Dons Freshman Volleyball are Champions in the Paganini Volleyball Invitational 2019 Tournament

The Lady Dons impressed with their energetic play in their season opening tournament, displaying heart, competitiveness and togetherness.  Serving for match point against league rival Las Lomas in the first match of the day, the Lady Dons would lose their momentum and eventually drop the match in a hard fought but heartbreaking three-set loss.  This despite strong serving and setting by Elsa Simas (4 aces) and aggressive hitting and serving by Georgia Winkles (7 aces).

Disappointed but determined, the team would follow with commanding wins against College Park (Lyanne Wang, 6 aces) and Napa (Emma Lorge, 6 aces. Maddie Bacon, Elsa Simas, 5 aces) qualifying as the #2 seed in the afternoon’s Championship bracket.

In the first set of the semi-final match against host Sonoma Valley, the team struggled against the aggressive serving of the Dragons who won the first set easily.  But the team made adjustments and came out in the second set and third sets with more energy, shifting the momentum and claiming an exhilarating, raucous come from behind win to get into the Finals.  Consistent, hard serving by Emma Lorge (3 aces) and intimidating net play by Katelyn Olin (3 aces) keyed the comeback for the Lady Dons.

The team faced Los Lomas again, this time in the Finals, a perfect opportunity and rematch of their only loss. This would be a friendly rivalry as many players on both teams were friends who played together in club teams.  Win or lose, it was successful tournament.  Both teams battled in a close match and in the end the Lady Dons came away with a 2-0 victory over the Knights to claim the tournament championship, ending the day with a 4-1 record.  Lyanne Wang‘s energetic offensive and defensive play (4 aces) fueled the final win before unfortunately spraining her ankle at match point. 

During the awards presentation, the Tournament Director Kathleen Scanlon noted that in her 20+ years of experience, she has never seen the level of genuine sportsmanship and positive competition between two teams, a credit to the players, coaches and parents.

Congratulations to Georgia in making the All Tournament Team and Katelyn in being named Tournament MVP!  Well deserved!  Elsa and Georgia led the team in aces with 16 &15 and Lyanne led the team in serve-in percentage with 92.3%.  Whether a starter or role player, every one on the team should be proud of what they accomplished together. 

Getting Coached Up by Roman and Haley!
12 athletes, 2 coaches, one mission, one trophy…and one sprained ankle. Way to go Dons!