Acalanes Varsity Football defeats Campolindo

Oct 27, 2017 – Brian Miles

In an epic varsity football game that no one who attended will ever forget Acalanes beat Campolindo 35-28 on Friday night. The game started with the Cougars in control but Chris Rogers electrified the crowd with a brilliant catch on a long bomb to cut the Campo lead to 14-7 early in the game. The Dons scored again to tie the game at 14-14, but Campo mounted a drive before halftime and it appeared it would take the lead going into halftime. But Ryan Nall and Brian Merken had other ideas. Nall used his size and speed to pressure Campo’s star qb, John Torchio, who floated a pass that was picked off by Merken in the end zone. This sent the Dons into halftime with all of the momentum.

Robby Rowell owned the second half willing his team to perhaps the biggest win in the history of the program. Rowell hit Rogers again to put the Dons up 21-14 and had some monster runs to extend drives and give the Dons key first Dons. Rowell finished the night with a whopping 175 yards rushing.

But Campo would not go down without a fight and after a Torchio interception actually had the ball in a 21-21 game. Enter Nall who sacked Torchio and got the ball back on downs for Acalanes. A Rowell to Merken TD made the score 28-21, but Campo answered yet again to tie the game at 28.

In a fitting end to an amazing game, Rowell faked to running back Jake Delaney and somehow made his way through numerous Campo defenders to score the game winning TD for the Dons with 6 seconds left.

The play of Acalanes’ offensive line was rock solid all night as they consistently gave Rowell sufficient time to throw and opened holes for running backs Delaney and Keaziah Smith. Delaney sparkled in the second half with some nice runs to keep the Campo defense honest. Nick Henderson led the defense as he has done all season long.

The Acalanes community thanks Floyd Burnsed and his coaching staff for leading the team to this program changing win. Go Dons!

Oct 28 – Saturday Sports

In Fridays action…

It was an epic battle between Acalanes HS and Campolindo HS in Friday football. The Cougars scored the first 14 points and the Dons rallied for the next 21. The fourth quarter had both teams tied at 28-28 as Robby Rowell scored on a 5 yard run with 10 seconds left to lift the team to a 35-28 victory raising their overall record to 7-1. The jv team was not so fortunate in defeat.

The boys water polo team earned an overtime 10-9 victory to close the regular season and launch them into the NCS playoffs.

In Saturdays action…

The girls volleyball team competes in the San Ramon Valley Invitational.

The jv girls water polo team competes in the DAL tournament.

Fridays individual standouts…

Football. Robby Rowell was a one-man wrecking machine accounting for all 5 touchdowns completing 17 of 24 passes for 215 yards and 3 passing scores and 181 yards rushing and 2 scores on the ground. Brian Merken had 4 receptions for 47 yards, two touchdowns and a critical interception in the end zone at the end of the first half. Chris Rogers had 5 receptions for 67 yards and a touchdown. Nick Henderson had 10.5 tackles, Trenton Tso 7.5 tackles and Ryan Nall, Gabe Middleton and Alex Cortessis each with 5.5 tackles.

Boys water polo. Jake Stone scored 3 goals and Max Stryker, Jacob Parker and Henry Huchingson each scored 2 goals.


Oct 28 – Acalanes Beats Campolindo 35-28

by Matt Delaney

Wow, what a game. Well played by both sides.

Here are the stats from Digital Scout, I will upload into Hudl and MaxPreps by the morning.

Here are some highlights of tonight.

Time of Possession
Acalanes = 18:14
Campo = 29:46

Robby finished 17 for 24 with 215 yards, 3 passing TDs and 1 Interception.
Robby carried the ball 16 times for 181 yards and 2 Rushing TDs.

Robby = Total Yards = 396
Robby = Total TDs = 5

Torchio = 18 for 31 passes for 217 yards. 15 rushes for 58 yards for a total of 275 yards. He threw 1 interception, caught one interception and had 3 TDs.

