After almost 3 weeks of delays the NCS Girls Tennis Singles Championship took place this past Monday at Alameda’s Harbor Bay Club.

Sophomore ELIZA BATES, who played #1 singles for the Dons throughout the season, and won the DAL SINGLES title was Acalanes’  lone representative this year.

. With 14 players in the event Eliza drew the #4 seed, Senior Sasha Turchak from Berkeley High, in the 1st round…not a very lucky draw.

After a great battle in the first set with  the lead going back and forth ,  Eliza prevailed winning the set 7-5.

That first set win set the stage for Eliza to win more easily  6-0 in the 2nd set.


In the 2nd round, Eliza went up against another Senior , Angela Huang from Piedmont High, which  normally competes in the smaller Division 2 league.   Angela’s solid consistent game gave Eliza some early trouble in the 1st set, and Eliza lost the set 1-6.

This can be a difficulty of playing back to back matches on tournament days, hard to reset your focus.  But Eliza did just that …. during the second set, in the face of her opponent, Eliza stepped her game up to a very high level, and basically

did a playing  level leap-frog over her opponent ,  crushing forehands (making most of them), serving smarter, and playing to win.

Coach Drew stated ”  It was a set that he wished  everyone on the team could have seen,  because I’m sure it would have made you all proud. ”  At 5 games all, the play leveled back out a bit, and later with an unbelievable deuce

game at 5-6,  Eliza saved match point and pushed the set into a 7 point tiebreaker. With some amazing points Eliza fought to the very end but lost 5-7 in the 2nd set tiebreaker.  Heartbreaker !

Congratulations Eliza on a fantastic season the team wishes you  continued success along your personal  tennis journey!  Your hard work and determination are what make sports worth watching and worth coaching.

The opponent Angela went on to win the Singles title and will play next year at college.


DELAYED POST : Girls Varsity Tennis Exits NCS TEAM tourney amidst sadness of Bay Area smokey skies

DELAYED  POST :     Girls Varsity Tennis Exits NCS TEAM tourney amidst sadness of Bay Area smokey skies

 The  Dons traveled out to battle against the #2 seed  Amador Valley  under smoke filled skies in Round 2 of the NCS Team Championships.

 Unfortunately, the Dons lost 3-4 against Amador,  but it was a long hard fight with several matches going 3 sets.

In Singles, Eliza Bates, Sydney Bell, and Jasmine Toni came up with wins against some tough opponents.



 Sydney  came back to win her match after being down 4-1 in the first set.

 Eliza stayed on top during her match mixing up her game nicely.

Jasmine ended up winning her match in a 3rd set tiebreaker and had some of the longest rallies during the day. 

Zoe Cate fell to her opponent but came up with some excellent shot-making at the net.

In Doubles, at line 3, Kristen Campbell and Aly Sweeney kept coming back in their match but unfortunately lost a close one, 4 and 5.

At line 1, the Warenski’shad a tough day at the office.

At line 2, Vivian Toni and Madi Price went to three sets falling 5-7 in the third. They fought very hard knowing that they might be the deciding match.

 Madi P. came up with some great volleys at the net and played aggressive when the time presented itself.

Arguably, one of the most versatile players this year for the Dons, she gets the Dons Player of the Match. Nice job Madi!

Congratulations to the entire Varsity team this year it was a GREAT SEASON.


Eliza Bates will continue her high school tennis in the NCS Singles  tournament once weather permits

Final Scores
1. Win: Eliza Bates, 6-4, 6-3
2. Win: Sydney Bell, 7-5, 6-1
3. Win: Jasmine Toni, 7-6, 5-7, 10-5
4. Loss: Zoe Cate, 4-6, 4-6
1. Loss: Aly Warenski/Erin Warenski, 0-6, 3-6
2. Loss: Vivian Toni/Madi Price, 7-6, 4-6, 5-7
3. Loss: Kristen Campbell/Aly Sweeney, 4-6, 5-7

Cross Country NCS Meet; Boys Earn 5th Place Overall, Noon and Frigon earn a Place at State!

