JV Dons Defeat Clayton Valley High 2-0 on Thursday

JV Dons Defeat Clayton Valley High 2-0 on Thursday

The Junior Varsity Dons closed out the second week of the season on Thursday with their fourth straight victory, defeating the visiting Clayton Valley High School Eagles 25-12 and 25-19.

The Dons struggled in the beginning of the first set, initially falling behind 2-5, and trading blows with the Eagles to a 9-9 tie. From then on, they pulled away in Dons fashion, behind the acrobatic passing of Kylie Choi, the generous sets of Mara Korzeniowska, and the withering kills of Sofie Foster and Hanna Hageboeck. A 10-point Ryann Jones serving streak brought the team to 24-11, and the set closed on an Eagles serving error.

The Dons started strong in the second set, initially outscoring the Eagles 15-4. An Eagles rally and Dons miscues tightened the game to 20-18, before the Dons took over, winning the last three points of the set behind the deep corner serves of Elsa Simas.

The game can be viewed here: Sporfie | Aca JV vs Clayton

Dons Varsity Girls Volleyball Flies Past the Ugly Eagles

Dons Varsity Girls Volleyball Flies Past the Ugly Eagles

The Dons took on the Clayton Valley Ugly Eagles on Thursday night, and they figured they would have a battle on their hands.  The Eagles feature a tall, athletic front line and some high jumpers who can pound the ball.  But, the Dons have some players too, and sure enough it was a fantastic, tightly contested match.

In set one, CV came out serving tough, and the Dons found themselves in a hole, 3-10.  Our team re-grouped with some tough serving and defense of their own.  A four point run by Erin Meade, a three point run by Carly Coffee, and a nice flying dink by Elena Needs helped the Dons work the score to 13-13.  After another nice kill through the Eagles block by Elena, Sydney Sowarby put more pressure on the Clayton defense with some tough serves.  Katelyn Olin pounded one from the middle spot to run it to 17-16 Dons.  The score was tied 20-20 when things got a little dicey for our girls, and the found themselves down 20-22.  A nice set my Erin Meade lead to another tip by Elena to get it to 23-23 and a time out by CV.  Unfortunately, the Eagles’ coach said the right thing in the huddle, and they scored a quick two points to take the set, 25-23. 

In set two, Lauren Davis started the party with a huge swing, and Annika Olson sent a message with a nice roof on the Eagles’ opposite hitter, resulting in a 4-1 Dons edge.  Clayton answered with some great kills by their middle and pins, which we all knew would happen eventually.  The Eagles were soon up 10-14 and feeling really good about it.  Senior Annika Olson had seen enough, and came through with another big block, and an overpass slam, 13-14.  Seniors Lauren Davis and Aisha Mohanty got the message as well, combining for two nice sets and rather loud kills, 15-16.  Tate Huisingh flummoxed the Eagles D with a nice tip, then Erin Meade came to the service line and delivered a timely ace, resulting in a time out for CV at 18-16 Dons.  This was going to be close.  19-19, then Elena gets a nice set from Erin and pounds one off the block.  20-19. 20 all.  Katelyn (‘she’s a sophomore’) Olin then delivered another overpass spike to make it 22-20 Dons.  Eagles get two back, 22-22.  Then 23-23, after another Elena Needs hit. Nice set Mohanty to Olin, 24-23!  They hit long on set point, 25-23 Dons!

Now we go to the deciding set. (author in play-by-play mode now, slowly but sure losing all composure):  After a nice spike, then an ace by Elena, its 2-2.  Some scrambled play follows, then Lauren Davis provides a big block off the face of the defender, 4-4.  Erin Meade serves another ace.  Annika Olson another slam.  But CV has game, 7-8.  Katelyn Olin roofs one, 8-8. Carly Coffee comes in with her famous short floater and aces the Eagles twice in a row!  They need to do some substituting to combat that serve!  Now 12-8 after a nice hit by sophomore Maya Paul.  A crazy point finished with a put away to an open spot by Carly, now 13-9, time out CV.  Crunch time!  A quick set by Meade to Olin, 14-10.  Eagles soaring again, Dons holding on to a 15-14 lead. Davis/Olin block, 16-15. 17 all.  Shorty ace number three for Carly!  And another one! Somewhere, Roger from PacRim VC is smiling.  Makenzie Sauer is now pressuring the Eagles from the outside, and they are firmly on their back foot (talon? claw? you get it). Katelyn Olin with a crafty shot makes it 22-19 Dons.  Lauren Davis goes cross court for 23-21.  23 all now, this won’t be easy!  BIG hit by Olson, 24-23.  24 all now!  Annika Olson will NOT go out like this, and she AGAIN puts the Dons up by one.  Match point, and the Eagles hit into the net…Dons win!   26-24.   High fives ensue…Dons love. 

