Dons Varsity Volleyball Takes Second at Paganini Invitational

Sonoma Valley Tourney Report 9/14/2019

YOUR Acalanes Dons girls volleyball team made an early-morning trek to Sonoma on Saturday, looking to improve on their 3rd place finish from last year. The team played great and finished 2nd overall, visibly improving their play over the course of the long day. Here are some highlights for those with a longer attention span.

Match 1 – Richmond HS

First Set:

25-20. Dons win the first set despite a sleepy start — hey it was a darned early wake-up call this morning! — but the Dons got the train rolling against the Oilers, led by strong serving from Sydney Sowarby, Lane Webster and Aisha Mohanty.

Second Set:

25-6. Dons totally dominate the second set and win the match. Notable cannonballs fired by Erin Meade, Madi Risch and Annika Olson.

Match 2 – Rodriguez HS

First Set:

25-15. Dons raise their game and tame the Mustangs in the first. Highlights? Risch kills! Kennedy Cornish Aces! Aly Kirke kills! Webster Aces!

Second Set:

25-18. Rodriguez fights back some in the second, and both sides feature some nice kills, but ultimately the Dons overpower the ‘Stangs to go 2-0 in Pool Play.

Match 3 – Maria Carrillo HS

First Set:

Now it gets real as the Dons face the #1 seed in the pool, the M.C. Pumas from Santa Rosa.

7-3. Early Dons lead and a Sowarby Ace.

9-5. Nice Daisy Sibley pass and Meade collects her second strong kill of the set.

11-5. Dons score two more on a high-velocity Risch kill that turns heads, and a Mohanty bullet Ace!

18-13. Dons maintaining a gap after a Sibley Ace and then a textbook offensive play: Sibley to Webster to Risch. Pretty.

21-16. Mohanty Ace!

25-21. Kirke terminates the set with a kill.

Second Set:

4-3. The Dons and the Pumas trade points early. Meade gets a smart tip down the open line.

7s. Tied up as Olson tools the blockers with a kill. Kabam.

11-16. Rough patch and timeout Dons as M.C. is dinking us to death with well-placed tip shots right now, finding gaps in the Don’s “D”.

14-20. Pumas still keeping the Dons out of sync.

16-22. Olson kill keeps hope alive.

19-24. Meade kill keeps hope alive.

20-24. Timeout Pumas as the Dons keep fighting…good sign for future matches I portend.

21-25. Maria Carrillo — named after the original land grant owner of Santa Rosa — holds on and forces a decisive third set.

Third Set:

3-0. Double Aces from Webster sets a great tone for the Dons.

4-1. Webster peels the pass out of the net and gets it up in front of Kirke, who crushes it.

8-4. Solid Mohanty serve and Risch hammers the overpass right as it comes back over the net.

10-6. Risch Ace keeps the momentum with the Dons.

12-7. Cornish kills it in the middle…with authority, then follows it up with an Ace! Huge! Timeout Pumas.

14-8. Meade kill! Match point!

14-9…14-10…14-11. Pumas fighting hard…and then Meade ends it with a deep push dink! Woo! Dons win the 3rd 15-11 and win the match, sweeping pool play at 3-0. Gold bracket awaits!

Match 4 (Round of 8) – Sonoma Valley HS

First Set:

2-1. Meade line kill gets the Dons started in the playoff round against the host school here at Sonoma Valley High.

3s. Mohanty Ace!

6-4. Risch kill. Risch Ace. Double barrel scoring.

10-5. Nice Cornish serving run keeps the Dons rolling.

12-9. Olson kill to slow a suddenly surging Dragons team.

12s. Tied! Timeout Dons to regroup!

14-12: Meade kill and Sowarby Ace re-establish Dons control, for now.

20-19. Webster Ace! That bullet breaks another tie.

23-21. Strong Sibley and Sowarby passing give the Dons an advantage down the home stretch.

25-22. Winner! One Dragon slayed. More to fight.

Second Set:

2-0. Webster Ace! Dons really serving well today as a group.

4-0. Dons run, quickly flips to a 4-6 Dragons run. Yikes.

7-9. Meade gets on top of the ball for a snappy kill.

9s. Mohanty ace ties it back up. Nice!

10-9. Double Ace Mohanty! Lots of those today.

13-10 Makenzie Sauer steps in for a kill after an epic long rally. Wow. Both teams are playing great right now. Looooong rallies.

14-10. Risch Ace! Valuable.

17-12. Sauer another crucial kill. Nice Mak.

21-15. Meade kill and the Dons look to be in control here.

21-20. But then Acalanes forced to call a timeout after the Dragons flame the Dons for 5 straight points. Gut check time!

23-21. Meade roof rights the ship. Great block!

24-21. Sweet Sowarby Ace! Match point!

25-21. Dragon error. Dons move to the semis!

Match 5 (Round of 4) – Cardinal Newman

First Set:

3-0. Final Four! Oo–Rah! Webster delivers another laser beam serve…overpass…Kirke stuffs it. Yummy.

4-0. Olson nice kill. Another quick start by the Dons.

5-4. Meade back line kill stops the Cardinal run.

11-12. Cornish “dirty” Ace rolls off the net.

12s. And then she delivers a clean Ace! No doubt on that one.

13-12. Hat Trick – 3 Aces in a row from Cornish! Ken!!!

17-13. Kirke middle kill. Sophomore is looking good.

18-15. Kirke Block! Dominating the net.

20-15. Risch kill. Time out Cardinals. Dons are highly energized.

20-19. But again, the Dons opponent mounts a charge.

23-20. Risch kill and the Dons pull away again.

24-20. Set point…24-21…24-22…Cornish kill to the sideline gets the Dons to 25!

Second Set:

9-8. Cornish hammers one in the middle. Tight early in the 2nd.

12-11. Crazy long rally with pancakes, syrup and some butter too. Dons prevail!

16-12. More insane back and forth. Neither team will give in, but the Dons are keeping just a few more balls inside the lines for scores. Timeout Cardinal Newman.

17-12. Risch delivers a tremendous kill off a perfect, arcing long distance Webster set. Web Gem for Sports Center.

21-17.  Cornish stuffs one and the Dons are closing in.

23-20. Olson kill…creeping closer. Can the Dons close this one out without the opponent making a late run?

24-20. I think so! Webster Ace! Match Point! Let’s Go!

25-20. Webster Ace again to win the match and send the Dons to the Finals! Woo!

Match 6 (Finals) – Redwood HS

The Dons fought hard, coming up on a 12-hour day of volleyball, but ultimately were outmatched by a strong and well balanced Redwood team that never let the Dons get any sustained momentum. Dons fell in two sets, 18-25, 9-25.

In the end it was an awesome day for the Dons, going 5-1, finishing in second place.