Due to air quality, the cross country NCS meet was pushed from Sat 11/17 to Tues 11/20. The air quality was still poor on Tuesday but NCS kept the event on. Acalanes varsity boys ran at 10:10am; immediately after that race, the rest of the races were called off and our girls varsity squad was not able to run.

Although Sam Roth was away, the boys performed extremely well placing 5th place out of 18 schools and 27 points behind 4th place Las Lomas. Unfortunately only the top 4 teams go to State. However, senior Riley Noon was the first Acalanes runner in scoring 8th place overall and therefore punching his ticket to the State championship meet on Saturday 11/24. Noon was followed by Junior, Nick Hudson; Senior, Josh Starr; Sophomore, Dominic Basaldua; Freshman Loic Windfuhr-Durand; Junior, Andrew Owens and Junior, Harrison Seymour. Given the poor air quality and practices being moved indoors on treadmills, the team performed exceptionally well.

For the cancelled races, NCS selected high ranked runners and teams to participate. Sophomore Nicole Frigon was selected and will also be running at the State Championship this Saturday 11/24.

We are proud of the squad and look forward to a terrific track season.

Girls Varsity Tennis wins first round of NCS vs San Ramon Valley 4-3

Girls Varsity Tennis wins first round of NCS vs San Ramon Valley  4-3

Today sparked the beginning of the NCS Team Championships for the Dons.  4 lines of singles and 3 lines of doubles is the format for the tournament.

The Dons , seeded 10th , faced San Ramon Valley ( 7th seed ) AT San Ramon.  Any combination of 4 lines winning takes the match and advances to the next round.

In Singles, Eliza Bates, Sydney Bell, Jasmine Toni, and Zoe Cate, did what they do best, WIN singles matches.

It’s always a challenge going to another environment and competing against unknown opponents. Tennis players know this all  too well, but are forced to adapt quickly.

One player who excels at this challenge is seasoned veteran, junior Zoe Cate.  Zoe had a frustrating opponent whose style of play would have driven most players crazy,

but because of her mental toughness and will to win, Zoe  never quit and came out with the victory,  which sealed the team win !

Because of this, Zoe Cate gets the Dons player of the match. 


Because of the altered tournament format some new doubles combinations were arranged to utilize some of the extra singles players.

Unfortunately all 3 Doubles lines fell short but  put in some great efforts with Vivian Toni and Rachel Minden pushing to a 3rd set tiebreaker.


Next match is Thursday against the #2 seed Amador Valley.  LETS GO DONS!

Dons Varsity Volleyball Thwarted In State Tourney by Christian Brothers in Five Sets

Dons Varsity Volleyball Thwarted In State Tourney by Christian Brothers in Five Sets

YOUR Acalanes Dons Volleyball team traveled to Sacramento in their return to the State Tournament to face off with the #4 seeded Christian Brothers Falcons. The Dons fought hard but ultimately fell in five sets, ending the season and wrapping up the Dons careers for Seniors Elsa Clever, Roxy Cummings, Rachel Go, Hayes Hollar and Cailey McVay.


First Set:

4-6:      Great digs from Clever, and then Madi Risch crushes one from the pipe.

10s:      Hollar stellar passing this time. Risch kills it again and the Dons tie it up.

11-10:  McVay! McAce! Dons take the lead.

12-10:  McVay Ace again!

14-10:  McVay Ace again. Crazy. Timeout Falcons. Christian Brothers need to figure out how to deal with the wild and very effective cheering by the small contingent of Acalanes parents that made the trip!

15-10:  McVay guess what? Another Ace!

18-13:  McVay nice pass. Go nice set. Hollar nice kill. Those seniors have practiced that so many times, and they nail it one more time.

