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.
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.