Repeat NCS Championships for Girls Water Polo

Repeat NCS Championships for Girls Water Polo

It took the Girls Water Polo team 25 years to win its first ever NCS Open Championship. It took one year to get their second. The Lady Dons made it back to back NCS Open Division championships after winning a hard fought final against local rival Miramonte. It was not the prettiest game. The Dons struggled for their usual fluency and at times were indebted to goalie Ava Donleavy, who made a string of fine saves, but in the end they got the job done and in the process took their season record to 24-0 and extended the winning streak to 51.

On a chilly evening the game was played under the floodlights in front of a raucous crowd with standing room only. However, despite the intense atmosphere for the second game in succession the Dons began slowly and found themselves a goal down to the opposition’s first attack. A quick rally saw Jewel Roemer score with a strong shot from a pass from Alex Mould but as in the semi-final the Dons stumbled again and found themselves down 1-2. It could have been worse but for a strong right hand from goalie Donleavy keeping out a goal bound shot. The Lady Dons continued to look tight and nervous and were thankful when a stunning, no look, backhand goal from Claire Rowell off an assist from Alana McCartney brought them level. Now the Dons could relax and start to play and as the quarter progressed the Dons began to gain the upper hand, shutting down the Miramonte attack and creating opportunities at the other end. Roemer converted a five meter penalty shot from a foul on Rowell before a delightful long pass from Donleavy found Roemer breaking fast, Roemer caught the ball and in one motion shot past the goalie to gasps of admiration from the crowd. It was 4-2 at the end of the first quarter.

If the crowd thought that was the signal for goals to flow they were to be disappointed. Defenses remained on top and clear opportunities were scarce. The second quarter brought just one goal each, with Roemer converting for the Dons with another strong shot from an assist by McCartney. It was 5-3 at half time. The second half continued in similar fashion with few opportunities for either team. The Dons continued to edge ahead but each time Miramonte hauled them back. McCartney scored first for the Dons from an assist by Rowell and then Roemer converted a second five meter penalty shot after a foul on Rowell. It was 7-5 after three quarters with all to play for. The Dons started the fourth quarter brightly and were rewarded with an outstanding goal from Brooke Westphal who swept the ball into the net with a scoop shot that brought the crowd to its feet, the pass in coming from Rowell. Refusing to lie down, Miramonte responded with a goal of their own. The final minutes saw Acalanes run out the clock to win 8-6 and remain undefeated. Roemer scored five goals, two of them penalty shots, with other goals from Rowell, McCartney and Westphal. McCartney and Rowell contributed two assists each with another from Mould. Rowell and Mould made two steals each with others from McCartney, Roemer, Schirmer and Westphal. Goalkeeper Ava Donleavy made 9 saves.

The Dons now progress to the CIF state championships with a home game against Saint Francis of Mountain View at 5pm on Tuesday 19th November.

Dons Summit Tamalpais in NCS Division 1 Semifinal 10-9

Dons Summit Tamalpais in NCS Division 1 Semifinal 10-9
Patience is a virtue
The Dominator
Play-by-Play