19-17:  Big C.B. run. Timeout Dons.

22s:      Hollar kill reties it after the Falcons snatched to lead.

25-22:  Dons take the first set on the Kennedy Cornish kill as the Dons close with 4 straight behind some sharp Lane Webster serving.


Second Set:

2-4:      Cummings kill and then a Risch pipe kill after another slow Dons start.

5-4:      Risch Ace! Dons lead!

6-4:      Risch Ace! Dons still lead!

10-6:    Hollar deep kill just clips the back line.

12-8:    Hollar is on fire…another kill keeping the Falcons in their nest.

13-10:  Cornish smokes a kill.

15-10:  Awesome Go set off a tough pass, and Clever rips it for a kill.

17-13:  Cummings kill. Dons and Falcons trading points.

20-16:  Kaylin Hiatt: Dirty Ace just…barely…rolls…over…the…net…and lands softly on the court, untouched. Timeout Falcons.

21-16:  Timeout does not work: another Ace from Hiatt!

22-17:  Wild point. Risch hammers one from the pipe to end the rally.

24-18:  Webster to Go to Risch. Textbook for set point.

24-19…24-20…24-21…timeout Dons…24-22…

25! Dons hang on and win the second set 25-22. Phew!


Third Set:

1s:        Perfect Go set to Clever. Ripped.

2-3:      Hollar kill. Dons down early again.

7-5:      Hollar Ace! Dons back in the lead.

9-11:    Go dumps a winner over the net. Sneaky and stops a big Falcon attack.

10-11:  And then Go Aces it!

14s:      Cummings claws the Dons back to a tie with a kill.

15s:      Cummings again.

16s:      Cummings yet again. Is the third tie the charm?

16-18:  It’s not…timeout Dons.

18-19:  Risch Roof!

20-21:  Risch kills the Webster set.

21-23:  Risch kills the Go set.

21-25:  Christian Brothers rallies back to take the 3d set.


Fourth Set:

3-8:      Timeout Dons. Falcons have completely turned the momentum.

5-12:    Risch kill. Dons are scrambling to get back in this one.

6-15:    Annika Olson kills the Webster set, but the Dons are in big trouble.

11-19:  Olson big kill.

14-20:  Clever Roof! Dons fighting to close the gap.

18-23:  Hollar somehow scores on a wild point. Falcons defense has really stepped up and it is hard for the Dons to find any gaps.

18-25:  Dons drop the 4th to force the tiebreaker set. Let’s Go Dons!


Fifth Set:

2s:        Tied up early on the Cummings line kill. Yes Rox.

4-6:      Amazingly long rally. Back and forth. Multiple diving saves and digs. Cornish kills it to keep the Dons close.

4-11:    But the Dons struggle mightily and the Falcons reel off 5 straight. Timeout Acalanes.

5-11:    Erin Meade delivers a much needed kill.

8-14:    Oh no. Match point. Timeout Dons.

9-14:    Dons score.

10-14:  Dons score.

11-14:  Clever Roof! Dons score again. Not dead yet.

12-14:  Cummings Roof! Dons score again. Still not dead yet.

13-14:  Dons score. OMG! Risch on a roll serving. Can we get one more?

13-15:  Oh! After a wild ping-pong rally at the net the ball finds the floor…on the Don’s side…and suddenly the match is over. Almost an amazing comeback.


And so YOUR Dons finally do wrap up another season at 17-14, with a 4th place League finish in the highly competitive DAL, a North Coast Semifinalist, and a CIF State Championship appearance for just the second time in Dons history. Thanks for your support! Go Dons!

Matadome Turns Into Haunted House As the Dons Lose A Heartbreaker To Miramonte in 5 Sets

Matadome Turns Into Haunted House As the Dons Lose A Heartbreaker To Miramonte in 5 Sets

YOUR Acalanes Dons Volleyball team traveled to “The Matadome” on Halloween night to tangle with the Matadors for the third time this season (they split the first two), this time with a shot at the NCS Finals at stake.


