Nov 26 – Girls Volleyball Squeak by Sonora to FIRST STATE MATCH EVER

YOUR Acalanes Dons Girls Volleyball Team for the Northern California Region Championship match, with the winner headed to Orange County next week to play for the Division 3 State title. A huge crowd showed up to cheer the Dons as they sought to keep this magical season alive. Here are lots of highlights!:

Maddie KalilClick on image to buy game photos

Maddie Kalil
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First Set:

Parker JonesClick on image to buy game photos

Parker Jones
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3-0. Parker Jones jumps high and puts up a huge roof block as the Dons start fast.

4s. Sonora Wildcats storm back to tie it up. This is gonna be good.

5-4. Alex Matson hits a winner to retake the lead.

9-6. Lane Webster sets “pipe” to Jones for a kill.

11-6. Matson kill again. Timeout Sonora!

14-8. Net violation Sonora as the Dons are firing on all cylinders.

15-14. Suddenly a long rough patch for the Dons and Coach wants a timeout.

16-14. Maddie Kalil sets. Jones Monster Kill. Yasss.

17-14. Melissa Elliott delivers a great roll shot winner deep to the back line.

17s. Sonora ties it back up with furious defense.

19-20. Matson hits it really, really hard for a kill. Needed it.

20-21. Theresa Nevins kills the “1” in the middle. Needed it too…

21-23…Dons …can’t…quite…close the gap.

22-23. Jones nifty roll shot. Dons still alive…

22-25. Dons lose the 1st set. They know they need to elevate their game tonight!

Devin GrobeckClick on image to buy game photos.

Devin Grobeck
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Second Set:

2s. Kalil sets up Jones for a big kill.

5-6. Sonora scoring steadily. Dons are in the fight of their lives tonight.

7s. Sarah Nelson fires a wicked serve and then Elsa Clever roofs the Wildcat kill attempt!

8s. Elliott adds a roof!

12-8. Nice Dons run of points and Sonora need a timeout.

13-8. Devin Grobeck does a fantastic Setter impersonation and delivers a perfect set to Jones for a kill.

16-9. Huge block by Jones & Elliott on Sonora’s top player. Yes!

18-10. Super dig from Matson. Kalil sets it right back to her and Matson pounds one off the blockers.

21-13. Nevins hammers three straight over-passes from Sonora. They dig two, but cannot handle the third one. Finally!

22-14. Nevins SETS Jones for a super angle kill. Wow. Nevins is really multi-tasking tonight!

24-15. Kalil Ace! Set point!

25-15. Jones kill of the blockers to tie up the match at one set apiece.


Theresa NevinsClick on image to buy game photos

Theresa Nevins
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Third Set:

1s. Another big Dons block by Elliott and Jones. Blocking will be key to this match.

4s. Amazing defense from Sonora, but the Dons persist, and Madi Risch kills it.

5s. Risch again to the back corner. Great set from Kalil.

6-5. Now Clever and Nevins team up for a winning block. Wall of Doom!

7-8. Webster back sets Matson for a sharp line kill.

8-9. Grobeck delivers several dynamite digs and Jones makes Sonora pay. Every point has highlight reel moments now and the gym is super tense.

8-12. Yikes. Timeout Dons to stop the Wildcat momentum.

10-12. Jones hammers one Big Time.

12-16. Yikes. Timeout Dons to stop the Wildcat momentum, again.

13-18. Elliott stops the bleeding with a huge ROOF!

17-20. Sonora refusing to let Acalanes back into this set.

18-20. Webster lofts a nice set for Nevins to hammer in the middle. Kill!

19-23. Jones smokes one from the pipe (can’t believe we haven’t used that one yet this season!)

20-23. Meanwhile Zoe McPhail is rotating in and delivering strong serves and crucial digs…and Sonora hits it long. Let’s Go Dons!!!

21-24. Huge McPhail digs again – plural – and the Dons hang on to the set a little longer.

21-25. But Sonora takes the 3rd set, now up 2-1.


Alex MatsonClick on image to buy game photos

Alex Matson
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Fourth Set:

  • Elliott kill in the middle as it’s now or never to extend the season

4-3. Risch kill.

5-3. Matson kill.

7-3. Nevins kill. Full team effort!

10-9. Sonora makes a tremendous rally. Dons fans are rightly nervous!

10-12. Timeout Dons as they are suddenly down two point and trying to solve this Sonora puzzle.

11-12. Nice Webster set to Jones…killed it.

12-17. Dons are letting the set and the match get away! They need another timeout.

13-17. Elliott kill. Muy importante.

16-18. The Dons are giving it everything they’ve got to fight back! Matson kill. Bodies flying all over the court.

18-19. Matson: funky roll shot kill works. Dons will take it!

19s. Jones ties it!!!

20-19. Roxy Cummings now in the front and she fires a great line kill and the Dons take the lead!

21-20. McPhail sweet pass to Webster. Webster sweet set to Jones. Jones kill. Textbook volleyball right when the Dons need it most.

22-20. Huge rally saves from the Dons, including diving, impossible pancake and pop-up from McPhail and Webster, and Cummings ultimately kills the ball, and Sonora takes a timeout!

23-21. Grobeck sets this time and Cummings finishes again with another huge kill!


23-24. Oh no Sonora has Match Point! I can’t watch!


24-25. On no Match Point Sonora again…the season could be over…

25s! Grobeck is spectacular on defense and refuses to lose!

25-26. Into OT now and Sonora has their third Match Point to win and go to State…

26s! Matson huge kill! Come on Dons!

28-26. Dons somehow score three unanswered and win the Set! OMG! We are going to 5!

Madi RischClick on image to buy game photos

Madi Risch
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Fifth Set:

  • Risch kill to start the final home court set of the year. The whole gym is on pins and needles.

2-1. Jones big kill! MVP! The Dons crowd is getting really loud and understands the moment here!

4s. Jones Thunder Bomb from the pipe. Grobeck continues awesome passing.

5s. Beautiful Kalil set to Risch, who promptly kills it.

6-5. Webster and Matson both make diving saves to keep the point alive and then Sonora hits it OUT!

8-7. Jones tools the blockers for a kill. Every point is like a precious and rare gem.

10s. Dons frighteningly lose the lead but Risch keeps it tied up with a beauty shot that finds the floor in Sonora’s back row.

11-10. Long crazy rally. Huge Elliott roof! Timeout Sonora.

11-12. Sonora scores two straight off the timeout to take the lead. Timeout Dons as the season is once again on the brink…

12s. Grobeck dig. Clever makes a huge kill.

13s. Nevins ties it up again with a brilliant and timely tip to the sideline. Now it is the first team to get up by two wins it.

14-13. Webster serves Sonora out of system and they hit it into the net! Match Point for the Dons! Timeout Sonora.

15-13. Webster serves and Ace!!!!! Dons win it!!!! We are going to the State Championship! Pandemonium ensues! My goodness what an epic match!

Melissa ElliottClick on image to buy game photos

Melissa Elliott
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