Jake Delaney = 9 carries for 65 yards
Brian Merken = 4 catches for 47 yards and 2TDs
Chris Roger = 5 catches for 67 yards and 1 TD

Defense was impressive

Henderson = 5 solo tackles, 11 assisted tackles
Nall = 4 Solo tackles, 3 assisted tackles, 2 TFL and 2 sacks
Trenton Tso = 5 Solo tackles and 5 assisted tackles
Alex Cortessis = 4 solo tackles & 3 Assisted tackles
Gabe Middleton = 3 solo tackles & 5 assisted tackles

Robby Rowell

Acalanes Freshman Girls Volleyball vs Northgate

Acalanes Freshman Girls Volleyball – by Hunter Davis
October 26 – On Thursday, the Freshman Lady Dons Volleyball team fought the traffic out to Northgate for their final match of a great season. The first game was tight early with the teams trading points. Specialists Maren Takeuchi, Daisy Sibley and Libby Rossdid a nice job handling some difficult serves, and Carly Coffee provided the early offense, but the Broncos were up to the challenge.  The game reached 15-15 before a nice run of play from the Dons stretched the lead as Lauren Davis got a right side kill off a sweet five from setter Megan GoAudrey Passalacqua put down two over passes with authority and Samantha Hansen and Lauren teamed up for two roofs. Audrey then ran off a series of jump serves to put the team up for good and the Dons won 25-21.

The team started off a little slow in the second game….likely because superfan Katie Sowarby broke with superstition and forced the parents to switch ends of the bleachers. The Dons stabilized on a Lyla Cox kill followed by a couple of nice saves from libero Sydney Sowarby and another block from the right side. However, the Broncos put together a strong run despite some spirited parent chants led by father-of-the-year candidate Mark Passalacqua, and took the second game.

The pivotal third game started off better for the Dons as strong passing from Maren and Daisy and a nice serving run from Chloe Wu gave the Dons the lead.  A kill from Lyla off a perfect Bella Draper set put the squad up 11-8 and ended a run for Northgate. The team finished strong, highlighed by a great bump set from Sydney after Megan was forced to dig, which led to a Lauren kill, and a nice up from Chloe that Samantha scrambled to keep out of the net and in play. The match, and the season, ended with Lauren stuffing an over pass for the win. Celebrity Doctor and statistician Alan Go was “happy to see our Lady Dons finish off both a terrific victory!”  Good match and great season Dons!

DAL #2 Cross Country Meet Results-October 25, 2017

The Dons competed in the DAL #2 Meet at Newhall Park in Concord on Wednesday, October 25.  They faced some tough competition in the October heat.
Top Don’s top 5 runners in each race are featured below:
Boys’ Frosh/Soph finishers in the 1.95 mile race featured Max Nelson (Fr) 12:09.9, Tucker Starbuck (Fr) 12:18.4, Ethan Sanguinet (Fr) 12:20.3, Harrison Mains (Fr) 12:24.0, and Thomas Judson 12:38.5 with 28th, 39th, 41st,  44th, and 49th place finishes, respectively, out of the 152-man field.
Girls’ Frosh/Soph finishers in the 1.95 mile race featured Maxine D’Orazio (So) 16:22.0, Kate Stenger (Fr) 16:48.4, Lauren Stenger (Fr) 17:20.4, Summer Helvey (Fr) 17:32.4, and Tori Wang (So) 18:06.6 with 38th, 43rd, 52nd, 56th, and 60th place finishes, respectively, out of a strong 70-women field.
Boys’ JV finishers in the 1.95 mile race featured Nicholas Collins-Yarnell (Jr) 12:35.2, Ben Hall (Jr) 12:51.7, Brian Ohleyer (Sr) 13:13.4, Josh Evans (Fr) 13:20.1, and Bryan Lam (Sr) 13:32.6 with 47th, 56th, 71st, 74th, and 78th place finishes, respectively, out of the 148-man field.
Girls’ JV finishers in the 1.95 mile race featured Julia Helvey (Jr) 15:12.5, Emersyn White (Jr) 15:14.6, Lexie Asadorian (Fr) 15:20.9, Isabella Gonzalez (So) 16:47.2, and Audrey Burns (Fr) 17:14.8 with 31st, 33rd, 35th, 52nd, and 56th place finishes, respectively, out of the 79-woman field.
Boys’ Varsity finishers in the 2.95 mile race featured Ethan Frigon (Sr) 16:19.6, Joshua Starr (Jr) 16:31.8, Nick Hutson (So.) 16:48.1, Dominic Basaldua (Fr) 16:53.7, and Harrison Seymour (So) 16:59.4 with 16th, 24th, 27th, 28th, and 31st place finishes out of a very fast 73-man field.
Girls’ Varsity finishers in the 2.95 mile race featured Nicole Frigon (Fr) 19:36.7, Annie Klopstock (Sr) 22:11.2, Beth Hamalian (Fr) 22:16.1, Caroline Kelly (Sr) 22:19.4, and Binti Sohn (Fr) 22:29.1 with 20th, 42nd, 43rd, 44th, and 45th place finishes, respectively, out of the 55-woman field.
Great running Dons!  Next up for the Dons is the DAL Championship Meet at Hidden Valley in Martinez on Saturday, November 4 at 9:00.