First Set:

2s:        Roxy Cummings pushes a smart tip shot to an empty spot. Tied early as both teams are a little tight.

3-2:      Dons lead on a Hayes Hollar block.

6-2:      Hollar tips one off the back row for a winner. Mats are making lots of mistakes and they call a timeout. Dan Meade: “Is it Halloween or Christmas?”

8-3:      Super serving from Kaylin Hiatt. Super digs from Cailey McVay, and then kills from Kennedy Cornish and Madi Risch as the Dons have the Mats spooked so far.

11-5:    Three nice sets by Rachel Go on this point. Risch kills the last one…third time is the charm.

14-7:    Cummings contorts and saves one tight on the net. Great body control Rox!

18-10:  Cummings clean kill. Sweet!

21-10:  Elsa Clever Ace!

23-17:  Mats make a big run. Timeout Dons.

24-17…24-18…24-19…24-21…Timeout Dons. Scary.

25-21:  … and Risch crushes one to finish off the Attack of the Mummy-dors as the Dons win the first set.


Second Set:

3-0:      Risch Ace. Great Dons start.

4-0:      Risch Ace again.

6-1:      Hollar kills the Go set.

10-5:    Hollar Ace! Yaassss!

11-5:    Timeout Miramonte. “Did I scare you?”

13-7:    Risch the Ripper.

17-9:    Risch fires one “high hands” off the blockers, backed up by stellar Go serving and passing.

20-12:  Cummings shoots a hot potato down the line for a winner.

21-12:  Clever Ace! All trick, no treat. Timeout Mats. Dons making it look easy.

22-12:  Cornish! Roof! Dons rolling.

23-12:  Cornish! Roof! Deja vu.

24-14:  Cornish middle kill. Set point. I am sensing a pattern.

25-15:  Lane Webster sets to Hollar for a set-winning kill (welcome back Lane!). Dons take the second set.


Third Set:

1s:        Hollar back corner kill flies by all defenders like an apparition.

2-5:      Dons down. No wait. Multiple penalties on the Mats for lineup problems. Ouch, now its 3-2 Dons. Confusing.

3-7:      Timeout Dons after the Mats wiped out the score reversal with 5 in a row. Don’t ZOMBIE out on me Dons!!!

5-10:    Annika Olson kill off the Webster set.

8-11:    Go Ace. Dons charging the Matadors.

11s:      Go Ace again. R-Gooooo! Timeout Mats. Tied up!

12-13:  Makenzie Sauer with a nice kill.

13-15:  Cummings kill. Needed it to stay close.

17-18:  Webster to Olson again. Crusher.

19-18:  Risch pounds one off the back row. Dons re-take the lead.

22-19:  Go!!! Ace!!! Again!!!

22-23:  Mats run off 4 straight. Boo! Timeout Dons.

23-24:  Risch with a frightening kill, but still set point for Mats….

23-25:  Mats come back and take the third set.


Fourth Set:

3-1:      Clever rips a middle kill and follows it up with an Ace!

4-2:      Cornish kills the sweet Go set.

5-4:      Cornish kills the sweet Webster set.

6-4:      Olson kills the sweet McVay set.

7-8:      Hollar from the pipe for a kill.

8s:        McVay Ace! McTied!

9-8:      Another McVay Ace recaptures the lead!

12-11:  Cummings with a big kill down the line. Woo! Tight one here.

15s:      Webster Ace! Re-ties it. Tension.

16-15:  Dons score. Mats take a timeout.

17s:      Dons go down by one off the timeout and then Hollar re-ties it with a crafty kill. Mats like Jason…just won’t die.

19s:      Dons go down one – again – and then Cornish ties it up with a middle kill.

19-21:  Timeout Acalanes as they struggle to keep pace with the revitalized Mats.

20-22:  Risch kill. Crucial.

