Sacred Heart Cathedral’s Amaya Keiper shares a laugh with middle blocker Sophie Seljeseth during a break in the action on Sept. 29, 2019. (Ryan Gorcey / S.F. Examiner)

SF Preps: Sacred Heart Cathedral, St. Ignatius volleyball advance

Both City girls WCAL volleyball teams come away with first-round wins in Section playoffs

Both of San Francisco’s West Catholic Athletic League girls’ volleyball teams have advanced in the playoffs.

Sacred Heart Cathedral (24-5) — the No. 1 seed in the Central Coast Section Open Division — swept past No. 8-seed Menlo (18-12) and will now face No. 4-seed St. Francis (25-11) on Tuesday at Gunn High School in San Jose.

St. Ignatius (15-20) — the No. 6 seed in Division III — swept No. 11-seed Capuchino (18-12) out of the postseason, and will now face No. 3 Aptos (16-14) on the road on Tuesday.

While the Fightin’ Irish’s win was somewhat expected — 25-21, 25-8, 25-15, holding the Knights to 7.3 kills per set and a .108 hitting percentage as a team — the Wildcats have been struggling, finishing last in a tough WCAL after losing several major contributors to graduation, like now-Duke freshman Lizzie Fleming, setter Mackenzie Honey and outside hitter Megan Lucey.

They faced little opposition, though, from the Mustangs, winning 25-10, 25-13, 25-23. The Untalan sisters — senior libero Ellie and sophomore outside hitter Claire — came up big, with Clair racking up 12 kills in the first two sets before sitting out the third. Claire led the team in hitting percentage (.409) and tallied a pair of service aces.

Ellie also picked up a pair of aces, and led the team with a 2.22 passer effectiveness rating (out of 3.0, measuring how many options the setter has after a serve reception). She also led the team with 14 digs, followed by 12 from junior defensive specialist Malia Loo. Kaylin Loo served up a team-high five aces, while senior Kelly Lee added four.

In the San Francisco Section, Balboa swept Academy (25-2, 25-15, 25-10) and Washington swept Marshall (25-10, 25-5, 25-6) in the first round of playoffs. On Tuesday, the top two seeds will host the second round, with regular-season champion Lowell (14-0 in AAA) hosting Washington at 5:30 p.m. and Lincoln (14-2 in AAA) facing Balboa. Winners of those two games will play at 7 p.m.on Friday at Kezar Pavilion.

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