Next match – at Alhambra on Wednesday!   Go Dons. 

Annika Olson
Makenzie Sauer
Sydney Sowarby
Team Bonding
Maya Paul
Katelyn Olin
Olin / Olson Roof
Elena “Number 10” Needs
Maya Paul
Erin Meade feeding her weapons
thank god for knee pads
Aisha Mohanty



The Acalanes Freshman Lady Dons Volleyball team is loaded with talent. That’s a truism. According to one online dictionary, a truism is “a statement that is obviously true and conveys nothing new or interesting.” Well, when the Dons took the floor against the Clayton Valley High Ugly Eagles on Thursday afternoon, those in attendance bore witness to a pair of “truisms” both of which, contrary to Webster-Merriam, are of substantial interest. 

Truism #1: Break dancing is alive and well in 2021.

Truism #2: If you want to make Chloe Lockwood really mad, give her a yellow card.

The first set of today’s Clayton Valley match was essentially a carbon copy of yesterday’s lambasting of the Las Lomas Knights. Chloe, flanked by her partners in crime— Mika Bocobo, Tea Sloane Smith, Anna Macleod, Eva McGrath, Jade Profilio, Mia Iams, and Elise Fox— annihilated the Ugly Eagles in just about every aspect of the game.

Like yesterday, the Dons rocketed to an early 7-0 lead, riding Eva’s consistent, punishing, dartlike service (which included a jaw-dropping ace to win the Dons’ fifth point). After an unexpected and equally brief change of possession, it was Jade’s turn at the line. And in typical Jade-like fashion, the feisty Libero did not disappoint. Delivering each of her serves with expert precision while miraculously plunging into the fray as if in a single motion, Jade somehow managed to find just the right spots to feed Chloe and Anna a pair of sets which hung in the air like unseen skyrockets before ripping down through the thicket of red jerseys. As a Dons fan, it was euphoric to say the least. But as soon as the scoreboard flashed 10-1, something very strange happened. An anomalous burst of the whistle preceded a peculiar, unsettling hush on both sides of the net. All eyes turned to the referee who was fumbling for something in his pocket. Could it be? Really? Yep. A yellow card. And it had Chloe’s name written all over it. As the Ugly Eagles watched this menacing force, known to them only as #14, pry the earring from her lobe, what they didn’t realize was that the set had just ended. Handing Chloe Lockwood a yellow card would be like handing the Eagles a defeat even uglier than their feathered mascot. (Another truism of extraordinary interest, by the way). Inspired by the wrath of Chloe’s ear, Tea, Jade, Mika and the Dons would win 14 of the ensuing 18 points, each more electrifying than the last, a dazzling orchestra of rotation and breathtaking kills from the entire front and back lines. With the Dons firing on all cylinders, the Ugly Eagles never stood a chance.

In fairness, wearing jewelry on the court is prohibited for good reason. Moreover, athletes should never “blame the ref” when calls don’t go their way. In this case, however, Dons fans might consider sending this ref a thank you card for stoking a fire that energized an entire team and elevated their game to “next level” proportions…

Having danced their way through the first set, the Dons celebrated their 25-4 victory with an actual dance party which evolved into an impromptu break-dancing contest between Mika and Tea, apparently two old-school souls extracting from their respective war-chests such classic moves as the Centipede, the Jackhammer and even a round of alternating Flares. The winner of the contest? Everyone in attendance…

When the dance party was over, the second set commenced and would prove dramatically different than the first. With Eva serving and some solid front-line play from Megan Hill and Elise, each delivering respective kills and an opening score of 4-1, the Dons continued to play well, underscored by some effective cross-court hits from Megan, Tea, Paige Passalacqua and Ruthy Protass. Indeed, the Dons proceeded to execute as expected, but it wasn’t long before the air became a little thicker, the net seemed a little higher, and the ball conspired against them. With the score locked at 8-8, the Ugly Eagles turned up the heat. Every misstep incurred by the Dons became opportunities for the Ugly Eagles who took full advantage. The Dons now trailing 13-8, Coach Roman called an urgent timeout, injecting Mika into what had become an unexpected dogfight against a truly inspired opponent. With their spirits lifted by Mika’s dominating presence coupled with Kira Chan’s effective serves, amazingly, the Dons would actually claw their way back, their collective desire personified by the acrobatic Tea who unleashed a stinging projectile through the defense, declaring the return of the mighty Dons with a scoreboard check of 18-22. Having won the next point and pulling within 3, the Dons ignited the crowd with an intense, 34-second rally kept alive by Eva who saved the point with a spectacular off-balance shot while literally cascading backwards on one foot.