Tamalpais2 – 1 – 3 – 3 — 9
Acalanes5 – 1 – 1 – 3 — 10

4th – 0:00End of the 4th Period
4th – 0:04ACALTimeout taken by Acalanes
Full Timeout
4thTAMAShot taken by 7 Willem Palmer
Missed
4th – 0:27TAMAGoal scored by 4 Max Pollack
Even Strength – TAMA 9, ACAL 10
4th – 0:33TAMATimeout taken by Tamalpais
Full Timeout
4thTAMAShot taken by 10 Connor Stauffer, saved by 1A Zack Benisek
4thTAMATurnover by Tamalpais, stolen by 7 Mike Winther
4th – 3:16ACALTimeout taken by Acalanes
Full Timeout
4thTAMAShot taken by 10 Connor Stauffer, saved by 1A Zack Benisek
4th – 3:37ACALGoal scored by 8 Eli Berkowitz
Even Strength – TAMA 8, ACAL 10
4thTAMATurnover by Tamalpais, stolen by 2 Charlie Bettencourt
4th – 4:25TAMAExclusion on 9 Lucien Roose
4th – 4:38TAMAGoal scored by 4 Max Pollack
Even Strength – TAMA 8, ACAL 9
4thTAMAShot taken by 10 Connor Stauffer, blocked by 2 Charlie Bettencourt
Blocked by Defense
4th – 5:28ACALGoal scored by 7 Mike Winther, assisted by 6 Mac Darin
Even Strength – TAMA 7, ACAL 9
4thTAMATurnover by Tamalpais, stolen by 6 Mac Darin
4th – 5:47ACALGoal scored by 6 Mac Darin, assisted by 1A Zack Benisek
Even Strength – TAMA 7, ACAL 8
4th – 6:28ACALNow playing goalie for Acalanes 1A Zack Benisek, replacing 1 Parker Tompkins
4th – 6:28TAMAGoal scored by 10 Connor Stauffer
Even Strength – TAMA 7, ACAL 7
4th – 7:00ACALSprint: null vs. 22 William Stryker
Acalanes Wins
4th – 7:00Start of the 4th Period
3rd – 0:00End of the 3rd Period
Franklin Sports Water Polo Pool Goal
3rdTAMAShot taken by 10 Connor Stauffer
Hit Post
3rd – 0:51TAMAGoal scored by 10 Connor Stauffer
Even Strength – TAMA 6, ACAL 7
3rd – 1:06ACALGoal scored by 6 Mac Darin
Powerplay – TAMA 5, ACAL 7
3rd – 1:09TAMAExclusion on 6 Aidan Forbes
3rdTAMATurnover by Tamalpais, stolen by 6 Mac Darin
3rd – 2:15TAMAGoal scored by 6 Aidan Forbes
Even Strength – TAMA 5, ACAL 6
3rdACALShot taken by 14 Jay Mills
Missed
3rdACALShot taken by 2 Charlie Bettencourt, saved by 01 Nikita Valajev
Corner
3rd – 3:54TAMAExclusion on 10 Connor Stauffer
3rdACALShot taken by 17 Andrew Sappal, saved by 01 Nikita Valajev
3rdTAMATurnover by Tamalpais, stolen by 1 Parker Tompkins
3rdACALShot taken by 2 Charlie Bettencourt
Missed
3rdACALShot taken by 7 Mike Winther, saved by 01 Nikita Valajev
3rdTAMATurnover by Tamalpais, stolen by 14 Jay Mills
3rd – 6:33TAMAGoal scored by 4 Max Pollack
Even Strength – TAMA 4, ACAL 6
3rd – 7:00ACALSprint: 5 Ethan Zener vs. 17 Andrew Sappal
Acalanes Wins
3rd – 7:00Start of the 3rd Period
2nd – 0:00End of the 2nd Period
2ndACALShot taken by 2 Charlie Bettencourt, saved by 01 Nikita Valajev
2nd – 0:14TAMAExclusion on 9 Lucien Roose
2nd – 0:28TAMAGoal scored by 4 Max Pollack
Powerplay – TAMA 3, ACAL 6
2nd – 0:53ACALExclusion on 22 William Stryker
2ndTAMAShot taken by 8 Myles Cherry, saved by 1 Parker Tompkins
Corner
2ndACALShot taken by 22 William Stryker
Hit Post
2ndTAMATurnover by Tamalpais, stolen by 7 Mike Winther
2ndTAMAShot taken by 4 Max Pollack
Hit Post
2ndACALShot taken by 3 Peter Archer, saved by 01 Nikita Valajev
2ndTAMAShot taken by 4 Max Pollack, saved by 1 Parker Tompkins
2nd – 5:03ACALGoal scored by 2 Charlie Bettencourt
Even Strength – TAMA 2, ACAL 6
2ndTAMAShot taken by 4 Max Pollack, blocked by 5 Ethan Del Rosario
Blocked by Defense
2ndTAMATurnover by Tamalpais, stolen by 14 Jay Mills
2nd – 6:39TAMAExclusion on 7 Willem Palmer
2nd – 7:00ACALSprint: 5 Ethan Zener vs. 17 Andrew Sappal
Acalanes Wins
2nd – 7:00Start of the 2nd Period
1st – 0:00End of the 1st Period
Mikasa Shotmaker Rebounder
1stTAMAShot taken by 7 Willem Palmer
Missed
1stTAMAShot taken by 7 Willem Palmer
Hit Post
1st – 0:43ACALGoal scored by 6 Mac Darin
Even Strength – TAMA 2, ACAL 5
1st – 1:09ACALExclusion on 22 William Stryker
1stACALShot taken by 6 Mac Darin
Hit Post
1stTAMAShot taken by 10 Connor Stauffer
Missed
1st – 2:32ACALGoal scored by 14 Jay Mills, assisted by 7 Mike Winther
Even Strength – TAMA 2, ACAL 4
1st – 2:52ACALGoal scored by 2 Charlie Bettencourt, assisted by 14 Jay Mills
Even Strength – TAMA 2, ACAL 3
1st – 3:41TAMAGoal scored by 10 Connor Stauffer
Powerplay – TAMA 2, ACAL 2
1st – 3:54ACALExclusion on 3 Peter Archer
1st – 4:19ACALGoal scored by 6 Mac Darin, assisted by 1 Parker Tompkins
Even Strength – TAMA 1, ACAL 2
1stTAMAShot taken by 9 Lucien Roose
Missed
1st – 4:49ACALGoal scored by 6 Mac Darin
Powerplay – TAMA 1, ACAL 1
1stACALShot taken by 22 William Stryker
Hit Post
1st – 5:15TAMAExclusion on 5 Ethan Zener
1st – 5:31TAMAGoal scored by 9 Lucien Roose
Powerplay – TAMA 1, ACAL 0
1st – 5:50ACALExclusion on 2 Charlie Bettencourt
1stACALShot taken by 6 Mac Darin
Blocked by Defense
1st – 7:00ACALSprint: 5 Ethan Zener vs. 14 Jay Mills
Acalanes Wins
1st – 7:00Start of the 1st Period
1st – 7:00ACALStarting at goalie 1 Parker Tompkins
1st – 7:00TAMAStarting at goalie 01 Nikita Valajev
Acalanes Stats
##NameSh.GAPTSEXDEXSTL
2Charlie Bettencourt5202101
3Peter Archer1000100
4Liam Stephenson0000000
5Ethan Del Rosario0000000
6Mac Darin7516002
7Mike Winther2112002
8Eli Berkowitz1101000
9Ethan Walker0000000
10Kyle Rosenblatt0000000
11Scott Murphy0000000
12Jon Davis0000000
14Jay Mills2112002
15Mitchell Franklin0000000
17Andrew Sappal1000000
22William Stryker2000200
1Parker Tompkins0011001
1AZack Benisek0011000
##NameGASVSvPCTSTL
1Parker Tompkins72.2221
1AZack Benisek22.5000