Acalanes Girls Volleyball vs College Park

College Park v. Acalanes 10/24/2017

It is SENIOR NIGHT for Your Acalanes Dons Girls Volleyball team, as 5 Seniors – Sam Darin, Maddie Kalil, Kaitlin McKendell, Zoe McPhail, and Theresa Nevins – step through the
celebration balloons with their families and onto the Court to face off with College Park for
their last regular season home game of their careers. Nice crowd on hand!

First Set:

1-0. Darin kill as all 5 seniors are starting tonight.
2-0. Darin again. Senior Style.
4-2. Kalil sets McKendell on the outside. Dons score.
8-4. Kalil jumps to set and throws a winner down over the net instead. Senior Sneaky.
10-4. Timeout Falcons and the Senior lineup is dominating.
11-6. McPhail makes a nice “up” to save the point and the Dons kill it. Senior Smooth.
13-8. McPhail to Kalil to Darin: Kill.
15-9. McKendell swings and delivers a deep kill from the front row. Woo! Woo! Woo! K-Mack!
20-12. McKendell Ace!
23-13. McPhail Ace! McSeniors.
25-13. Dons take the 1 st .

Second Set:

6-4. McPhail passing and Kalil setting to get the Dons rolling in the 2 nd , and then Nevins adds in a winning block.
9-5. Nevins explodes a kill straight down from the middle. Wow. Senior Power!
15-9. Kalil delivers a nifty back-set and the Dons hitter kills it. Maddie Kaaaaaaaayyyy!
22-10. Nevins hammers another kill off the Kalil set. Teeeeeee!
25-12. Dons deep-fry the birds in the 2 nd .

Third Set:

2-1. Claire McNally Ace! Not a Senior. (I’m doing just one non-Senior highlight tonight, and that Ace was pure gold.)
4s. Nice Senior Saves by Nevins and McPhail to keep the point alive, and the Dons score to tie it up.
9s. Darin kill to tie it again. Saaaaaaaaaammmm!
12-11. Kalil to Darin. Big kill. Seeeeen-yerrrs.
15-11. Sweet Kalil serve and then a quick-reaction, one-armed “up” to save the point. Senior Smarts. Timeout C.P.
17-13. Kalil runs a slide play as Grace Higgins rotates into the middle of the court from the
outside to receive the set for a kill, completely flummoxing the Falcons.
20-15. Nevins pounds another winner. Senior Sledgehammer.
21-17. McPhail alertly covers an errant serve-receive ricochet, and then she sets the hitter for a kill. Zo-eeeeeeee!
24-17. Match Point!
25-17. Dons win!

Dons defeat the Falcons in three sets and move to 5-4 in League play with just one match left to go (at Northgate Thursday night). Congrats Seniors! They all played great tonight.

Oct 27 – Friday Sports

In Thursdays action…

The girls volleyball team was defeated by Northgate HS.
The freshman football team was defeated by Campolindo HS.

In Fridays action…

The football team hosts Campolindo HS. JV at 4:30 and varsity at 7:00. The Senior Night Presentation will take place before the varsity game and there will be Homecoming activities during halftime.

In Saturdays action…

The girls volleyball team competes in the San Ramon Valley Invitational.
The jv girls water polo team competes in the DAL tournament.

Thursdays individual standouts…

Girls tennis. Eliza Bates won the DAL single championship by a score of 6-2, 6-3 and Sydney Bell & Zoe Cate won the DAL doubles championship by a score of 6-1, 6-2. Megan Cardiff & Maddie McDonagh finished in 4th place in doubles.