Despite an incredibly valiant comeback effort by all Acalanes players and coaches, unfortunately, the Freshman Lady Dons fell short, losing the second set 21-25.

With their next game 5 days away, the Dons will have plenty of time to rest, reflect and prepare for what promises to be another spectacular dance. (Oh, and they might consider doing a little earring shopping as well)…

Special Senior Night for Lady Dons Water Polo With 14-7 Win Over Las Lomas

Special Senior Night for Lady Dons Water Polo With 14-7 Win Over Las Lomas

The Lady Dons Seniors enjoyed their senior night with stellar performances across the board. Having won the first 2 NCS Championships in Acalanes history as well as a State Championship, they are continuing to build their legend.

Las Lomas came in with a team much improved from years past, but they were no match for the Dons and the game was mostly over in the first quarter. Our seniors deserve special recognition for their performances last night:

  • Ava Donleavy was stellar in goal, blocking 7 or 11 shots and making several key long passes down the pool to assist in goals
  • Alana McCartney had a busy night scoring 2 goals, as well as getting 4 assists and 4 steals
  • Emma Miller was tough all around, scoring on a penalty shot and getting a crucial steal
  • Alex Mould was all over the pool with 1 goal, 2 assists and 2 steals. She will be playing water polo next year at UC Irvine.
  • Claire Rowell continued her offensive tear with 7 goals and added a steal for good mention. She will be playing water polo at UC Berkeley next year.
  • Carol Schirmer was an outstanding supporting teammate all around the game, locking down Las Lomas on defense and making 2 assists and 1 steal.

Supporting our seniors was Heidi Heffelfinger with 3 goals, 1 assist and 1 steal. Next game is Saturday against Monte Vista.

Varsity Girls Volleyball Takes Down Las Lomas in 3 Set Thriller

Varsity Girls Volleyball Takes Down Las Lomas in 3 Set Thriller

The Volleyball Dons visited the Las Lomas Knights for their first road match of the year. The teams played a best-of-3 set match and both squads were ready to compete. In set one, the Dons came out looking more like themselves after two setbacks to start the season. With senior libero Sydney Sowarby back to full health, and the return of senior Carly Coffee to the back row, the Dons showed off their depth of athletes to the Knights. Las Lomas got off to a fast start, but a big serving run by sophomore Katelyn Olin got the Dons back to the front. Some solid passing got the Dons offense in system, and a couple of nuclear kills by senior Annika Olson put the Knights on their heels. The set was closed out by a big hammer through the block by senior Lauren Davis. 25-17 Dons.

In set two, the front line was on display as the taller Dons got off to a fast start with some kills and blocks. The Knights kept is close and tied it 7-7, but a pair of short floating aces from Erin Meade forced a time out by the opponent at 11-7 Dons. Carly Coffee provided another ace to make it 14-8, but the Knights found their rhythm. The Dons tried to stem the tide at 15-15 with a big block from senior Tate Huisingh and sophomore Maya Paul. But, the Knights again used some effective hitting and tough serving to force errors by the Dons, eventually taking the set 25-18.

In set three, the pressure was turned up by both sides. The Dons went down early to the home Knights, and the limited capacity crowd was fired up. 3-6 Knights. 4-7 Knights. 7-9 Knights. 8-11 Knights. The Dons could not break through until senior Aisha Mohanty took matters into her own hands with a wicked serve, resulting in two aces, a 12-12 tie and a Las Lomas time out. Well, the time out worked, as the Knights went up 17-13, then 16-19, then 20-22. But again, here come the Dons, this time Carly Coffee with an ace to make it 22-22. Some nice swings by Elena Needs, Tate Huisingh, Lauren Davis and Annika Olson, off the buttery sets from Aisha Mohanty and Erin Meade, gave the crowd all the feels. But, a few Don’s mistakes helped the Knights get to match point, 22-24. Nervous time. The Dons front line answered and took over with two points in a row, 24 all. The Knights had a kill, now match point again, and this reporter is officially distracted. The Dons clutched up again, 25 all. After a tough serve from Aisha, and a great rally, the Dons scored to get to their own match point. C’mon girls!! Lauren Davis pounded another one through the block, 27-25, Dons prevail!