Girls Polo Wins 50th in a Row – Advances to NCS Final

Girls Polo Wins 50th in a Row – Advances to NCS Final

After a comfortable win in the first round of the NCS playoffs the Lady Dons moved onto a semi-final against San Ramon Valley HS on Wednesday night. The Dons were looking to take their season record to 23-0 and extend their winning streak to 50, going back to 2018. SRV reached the semi-final after a 10-7 victory over Las Lomas HS in the first round and arrived as the fourth seed and EBAL champions. On a cold evening, the game started frenetically with mistakes at both ends as both teams showed their nerves. To the crowd’s surprise, SRV struck first with a sharply taken back hand giving them an early lead. Acalanes countered with a goal from Claire Rowell on a fast break off a long pass out from goalie Ava Donleavy, but SRV came again and took a 2-1 lead. For a moment the Lady Dons looked rattled to find themselves behind but gradually they took control and another goal from Rowell after a pass from Heidi Heffelfinger followed by goals for Roemer on a fast break and Heidi Heffelfinger from an assist by sister Mary Beth made it 4-2 at the end of the first quarter. That was as close as it was to get as the Dons settled into their game and moved through the gears.

The second quarter brought a goal from Rowell with an assist from Brooke Westphal, a five meter penalty shot from Roemer after a foul on Caroline Schirmer and a goal for Mary Beth Heffelfinger with an assist by Roemer to make it 7-3 to the Dons at half time.

