Dons End Volleyball’s NCS Title Hopes

Erika Riedel, Staff Writer

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Boys’ varsity volleyball ended its season with a 3-2 loss to Acalanes in the North Coast Section semifinal game on May 14.

“Obviously, we came up short and that sucked, but it was a good game,” said senior middle hitter Grant Larsen. “It was exciting. There wasn’t a dull point at all. It was all up and down, emotional, a crazy rollercoaster of a game, it was fun to be a part of.”

Senior libero Jacob Pappa acknowledged that the Dons were an improved squad in the playoffs. “Acalanes was peaking at the right moment, our coach even knew it too,” he said.

Missed serves by the Cougars helped Acalanes gain momentum and ultimately topple the perviously undefeated favorites.  While Campolindo had beaten the Dons in their previous meetings during the regular season, they couldn’t overcome costly errors.

“We obviously wanted to win and we knew that they were a good team, they were better than what they were seeded… We knew that it was going to be a lot tougher than the way it looked on paper,” said Larsen. “We were just trying to play our best and we did with just too many errors than we should have had.  It was the team’s errors.”

“It’s an emotional game for them, and I think they realized how much it meant to their leaders,” added assistant coach Chad Abbott.

Heading into the playoffs, the Cougar players were expecting to battle for another section title.  The elimination was unexpected and difficult for the players to process immediately after the match. Pappa said, “After the game, everyone was really angry and sad and no one really wanted to talk. We sat in silence for probably 20 minutes until we started to talk about our season. I think all of us were pretty sad that our season is over.”

Now that the season is over, the graduating seniors are hopeful that their winning tradition will be continued by the next generation of players. Larsen said, “I want [the underclassmen] to have fun, I want the team to keep playing, and continue the solid, strong program, and I hope they can keep that up.”

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