The Dons are right back at it tonight at 7:30pm at home vs Clayton Valley. Watch the action live on YouTube, search Alan Go-Acalanes to find the channel. Old school extended match – best of five tonight! Go Dons!

Carly Coffee

Erin Meade
Aisha Mohanty
Maya Paul / Annika Olson
Katelyn Olin
Tate Huisingh
Elena Needs
Lauren Davis
Annika Olson

Boys Water Polo: Dons Victorious on Senior Night

Boys Water Polo:  Dons Victorious on Senior Night

Pictured above: Left to right, Parker Tompkins, Loic Picard, Peter Archer, Jay Mills, Liam Stephenson, Ethan Del Rosario, Ethan Walker, and Jon Davis

Wednesday May 5 was Senior Night for the Acalanes Boys Water Polo team, and they were victorious in a game at home against Las Lomas. After a slow start, the Dons pulled away and held a commanding 12-6 lead early in the 4th quarter. In the end won by a score of 12-9. Senior Jay Mills had 6 goals, Senior Peter Archer added 2, and Juniors Kyle Rosenblatt and Eli Berkowitz scored 3 and 1, respectively. Warren Cooper had a game high 4 assists, and Peter, Eli and Kyle each had 3 steals. Senior Parker Tompkins had 7 saves in goal, and one long pass for an assist. 

JV Girls Volleyball Handily Beats Las Lomas

JV Girls Volleyball Handily Beats Las Lomas

The Acalanes Junior Varsity Women’s Volleyball team delivered a strong performance on Wednesday, May 5, leading to a 25-10, 25-8 win over the Las Lomas Knights on their home turf in Walnut Creek. Acalanes played confidently and consistently throughout the whole match and sailed to victory.

Here are some key statistics from the match: Sofie Foster – 6 kills; Jasmine Frost – 3 kills; Ryann Jones – 3 kills; Maddie Bacon – 3 kills; Mara Korzeniowska – 5 aces and 14 assists; Team defense – 22 digs; Team serving – 93% in.

The Dons set the tone and pace of the game from the very beginning, starting the first set with two aces by Mara Korzienowska, followed by an ace and kill from Ryann Jones. Meanwhile, Lyanne Wang, Kylie Choi and Georgia Winkles provided consistently solid passes from the back row. In the middle of the first set, Acalanes’ lead grew significantly to 15-4, thanks to several kills by Sofie Foster, a 5-point serving run from Ava Bunton, and a save by Kylie Choi that ended in a kill from Hanna Hageboeck. The Dons finished the set with a dump from Mara Korzienowska, kills by Marissa Hill and Cameron Drue, and a kill and ace from Ryann Jones.

In the second set, the Dons continued their strong performance. Maddie Bacon scored the Dons’ first point with an ace and several kills throughout the set. Sofie Foster also handed Las Lomas a handful of kills that completely evaded their defense. The middle of the set included a great rally ending with a kill by Jasmine Frost to bring the score to 11-6. Mara Korzienowska enjoyed a 12-point serving run that ended with the Dons leading 22-6. To finish things off, Jasmine Frost served the last three points, and she quickly produced a kill and then an ace to win the set.

The game can be viewed here: https://sporfie.app.link/t4TRLPWy1fb



The moment you walked into the Las Lomas gym, you realized the futility of your mask against the intensity wafting from the visitors’ side of the net.  Well before the match even began, the Las Lomas Knights—not unlike the Northgate Broncos and Campolindo Cougars before them—would fall victim to the cool, confident, machinelike pregame ritual of the Acalanes Freshman Lady Dons. Watching the fierce, intimidating, high-flying Dons perform their hitting and serving drills from across the court, the Knights seemed more awestruck than inspired. And yet all they could do was watch. In fact, they had no choice. After all, a momentary glance in the wrong direction was a risky venture—one that could result in serious bodily injury from the barrage of flying leather coming at them. It was a deafening salvo, emanating from the Dons’ primary gunners: Chloe Lockwood, Mika Bocobo, Tea Sloane Smith and Anna Macleod.

