In front of the largest home crowd the season, the two teams put on an amazing show, with both teams getting to large leads in different sets and comebacks galore. You could feel the tension in the gym in warmups with first place in league at stake. This was set to be a battle of wills, and everyone had a feeling this matchup was going the distance to 5 sets.
Set one, #7 MaeLin Mason came out swinging hard with a thunderous kill to get the home crowd roaring. #17 Sophia Terry had a kill from the middle after a great set by #16 Emme Seelenbacher. #1 Jade Profilio had a well-placed ace to increase the Dons early lead. #9 Piper Coy had kills from both the OH and Oppo position to secure a couple more points. Jade had a ridiculous dig to fire up her teammates and coaches from the sideline. #12 Addy Treter also had multiple kills to keep us in the set after a comeback by the Cougars. It wasn’t enough as the visiting team won 24-26 in an extremely close set.
In set two, the Dons knew they couldn’t drop this one as being down 0-2 in sets would be a death sentence. Piper had a perfect roll kill to an open spot which had the Cougars grasping at straws. Emme had some great serves and aces to help push the Dons to even the score. #10 Annie Baker had an amazing run of kills to increase the lead. #8 Rena Liu continued her season long ace party with another one. With another great set by Emme, MaeLin crushed a kill off their block. The Dons were able to pull this one out with a 25-19 second set win to even up the match.
Set three would be another back-and-forth situation that would have the fans trying to catch their breath. #13 Addi Ames contributed with a fierce kill which made the Cougars take notice. #11 Christina Hageboeck brought the hammer down on her serving that resulted in a couple of amazing aces. Sophia continued her strong game with another kill off the block that seemed to frustrate the opposition. The Cougars kept the pressure on the Lady Dons with a few thunderous kills. Although we were able to dig a few out, it wasn’t enough as the Cougars won set three, 19-25.
With their backs against the wall, the Dons dug themselves a bit of a hole early in set four. In order to force a set five, a comeback was in order. Emme had 3 aces to really help the home team start a comeback. Piper had 3 more kills to show the Cougars that we couldn’t be pushed around on our home court. #4 Mika Bocobo smoked an ace to bring the home crowd to their feet. MaeLin also had an ace and kill to bring us, oh so close, to extending the match. The comeback was complete as the Dons won set four 25-23, extending the game for a game deciding set five.
Again, the Don’s fell behind early. Because set five only goes to 15, the urgency to comeback quickly could be felt along the sidelines. Piper again had multiple kills to change the tide in the set. Jade had a crazy dig again that resulted in a MaeLin kill to fire up anyone wearing blue and white. Addy Treter had a cool kill from the middle position to gain another point for the Dons. The lead proved too big for Acalanes to recover from and lost 13-15. It was a heartbreaking loss for Acalanes but something the Lady Dons can learn from to take to their next match up with the Cougars on their home court at the end of the league season.