For the seniors on the Amador Valley comp cheerleading team, their high school careers could not have ended in a better way as the Dons brought home their second national championship at the USA Spirit Nationals held in Anaheim from Feb. 25-27.
Competing Medium Novice Division, the Dons and Villa Park separated themselves from the competition on the first day, with Villa Park holding the top spot.
In the final round on Sunday, Amador's squad came through by flawlessly executing the Amador coaching staff's choreography of stunting and tumbling routines.
The team was led by captains Shay McIntyre and Maddie Cowan, as well as seniors Riley Richards, Cortney Fiske, Grace Corriea, Lila Hopkins, Kayla Robertson and Riley Ladue.
The talented team is comprised of eight seniors, three juniors, three sophomores and four freshmen.
It was a solid week for the Falcons as they took all three of their matches.
After dropping the first set, Foothill roared back and took three straight to beat Dougherty Valley 3-1.
The highlights came from Tyler Keala, (17 kills, 3 aces, 2 blocks), Landen Meonske (34 assists, 10 digs, 2 aces), Alex Hernandez (12 digs, 2 aces) and Cameron Hitchan (7 kills).
Next up was a 3-0 win over Monte Vista. Leaders for Foothill were Zach Seraj (13 kills, 6 digs), Meonske (17 assists, 10 service pts), Casey Collins (13 service pts, 4 kills) and Yun Bae (13 assists).
In a 3-0 sweep of Antioch, the highlights came from Keala (11 kills, 3 aces), Seraj (7 kills, 3 digs) and Noah Mitzenmacher (5 digs, 5 aces).
Across town for Amador volleyball, the Dons stayed hot in East Bay Athletic League play winning all three matches in straight sets last week.
The first sweep came over Livermore. The Dons were led by Bryce Nohava with 10 kills and 2 blocks. Nate Clinton had 7 aces.
Next up was another sweep of the Cowboys. The Dons were paced on offense by Ryan Yu (4 kills), Nohava (7 kills, 3 aces) and Luke Melvin who ran off 12 service points in a row.
The Dons wrapped the sweeping San Ramon Valley. Colin Bowers was solid at setter and Max Riter and Parker Brookhart were stout in the back row.
The Falcons got off to a great start to the season, going 5-1 in matches played between Feb. 24 to March 1.
Foothill defeated Granada 8-1 and Livermore 9-0 to open EBAL play. The Falcons also finished second in the James Logan Invitational Tournament.
Moving to the week of March 7, the Falcons took on three of the stronger EBAL teams, Dougherty Valley, Monte Vista and California -- and defeated them all, each by a score of 7-2.
In the Dougherty Valley match, Foothill took four singles matches, Aniketh Poruri, Christopher Lee, Matthew Chen and Jivan Krishna. The Falcons swept the doubles, getting wins from Ankur Hangal/Archit Kumar, Ahan Trivedi/Cam McNamara, and Anuj Acharya/Komal Pamujula.
Against Monte Vista the Falcons took all six singles matches, and Acharya and Pamujula took their doubles.
Against Cal, the Falcons had singles wins by Poruri, Chen, Krishna and Nick Tagalog. Foothill swept the doubles, with wins from Kumar/Hangal, Anas Joyo/McNamara and Acharya/Pamujula.
For the red-hot Dons, they started last week with a 9-0 win over San Ramon Valley.
The singles wins came from James Heeter, Roy Kim, Rohan Patil, Anuraag Aravindan, Stephen Gao and Vincent Ma. The roll continued in doubles with wins from Vikram Murali/Nolan Smith, Steven Yang/Subhajit Das and Arnav Murarka/Nigel Purvis.
Later in the week, the Dons came out on top 6-3 of a battle with Dougherty Valley.
In singles, the Dons took four of the six matches. The winners were Bryan Park, Minsung Kim, Heeter and Patil. In doubles the Dons came out with the 2-1 advantage with wins from Aravindan/Kim, and Hrishi Hari/Aaditya Geddam.
The Amador boys' varsity team split its two away games last week.
First up theDons beat Los Lomas 11-10. Colin Wallace led the way with five points (1 goal, 4 assists), while Luke Jacobsen (4 goals) and Ryan Brace (3 goals, 1 assist) each had four points.
Alex Kragen and Will Coultrip each collected four ground balls, while goalie Jonny Wessel made 14 saves.
The Dons ended the week losing to Archbishop Mitty 9-7. Wallace led the team with five points (3 goals, 2 assists), while Sebastian Diligent had two goals.
For Foothill, in their first EBAL game of the season the Falcons got a 9-8 win over Granada.
Two goals by captain Darragh Kennedy, and one each by junior Jake Morgan and freshman Darrin Lau in the first quarter gave Foothill a 4-0 lead.
In the second quarter, two goals by Wyatt Lam and a goal by AJ Becker made the halftime score 7-2.
Second half goals by Becker and Kennedy helped Foothill get their first league victory of the season.
Jake Morgan won all the faceoffs for Foothill and Foothill goalie Mikey Paulson made 13 saves.
The defense held their own with strong play by junior Anthony Cardoza, senior Nathan Kinsey and junior Caden Garofalo.
Editor's note: Dennis Miller is a contributing sports writer for the Pleasanton Weekly. To contact him about his Pleasanton Preps column, email [email protected]