The intensity of the Dons’ pregame attack transcended the opening whistle and carried the team to an easy first set victory. Especially impressive was the all-around play of Eva McGrath and the Dons’ field commander, Jade Profilio, who orchestrated slam after slam from the likes of Mia Iams, Anna, Mika, and Tea who thrilled the gym with a particularly graceful, well-placed tip which sent half of the Knights to the wood like bowling pins. It was 0-7 before the Knights would finally call a desperation timeout. Unfortunately for the Knights, the onslaught would continue as the ball kept finding its way to Jade, then Chloe, Mia, and Mika, all of whom demonstrated power and precision in their respective services and blazing, targeted hits, elevating the Dons to a final score of 8-25.

The second set was no less thrilling for Dons fans. The second point of the set was a long, thrilling rally, kept alive by a remarkable diving pass from Paige Passalacqua to Tea. Despite losing that point, Paige would force a side-out on the very next point with a beautiful hit straight down the throat of the Knights. With a quick ace from Ruthy Protass, the Dons would win the next two points before the set became significantly more competitive. With skillful passing and timely saves from Kira Chan and Elise Fox, Eva and Tea continued their patented set-spike combination, bringing the set to 7-8 and service to the incomparable Megan Hill who imposed her will on the Knights, winning the next 7 points including the most exciting rally of the match at 7-12 when the ball crossed the net 13 times. The Don’s would quickly get the ball back and Megan’s serving prowess was matched by that of Kira, skippering the Dons through the next 5 points, underscored by a couple of nice hits from Ruthy and a dramatic windmill spike by Mia. The final points of the game were dominated by the Dons who played as if for their lives and especially Tea who fittingly served to win: 12-25.

Curiously, at the end of the match, Chloe called out to Mia: “Hey, Mia — what’s love?!” she exclaimed, apparently repeating a question that has been on their minds. As I’m sure Coaches Roman, Haley and Alan would agree, it is fair to say that the only team who has a chance at beating the Acalanes Freshman Dons this season is the Dons themselves. As long as these girls continue to play their inspired, team-oriented brand of volleyball for the duration of the season, win or lose, Chloe might realize the answer was right in front of her…



Thanks to everyone for coming out to senior day and supporting our 3 seniors who are graduating this year!!  Jasmine Toni has played Varsity singles all four years and will attend UC Santa Barbara next year. Eliza Bates has played the top line of Varsity singles all four years, she was recruited to play tennis / study at Cal Poly. She was the NCS singles champion last year and is sorry to have post season cancellations this year. Lauren Williams, has played two years on Varsity and she will attend UC Davis in the Fall. We all wish you the best as you move forward in life and continue your successful journeys. Always a Don!


Today’s match vs. Campolindo ended well. Dons won 5-4 taking home the league season win to remain undefeated.

Singles lines 1-5 (Bates, Ruczynksi, Toni, Burns, Condy) put the points on the scoreboard to seal the deal on the day with Cate Condy playing her best tennis of the year. It was Classic Cate back in action on court 6 battling it out like she’s been known to do. Because of her good form today and making a big impact today at line 5, Cate earned the Dons player of the Match. Great job Cate!


Lauren Williams put up a great fight today at line 6 singles but fell just short, 3-6, 5-7. 
In doubles, a new duo made an appearance at line 1 (Morris and Scheirer). Both Dons played very well together but lost 2-6, 3-6. Harley and Berkowitz put themselves in a good position to take the 2nd second today and possibly win their match, but the team had to retire due to a severe leg cramp from Berkowitz. No worries, she’s okay and this team will be back. And finally at line 3, Donner and Wisniewska put in a strong outing but couldn’t get the win. We’ll keep working!


JV Girls Volleyball Claims Victory Over Campo in Season Opener

JV Girls Volleyball Claims Victory Over Campo in Season Opener

In the first match of the 2020-2021 season, the Acalanes Junior Varsity Women’s Volleyball team beat Campolindo at home by a razor thin margin over the two-set match. Campo won the first set 19-25 and Acalanes won the second set 25-18. This year, we are playing two sets per match, and the winner is determined by the overall point differential. 

In the first set, both teams were fairly evenly matched in kills and errors until Campo got its bearings and pulled away to win the first set. The Lady Dons were eager to beat their cross-town rival and perhaps nerves got the best of them in the beginning.

In the second set, however, Acalanes settled down and maintained a tight lead most of the first half, then pulled away to bring home the victory. Kills by Sofie Foster and Ava Bunton as well as two aces served by Maddie Bacon were the turning points that helped boost the team’s confidence. Acalanes parents brought tons of energy and cheered on the team to victory.

The game can be viewed at this link: https://youtu.be/z8zr9-irRlQ