.”
The Bearcats are a balanced team, according to Crader, and have won five in a row.
Crader will be looking to slow down junior Ali Spindt, sophomore Pauli King and junior Seini Moimoi.
The Scots’ CCS quarterfinal match against North Salinas showed two sides of the team.
Carlmont committed 19 errors in the first set but turned around and dominated the Vikings for the final two sets and the key for the Scots will be repeating that success.
“I thought we really turned up our defense [in the second set],” Crader said. “Even though we were making errors, we were digging so many balls it was hard for them to generate points on their side of the net.”
The catalyst for Carlmont has been the play of standout senior Shelby Vance.
Crader said, “When she plays great, it’s easy to feed off that.”
Vance came up just short of a triple-double against North Salinas with 15 kills, 10 digs and six aces.
Four players finished with 10 or more digs against North Salinas, including libero Ashley Duba, outside hitter Kallan Bedard, setter Amelia Tupou and middle blocker Torika Ramulo.
The Scots have won six in a row with their last loss coming on Oct. 29 against Valley Christian in the Spikefest Tournament.
Carlmont last beat M-A won Oct. 14, 2008.