22s:      Timeout Mats. See-saw battle as this time Acalanes plays Freddie Krueger and comes back once again.

23s:      Risch again, to re-tie it, again. Too scary to watch!

23-25:  Same result as the third set. Like two trips through the Haunted Mansion at Disney.


Fifth Set:

1-4:      Rough start. Timeout Dons.

2-4:      Cummings kill.

3-5:      Cornish kill.

4-10:    Risch kill, but Mats are in control. This is turning in to Fright Night.

6-13:    Clever kill. Dons need to cast a spell on Miramonte.

7-13:    Go Ace! Great serving Rachel!

7-15:    Ball bounces all the wrong ways in the fifth for the Dons, and the Mats win the set and hence the match, driving a stake through the heart of the Dons fans in the gym. Sad!


And so the Dons finish with a third-place result in the NCS tourney and wrap up a great 17-13 season marked by tough opponents, great improvement, and a strong finish down the home stretch…but wait…is the season really over yet?…stay tuned Dons fans.












Varsity Football tops Alhambra 44-36

Highlights were everywhere for the Dons last Friday night as they played a great game and defeated Alhambra 44-36. Some of the big plays and players in the game were:

-Mike O’Donnell playing WR caught a backward pass from QB Nick Kresnak and threw a long TD to Chris Rogers.
-Rogers caught a second long TD and then came in on defense to shut down Alhambra’s best WR.
-Luke Miles, Tommy Thrasher, Drew Campillo and Rogers each had a big interception.
-Alex Cortessis got to the Alhambra QB three times for sacks.
-Jake Gilbert had a key QB sack.
-Nick Pearson had a whopping seven solo tackles from his cornerback position.
-Lucas Eppinger caught a TD pass and had several long receptions where he showed off some nice jukes.
-Keaziah Smith caught a long TD in traffic with QB Kresnak rolling left and showing off his strong arm.
-Jake Delaney caught multiple TD’s and another awesome long pass with Kresnak rolling right and throwing left.
-Kresnak sealed the win with a sweet TD run after faking the option pitch.
The JV Dons defeated host Alhambra, by the score of 38-25. Ball security was an issue for the Dons. The offense was led by Brady Huchingson, Graham Oh, Joe Evans, Nico Cortessis and Jackson Dumas-Aris. Logan Hope had his best game of the year on defense. Oh had numerous tackles from his linebacker position, safety Thomas Schrader had an interception and a key onside kick recovery to help stop the Alhambra comeback! The JV Dons football team finished the year with a 7-3 record.

Frosh Dons Football Ends Season with a Win over Kennedy

Frosh Dons Football Ends Season with a Win over Kennedy

The Freshman football team traveled to Fremont to play Kennedy High School on Thursday afternoon.  After taking a commanding lead up 28-0 at half time, the Dons ended their season with a convincing win with a final score of 41-20.

Logan Ketchum

On their first possession of the game, the offense established their running game, marching down the field.  Dante Montgomery powered up the middle to find the end zone for a TD.

The defense continued to be dominant, stopping the Titans running game and pressuring their QB.  Logan Ketchum, Sam Hafner, and Charlie Solari all had big plays on defense.  Ryan Giorgianni and Brady Brinkman were also standouts on defense and special teams.  Evan Malmquist was impressive with several tackles and a ‘pick-6.’  Just like last week’s game, there were 18 different kids with tackles!

Jack Wood

On offense, Luke Souza had a very efficient game and was 8-11 passing for 205 yards with 3 TD’s and a 2 pt conversion.  Miles Bergman and Jack Wood each had long receptions for TD’s.  Evan Malmquist had a TD reception.  Miles Bergman picked up a bad snap on a punt attempt and ran it back 55 yards for a TD.  Will Berrien pulled in several catches for lots of yardage on offense.

The Freshman Dons Football team ended their season with an impressive record of 8-1-1.