The game continued to be tight in the second half with no quarter given and the third quarter brought just two goals, both for the Dons and both for Alana McCartney, the first with an assist from Alex Mould and the second assisted by Roemer. It was 9-3 after three quarters. More of the same in the fourth quarter as the Dons extended their lead with goals by Westphal after an assist by Roemer, another five meter penalty shot by Roemer after another foul on Schirmer and a final goal from Rowell with an assist by Roemer. The score finished 12-5 to the Dons putting them into the NCS final. Rowell scored four goals with further scores coming from Roemer (3), McCartney (2), Heidi Heffelfinger, Mary Beth Heffelfinger and Brooke Westphal. Roemer made four assists and five steals, with other steals coming from Rowell (4), McCartney (3), Mould (3), Heidi Heffelfinger, Mary Beth Heffelfinger, Schirmer and Westphal.

The final will be played at 6pm on Saturday at Acalanes against Miramonte HS where the Dons look to repeat last year’s first and only NCS Championship for the team.

Volleyball Dons End Season With Loss to Branson in State Playoffs

Volleyball Dons End Season With Loss to Branson in State Playoffs

Dons Run With the Bulls…Again

In their unmatched wisdom, the CIF State Tournament Selection Committee thought it would be a good idea to stage a rematch of the NCS D3 Finals just three nights later. OK Boomers, shake it off. So, YOUR Acalanes Dons Women’s volleyball team headed back over to College of Marin on Ground Hog Day to take their third and final crack at Bull fighting this season, looking for an epic road win over Branson to advance from the opening round of the State Division 2 NorCal bracket and keep the season alive.

The Dons came in fired up and delivered some awesome highlights for your enjoyment:

First Set:

1-0: Dons take the early lead on a Lane Webster set to Madi Risch for a low, sharp kill.

3-4: Risch big Ace.

4-5: Multiple Sydney Sowarby digs keep the point alive, but Branson finally scores. Then Annika Olson comes right back and smokes an angle kill.

6-7: Kaylin Hiatt wicked serve. Overpass. Olson crush. Yummy!

7s: Webster block winner. It’s tied up!

10-9: Sowarby dig. Webster set. Olson kill. Textbook. Dons playing loose.

11-12: Big Kylie Wood block heads off a 3-0 Bulls stampede.

12s: Kennedy Cornish ties it back up again with a smart dink in the middle. Dons are hanging with the bovines tonight.

13-17: Not so fast. Big Bull run and the Dons need a timeout.

14-18: Erin Meade ripped kill helps, but the Dons need some magic.

16-23: Timeout Dons. Rough patch.

17-25: Ouchy. Dons drop the first set despite a spirited effort.

Second Set:

1s: Risch tools the block. Ha!

2-3: Meade tools the block. Ya!

4-3: Cornish Ace untouched!

6-3: See above. Woo! Timeout Branson. In 8 sets against Branson this year this is the Dons largest set lead so far.

8-4: Long rally…multiple digs and passes: Olson, Sowarby, Risch, Hiatt. Dons score!

9-4: Hiatt Ace!

10-6: Risch pipe kill from the back row filets the steers.

10-11: Angry Bulls charge back with a huge run.

15-12: Dons counter with their own run and get back up by 3 on a Cornish stuff of an overpass.

18-17: Risch with an unbelievable dig. Olson rewards it with a kill. Dons back on top!

19-17: And then Hiatt drills an Ace to the back line that is All…Most…Out. Woo!

20-19: Sowarby dives forward for the dig and Wood kills a “1” set in the middle with just enough mustard. Timeout Branson.

20-22: Three straight off the timeout by Branson and now it’s Acalanes turn for time out. Dadgummit!

22-24: Wild scramble. Bulls and Dons everywhere. Risch kill. Dons still alive but zombie cows won’t stop.

25-22: Ouchy #2.

Third Set:

2-0: Meade kill. Dons winning for now…

4-1: Elena Needs pass…Webster sets Risch…kill.

6-1: Timeout Branson. Can the Dons capitalize on their lead this time?

