East Bay Girls Volleyball Notebook

There is no guarantee that the best Acalanes High School girls volleyball team is going to show up on a nightly basis, but when it does, watch out.

In a season of ups and downs, the Dons are trying to find a consistent level of play, because when they do play good volleyball, they are almost as good as anyone.
“I think we have the potential to be a dangerous team,” Acalanes coach Steve Siegmann said. “We have had our ups and downs this year but when we are up, we are playing pretty good volleyball.”
Lately, it’s been pretty good volleyball.
After starting the year ranked in the Bay Area News Group’s East Bay volleyball rankings, the Dons went 0-6, but have gone 10-9 since that point, playing a tough schedule along the way.
Finding that consistency is going to be the key, because the Dons just lost at home in three games to a Las Lomas team they beat in three games on the road a month before.
What this means, for a team that has shown flashes of being brilliant, is that perhaps terrific volleyball is ahead of them.
“I definitely think our best volleyball is yet to be played,” Siegmann said. “I think that we just need to have one or two more girls find that good mental balance and we could really step up our game.
“We have a very good balance of skill sets on our team. We have powerful hitters, we have quality servers, our defensive specialists are great and we have some very consistent players who can keep us calm in tight situations. When all of those players are doing their thing at the same time, I would be happy to put them on the court against anyone and be confident that we can give ourselves a chance to win.”
The Dons graduated seven seniors last year, and are still trying to find a consistent level of confidence as well as a consistent level of play.
“I think the biggest thing for us is our confidence level,” Siegmann said. “When our confidence level is high, we play some pretty good volleyball. When that confidence wavers a little bit it unfortunately effects us in a big way and we have a tough time recovering from it. When our mental game is there though, we are a fun team to watch.”
The Dons are led by a couple of seniors, opposite outside hitter Akemi Inouye and middle hitter Caroline Appert, but overall this is a young team. Acalanes has four sophomore and five juniors in their first year of varsity.
Still, the North Coast Section Division III playoffs seem like a distinct possibility. The Dons need to finish at least .500 in overall or league play or against other D III teams, and with a 5-3 Diablo Foothill Athletic League record, they are assured of that.
The Dons, who reached the D III semi-finals last season, end this year with Campolindo and Alhambra, and based on prior matchups, the Dons could end the year 11-16 overall and 6-4 in league.
Division III is loaded this year, with the top three teams in the East Bay (Bishop O’Dowd, Miramonte and Campolindo) being in this bracket as well as other highly touted teams such as Albany, Moreau Catholic, Analy and Sir Frances Drake.
“I hope we are able to make it into the playoffs because I feel like my girls deserve it,” Siegmann said. “Division III is extremely brutal. We are just hoping we have a chance to find our way into the playoffs so we have a chance to show up and put it together and make another good run like last year.”

Teams raise money for breast cancer research

Acalanes, much like other schools, have recently had fundraisers during breast cancer awareness month.
The Dons, had players doing volunteer work, selling bracelets, beads, ribbons as well as printing pink Acalanes volleyball t-shirts.
At their Oct. 20 game against Las Lomas, there was a donation box and all in all, the Dons raised more than $1,600 dollars with 75 percent of the funds staying in the East Bay and 25 percent of the funds going to national funding for cancer research.
Deer Valley will be doing the same sort of thing on Oct. 29 in their dig pink match at home against Heritage in hopes of raising money for breast cancer research. Donations can be made at the game as well as contacting coach Lou Panzella. Last year, the Wolverines raised over $3,000 dollars.
Earlier this month, Castro Valley had a “pink out” at a home match as they raised funds for breast cancer research as well.


A few small shifts. Amador Valley climbs to No. 3 as it continues an impressive unbeaten run through the East Bay Athletic League, and Carondelet’s recent surge has it at No. 7 this week. Berean Christian jumps back into the rankings after a win at Northgate, while two Mission Valley Athletic League teams hold on to the final two spots. Washington had an up and down performance at the Newark Tournament, and will have a chance to prove its ranking tomorrow when the Huskies face Irvington with a share of the league title on the line.

1. Bishop O’Dowd
2. Miramonte
3. Amador Valley
4. Campolindo
5. Granada
6. Foothill
7. Carondelet
8. Albany
9. Moreau Catholic
10. Northgate
11. Deer Valley
12. Piedmont
13. Berean Christian
14. Mission San Jose
15. Washington

Others considered: Irvington, San Ramon Valley, California, Salesian, Heritage, Liberty, Castro Valley, Acalanes, St. Patrick-St. Vincent, Berkeley.

League standings

Please send in updates if your record is incorrect.

Team League GB
Berkeley 9-0 –
Alameda 7-1 1.5
El Cerrito 6-3 3
De Anza 3-6 6
Pinole Valley 2-7 7
Hercules 2-7 7
Richmond 0-9 9

Team League GB
Albany 15-1 –
St. Patrick-St. Vincent 13-3 2
Piedmont 12-3 2.5
Salesian 12-4 3
St. Mary’s 10-6 5
St. Joseph Notre Dame 7-9 8
Encinal 1-12 12.5
Swett 1-13 13
Kennedy-R 0-12 13
Holy Names 0-12 13

Team League GB
Deer Valley 11-0 –
Liberty 8-3 3
Heritage 8-3 3
Freedom 3-8 8
Antioch 2-9 9
Pittsburg 0-11 11

Team League GB
Miramonte 9-0 –
Campolindo 7-2 2
Acalanes 5-3 3.5
Las Lomas 5-4 4
Dublin 3-6 6
Dougherty Valley 2-7 7
Alhambra 0-9 9

Team League GB
Northgate 8-1 –
Berean Christian 7-1 .5
Concord 6-3 2
Clayton Valley 5-3 2.5
College Park 2-6 5.5
Ygnacio Valley 1-7 6.5
Mt. Diablo 0-8 7.5

Team League GB
Amador Valley 10-0 –
Granada 8-2 2
Foothill 7-3 3
Carondelet 7-3 3
California 4-6 6
San Ramon Valley 3-7 7
Monte Vista 1-9 9
Livermore 0-10 10

Team League GB
Bishop O’Dowd 10-0 –
Moreau Catholic 8-2 2
Castro Valley 7-2 2.5
San Leandro 6-4 4
Arroyo 3-5 6
Hayward 1-5 7
Tennyson 0-6 8
San Lorenzo 0-6 8
Mt. Eden 0-6 8

Team League GB
Washington 8-2 –
Mission San Jose 8-2 –
Irvington 8-2 –
Logan 6-4 2
Newark Memorial 3-7 5
American 3-8 5.5
Kennedy-F 0-11 8.5

Matt Smith