Freshman football. Brady Huchingson scores a rushing touchdown and throws for 164 yards. Nico Cortessis has 4 receptions for 49 yards, Jackson Aris-Dumas 3 receptions for 40 yards and Joe Evans 3 receptions for 32 yards. Graham Oh has 7 tackles, Adam Kim and Thomas Schrader each had 4 tackles and Dane Jenssen had 3 tackles and an interception.

Oct 26 – Thursday Sports

In Wednesdays action…

Girls Tennis

Eliza Bates won her singles match and advances to the Finals of the DAL tournament.

Sydney Bell & Zoe Cate won their doubles match in the DAL Championships and advance to the Finals.

Megan Cardiff and Maddie McDonagh were defeated in their doubles match to the number 1 seed and will play for 3rd.


The boys and girls water polo teams were defeated by Miramonte HS.

In Thursdays action…

Girls Tennis

Eliza Bates plays for the DAL Singles Championship.

Sydney Bell & Zoe Cate will play for the DAL Doubles Championship.

Megan Cardiff & Maddie McDonagh will play for 3rd place in doubles.

All matches are at Acalanes HS at 3:45.


The girls volleyball team plays at Northgate HS.  Freshmen at 4:00, jv at 5:00 and varsity at 6:30.

The freshman football team plays at Campolindo HS at 5:00.

Acalanes Freshmen Girls Volleyball vs College Park

Acalanes Freshman Girls Volleyball – by Hunter Davis
October 24 – On Wednesday, the Acalanes Freshman Girls Volleyball team took on the College Park Falcons in the second leg of a back-to-back following Monday’s win over Miramonte. The game started out a bit choppy with College Park keeping it close to 10-10, which may have been attributed to several players trying out new positions. The defense was solid early on behind Daisy Sibleyand Maren Takeuchi, with Chloe Wu and Libby Ross each rotating in to serve and provide support. The team settled in a bit as freshly minted outside Lyla Cox put down some hits, new middle Lauren Davis came through with a few kills and stuffs, and Bella Draper was swinging away at oppo. Veteran setter Megan Go did a nice job distributing to both her new weapons, and the front row tandem of Samantha Hansen and Carly Coffee who each contributed in their traditional roles. The Dons pulled away to win the first set 25-19.

Carly stepped up in the start of the second set as well painting the end line for two early kills, as Megan served off 20 consecutive points before a Falcons side out. Audrey Passalacqua came in to close out the second set serving and playing DS, while libero Sydney Sowarby, who had enough digs for 2 matches in her standout performance Monday had the night off as the Dons closed out College Park 25-2. Congrats to all the Seniors!

Acalanes Freshmen Girls Volleyball vs Miramonte

Acalanes Freshman Girls Volleyball – by Hunter Daivs

October 23 – The Acalanes Freshman Girls Volleyball team travelled to Miramonte for a rare Monday road matchup against the Matadors.  The game was tight early as both teams were strong on offense and defense, getting out to 15-15 as Lyla Cox, Carly Coffee and Lauren Davis pounded some hits, while Maren Takeuchi and Daisy Sibley teamed up for outstanding defense. A great serving run from setter Megan Go sparked the Dons to a 22-15 lead with Libby Ross coming in to serve and play specialist as well. Miramonte eventually countered back to a 25-24 lead. Needing to stay alive the team played a superb point highlighted by two digs and ultimately a back row kill from the always solid libero Sydney Sowarby. Getting the ball at 25-25, Lauren fired off two unreturnable serves to secure the win. Parent Ken Coffee, resplendant in his 1980s Miramonte hoops jersey was duly impressed, in between humming bars of “Glory Days.”

The Dons took the momentum into the second set jumping out to a 7-0 lead with Megan serving bombs and getting Samantha Hansen and Audrey Passalacqua involved in the offense. Miramonte recovered a bit but the Dons built a 17-6 lead with Chloe Wu coming in to serve. Bella Draper sets to Samantha and Carly provided the punch to go along with more great defense from the trio of Sydney, Daisy, and Maren. The Mats came back to 17-14, at which point Megan pulled a set out of the net that Lauren finished with a tight angle kill and Audrey added a delicate tip to take back the mo. Carly ran a nice service run to 24-15, culminating in a long match point that ended with Lyla stuffing an over pass for the win, 25-17. Great game Dons!

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