7-2: Needs pass…Webster set…Meade kill. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

9-5: Meade feeling it. (Thanks Hunter).

9s: More zombie cow attacks and it’s tied. Can’t stop ‘em.

10-9: Loooonnng rally. Multiple Webster saves. Needs kill.

11s: Dons re-tie it on a Risch Bomb.

15-14: Risch Ace! Huge one. Dons need a run to finally bbq the Bulls in a set this season.

16-19: Dons timeout. Trying to hang on. Branson is relentless if not flashy.

17-19: Sweet Webster set and Needs kills it. Let’s Go!

18-19: Bulls hit long. Point Dons. Come on!

18-22: Slipping away again. No! Bad Bull.

20-22: Webster & Wood Roofing Company get a block. Fight!

21-23: Risch back row kill. Hang On Please!

21-24: Match Point Bulls…(sigh)

22-24. Risch rolls a winner off the tape and Branson takes another timeout. Breathe people. Still Match Point.

23-24: Sowarby saves the match with a dive-roll dig and Risch fires off a searing kill. Still Match Point…

24s: Webster serve…Bulls hit it long. Out! Tied! Not Match Point!

24-25: Branson Match Point #4 (sigh).

25s: Risch crusher. Tied again!

26-25: Risch Ace! Set Point Dons!

26s: Tied yet again.

27-26: Needs stuffs an overpass. Set Point again!

27s: Tied again. Goodness.

28-27: Meade big kill! Set Point once again for Aca. ‘Sco Dons!!!

29-27: Win! Wow! How! Not sure. Let’s play more!

Fourth Set:

1-0: Dons lead. Cornish hits one off the blocker after at least 12 exchanges across the net on an amazing point. Bravo to both teams for the hustle. Even the fans are tired.

1-7: Timeout Dons after 7 straight from Branson. Not pretty won’t lie.

3-9: Needs line-kills the velvet Webster set. So smooth.

8-14: Needs records another nice kill, and then a solid Sowarby pass (high level of difficulty) to Webster sets up a Wood kill in the middle. At this point the Dons are like your golf game. You know it’s in there somewhere but you can’t find it. With that middle winner Senior Kylie Wood scores her final point for the white and blue!

8-18: Senior Madi Risch subs out and leaves the floor for the last time as a Don, capping off an incredible 4-year varsity career. State Champion!

9-20: Dons running out of time, but Senior Captain Lane Webster dumps one last sneak attack over the net for a campfire winner, the last of hundreds of assists and scores during her outstanding 4-year varsity career. State Champion!

10-20: Sowarby sweet Ace! Dons fighting to the end.

11-20: Diving point-saving dig from Senior Kaylin Hiatt, laying it out on the floor till the very end of her Acalanes career.

12-20: Senior Captain Kennedy Cornish lofts a deep ball to the back corner for a win…one of the final Dons points for the prolific and creative scorer. Yeah Ken! Timeout Branson.

13-22: Mackenzie Sauer line kill.

14-22: Meade tip winner.

16-22: Sauer rips it off the blocker.

18-24: Cornish stuffs an overpass. Your correspondent’s final Yummy!

18-25: Branson scores and takes the match.

The Dons therefore complete this outstanding season with an overall 19-8 record, a second-place league finish at 7-3, a North Coast D3 Finals appearance and a first-ever Division 2 placement in the CIF State Tournament. Well done Coach Haley, Coach Alan and Coach Roman and kudos to all the players!

Meanwhile YOUR faithful correspondent is signing off for the last time and passing the baton to the next Don’s volleyball scribe. It’s been an honor to report on Don’s volleyball for the last six years and to keep the “write-up” tradition alive as it was passed down! Go Dons!

Girls Tennis wins first round NCS: 4-3 Next match at SRV High Thursday at 5pm

The Dons took the courts under the lights for their first night match. 3 Doubles and 3 Singles started the match and the Dons took early control. Jasmine Toni played some of her best tennis of the season and defeated a tough opponent to be the first court completed and earn Don of the Day award. Analese Ruczynski won singles and Zoe Cate / Martha Burns, and Madi Price/ Aly Sweeney won their doubles. Great job Dons and happy birthday Cate Condy.

