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Pleasanton Preps: Foothill, Amador volleyball post playoff wins

Dons head into NCS football playoffs as No. 6, traveling to Freedom

The Foothill and Amador Valley girls volleyball teams grabbed a pair of North Coast Section Division I playoff wins last week to move into a semifinal showdown on Halloween.

In their opener, the Falcons beat Pittsburg 25-13, 25-22, 25-16. Grayce Olson led the way with 10 kills and 7 digs. Naya Williamson also had 10 kills and added 6 digs, and Ishana Ram had 34 assists and 11 service points.

In the second round, the Falcons dispatched Berkeley 25-23, 25-8, 25-19. Olson had 18 kills and 4 digs, with Emily Haskell adding 23 digs and 9 service points, 4 of which were aces. Riley Francis had 11 service points and 2 kills to round out the highlights.

The Falcons were well-represented on the All-East Bay Athletic League team.

Haskell was the MVP of the league, with Olson also being named to the first-team. Haley Roundtree and Ram were second-team picks, with Williamson earning honorable mention.

The Dons, meanwhile, opened the playoffs with a straight-set win over Irvington with a 25-14, 25-11 and 25-15 victory.

Senior right-side hitter Sarah Rieble led the attack with 11 kills and 4 service aces. Senior setter Helen Xiao stuffed her stat line with 4 kills, 4 service aces, 7 digs and 23 assists.

Other major contributors to Amador's win were Mahlia Jackson (5 kills, 4 service aces, 3 blocks) and Kaitlyn McFall (4 kills and 4 blocks).

The win set up a quarterfinal battle with Redwood, where the Dons rallied from an opening-set loss to get the win by 17-25, 25-23, 25-10 and 28-26.

In the second set, Amador Valley was down 22-18, but behind the serves of Jackson and Jillian Wittenauer and the hitting of Rieble and Rachel Malmrose, the Dons outscored the Giants 7-1 to tie the match at a set apiece.

In the fourth set, the Dons were down 24-22 with the Giants on the verge of sending the match to a fifth set. Amador staged another big comeback taking the fourth set and marching into the semifinals.

The Dons were also well-represented on the All-EBAL teams. Rieble and Xiao were first-team selections, with Jackson a second-team honoree. McFall was the final selection, earning as honorable mention selection.

Amador vs. Foothill water polo

Amador trailed Foothill 9-7 heading into the final quarter, but the Dons rode a youth movement in the final frame to come away with a 11-10 win.

The Dons led 3-1 at the end of the first quarter, but Foothill rallied, outscoring Amador 8-4 over the middle two periods to take the lead into the final quarter.

Behind big play from sophomores Josh Freeman and Devon Kost -- they finished with 4 goals and 3 goals, respectively -- Amador rallied for the win.

It was the first victory for Amador over Foothill since 2014.

Standouts for Foothill in the game were Ryan Weiglein with 3 goals on 6 shots and Nathan Williams with 3 goals on 10 shots.

Sanjay Menon added 2 goals, while Dylan Weiglein added 1 goal and 3 assists and Jesse Goodman added a counterattack goal off an excellent pass by Eugene Kruger. Goalkeeper Moises Ambriz added 9 saves and 1 steal.

Football

The Dons grabbed the unofficial title of "Champions of Pleasanton" with a 31-20 win over Foothill last Friday.

The victory gave Amador a final regular season record of 8-2 and the No. 6 seed in the upcoming NCS Division I playoffs. Due to the dilution of the NCS divisions, the Dons have a bye in the first round and will play No. 3 seed Freedom on the road on either Nov. 9 or 10.

With the loss, the Falcons finished their injury-riddled season at 2-8.

On the junior varsity side, Brendan O'Sullivan connected with Brendyn Hoag for a touchdown on the game's final play as Amador beat Foothill 27-21 last Friday.

With the game tied in the final moments, the Dons recovered a Foothill fumble on the Amador 34. O'Sullivan hit Hoag for a 41-yard gain, setting up the final game-winner.

Editor's note: Dennis Miller is a contributing sports writer for the Pleasanton Weekly. To contact Miller or submit local high school sports scores, game highlights and photographs for his weekly Pleasanton Preps column, email him at acesmag@aol.com.

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