Lady Dons Go For 50th Straight Win Tonight

Lady Dons Go For 50th Straight Win Tonight

Come cheer on your Lady Dons Water Polo Team tonight, 6:30 at Acalanes Pool, where they face San Ramon Valley in the NCS Semi-Finals. With a win they advance to the finals and would notch their 50th straight victory dating back to last year. In that campaign the Dons finished a perfect 27-0 while this year they currently sit at 22-0.

Catch a double header … the boys team plays immediately prior, game time 5:30.

Dons chop Redwood in NCS Division 1 Quarterfinals

Dons chop Redwood in NCS Division 1 Quarterfinals
Taking a break from the action
Who wants it?!
Acalanes Stats
##NameSh.GAPTSEXDEXSTL
2Charlie Bettencourt6303200
3Peter Archer1112001
4Liam Stephenson0000000
5Ethan Del Rosario0000000
6Mac Darin11639302
7Mike Winther3000200
8Eli Berkowitz0000201
9Ethan Walker0000000
10Kyle Rosenblatt0000000
11Scott Murphy0011000
12Jon Davis0000000
14Jay Mills3202210
15Mitchell Franklin0000000
17Andrew Sappal0011100
22William Stryker2202000
1Parker Tompkins0011002
##NameGASVSvPCTSTL
1Parker Tompkins113.2142

Dons Volleyball Finishes 2nd in NCS Division III

Dons Volleyball Finishes 2nd in NCS Division III

On Saturday, the second seed Acalanes Dons traveled to the College of Marin to take on the top seed Branson Bulls in the NCS championship game.

The Bulls had dispensed with the Dons earlier in the season, winning in straight sets 3 games to 0.  Now, with an NCS title on the line, the Dons were eager for a rematch, and came out ready to compete. The level of volleyball was very high and the crowd of about 150 fans was treated to an awesome display of effort, athleticism, teamwork and sportsmanship by both squads. Unfortunately, the Dons were unable to get past the Bulls.

Here is a recap of Saturday’s action:

0-4 The Dons started off slowly

2-4 Madi Risch kill

3-5 Risch kill

4-5 Erin Meade kill

5-7 Meade kill

6-7 Kaylinn Hiatt good serve Lane Webster tough set Risch kill

7-7 Hiatt ace; Hiatt continuing her strong serving from the NCS semis

9-9 Mackenzie Sauer kill

10-10 Kylie Wood kill

11-11 Webster dig Kennedy Cornish tip

12-14 Meade kill

13-14 Risch kill

14-14 lift

15-14 Cornish Meade block, first lead for the Dons!

16-14 incredible rally Risch with the kill; timeout Branson; unfortunately the timeout works…

18-19 Wood kill

19-20 Wood kill

20-25 Branson takes over down the stretch

1-3 Cornish block

1-9 Yikes

2-9 Elena Needs with the kill

3-9 Needs serves then digsCornish tip

4-11 Risch kill

5-11 Cornish ace

7-12 Hiatt ace, Hiatt’s serving sparks a Dons rally

8-12 Needs kill

9-12 Risch kill

9-12 timeout Branson

10-12 Needs off roof ricochet

Webster great play to get Dons the point

11-14 Wood tip

13-15 Needs kill

14-18 Cornish block

15-25 the Bulls again close strong

Game 3:

1-1 Cornish kill

2-1 Risch kill

4-5 Needs back row kill

5-6 Risch kill

11-11 Cornish kill

12-13 Olivia Elliott kill

13-15 Risch through the block for the kill

14-16 Risch kill

15-16 Hiatt ace

15-19 timeout Dons

16-21 Risch kill

18-23 Cornish

19-23 Elliott block

21-25 Branson takes the title

Since Acalanes advanced to the Final Four of the NCS Division III bracket, they have qualified for the 2019 CIF State Playoff. On Sunday, the Dons were informed that they had been moved up to the Division II bracket of CIF playoffs, as a #10 seed. Oddly enough, their familiar foe Branson was also moved up, as a #7 seed, and will be the Dons’ opponent on Tuesday November 12th at 6pm at Branson. Bracket below:

https://scorebooklive.com/volleyball/tournaments/26