The Justin-Siena volleyball team, the defending Vine Valley Athletic League champion, won the first two sets of its league opener Tuesday night against Sonoma Valley.
The visiting Dragons roared back to force a fifth set, but Justin-Siena recovered just in time to prevail 25-20, 25-21, 17-25, 23-25, 15-11.
“We started off strong in sets 1 and 2, taking control early with our net play,” said Braves head coach Chelsea Reilley. “I think overconfidence got the better of us, and we let Sonoma pick up momentum with some good swings. We kicked our game up a notch in set 5. Tough serving, scrappy defense, and some huge kills won us that last set.”
Outside hitter Megan Hanson led the Braves (1-2 overall) with 19 kills and added 10 digs, 4 aces and 2 blocks. Outside hitter Eva Cleary had 11 kills, 11 digs, 6 aces, 2 assists and a block. Setter Mea Todd added 31 assists, 3 kills, 3 aces, 6 digs and a block. Middle blocker Eleanor Myers added 3 kills and 5 blocks, and libero Marianne Fernandez had 20 digs, 1 assist, 1 ace, and 1 kill.
Vintage 3, Casa Grande 1
The Crushers came back strong from a narrow first-set loss to win their VVAL opener at home Tuesday night, 23-25, 25-16, 29-27, 25-14.
Maddie Klungel amassed 22 kills, 25 assists, 4 aces and 6 blocks to lead Vintage (7-3 overall). Liza Mason had 10 digs and 7 aces, Krista Young 11 kills and 6 digs, Julia Bodor 9 kills and 7 blocks, Maddie Flohr 4 kills and 6 aces, and Olivia Ostler 5 kills and 3 aces.
The Crushers were coming off Saturday’s second-place finish in the 12-team Gold Bracket at the Albany Tournament, where they fell to St. Ignatius 25-23, 25-14 in the final. Vintage defeated Holy Names, Albany, Tamalpais and Carondelet.
The Crushers’ stat leaders for the tournament were Klungel (23 kills, 15 digs, 49 assists), Bodor (26 kills, 7 blocks), Flohr (12 kills, 14 digs, 10 aces), Ostler (23 kills, 9 aces), Mason (21 digs, 9 assists, 4 aces), Sarah Gauger (13 kills, 5 digs) and Young (7 kills).
Napa 3, American Canyon 1
The visiting Grizzlies defeated the Wolves on Tuesday in a tightly contested VVAL opener, 25-11, 23-25, 29-27, 25-20. Yani Kenion led American Canyon with 12 kills, while Ava Boloyan had 8 kills and 2 blocks, Caytlin Capulong 25 digs, Giselle Torres 22 assists, and Kehaunani Wilson 12 assists.
St. Helena 3, Willits 1
The St. Helena varsity volleyball team opened North Central League I play with a four-set win at Willits on Tuesday.
The Saints improved to 2-4 on the season with their 25-10, 18-25, 25-18, 25-23 win over the Wolverines (0-2, 0-1 NCL I).
Dyani Lopez led the Saints with 8 kills with 5 aces while Ellie Blakeley had 16 digs and 4 aces. Olivia Anderson had 3 kills, Ashtyn Taylor had 4 kills and Kaitlyn Glakeler had 2 aces and 19 assists.
The Saints return home for a match against Lower Lake on Thursday, Sept. 12.
Varsity Girls Tennis
Vintage 6, Casa Grande 1
The Vintage High girls tennis team opened Vine Valley Athletic League play Tuesday with a 6-1 victory at Casa Grande.
“I’m proud of their determination and positive spirit,” first-year Crushers head coach Elizabeth Silva said.
For Vintage at No. 1 through No. 4 singles, respectively, Jamie Pope won 6-0, 6-0, Grace Christman won 6-2, 4-6, 10-7 tiebreak, Casey LeTourneau fell 6-3, 6-0, and Erin Meader won 2-6, 6-0, 11-9 tiebreak.
Sweeping the doubles were No. 1 players Morgan Wright and Rose Mooney, 6-0, 6-4, the No. 2 duo of Eva Heiken and Gwen Stewart, 6-1, 6-3, and No. 3 players Melissa Cortez and Serena Kastella, 6-3, 6-0.
Playing in exhibition matches were Hannah Jonas, Lauren Barrett, Ashley Hall, Caroline Simpkins, Abbey Rock and Madeleine Maurer.
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Justin-Siena 5, Sonoma Valley 2
The Braves opened their VVAL season with a road win Tuesday, improving to 3-0 overall with their 16th straight win as a program. Winning at No. 1 through No. 3 singles for Justin-Siena, in order, were Priyanka Shanker over Mary Gallo, 6-0, 6-0, Bella Rampa over Olivia Wesinger, 6-1, 6-1., and Presley Schultz over Reese Dobson, 6-2, 6-1. The Dragons’ Lily Raaka beat Ashlyn Mills at No. 4 singles, 6-2, 2-6, 1-0 (10-8).
Justin’s first doubles team of Lucia Lanzafame and Megha Jackson defeated Kayla Schmick and Ella Castillo, 6-1, 6-1. At second doubles, Roses Newell and Kendall Manasse fell to Sonoma Valley’s Pyra Clark and Jovana Saldona, 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-6). At third doubles, the Braves’ Libby Birkbeck and Julia Best defeated Sammi Stubbs and Lily Morgan, 6-3, 4-6, 1-0 (10-5).
Varsity Girls Golf
Justin-Siena 270, Vintage 312
The Braves upped their VVAL record to 4-1 with Tuesday’s home win at Chardonnay Golf Club. Justin-Siena was led by seniors Samantha Tuite (46) and Abbie Bain (47). Also scoring were Alex Mazzucco (53), Emma Tada (57), Ashley Esperanza (67) and Anna Weaver (70).
“This is a great sign,” said Braves coach Ray Graziani. “The seniors are playing well and some of the new players are getting better each day. We are competing for the league title and working hard to qualify for the North Coast Section Championship at the end of the season.”
The Braves will host Petaluma on Thursday at Chardonnay.
Vintage 2, Casa Grande 0
The Crushers won 25-13, 25-23 at home Tuesday behind Celeste Calderon (13 digs), Gemma Bahnsen (5 kills, 2 digs, 2 blocks), Evelyn Gillis (2 kills, 8 digs, 2 aces), Maddie McPhee (2 digs, 7 assists), Reagyn Shoop (2 kills, 2 blocks) and Makenzie Wallace (1 kill, 2 digs, 8 assists).
Sonoma Valley 2, Justin-Siena 1
After the Braves won the opener 26-24, the visiting Dragons roared back by winning the next two, 25-16, 15-12. Leading Justin-SIena were Kailey Magel (5 kills, 4 aces) and Camille Thomason (3 kills, 5 aces).
Napa 2, American Canyon 0
The visiting Grizzlies won 25-12, 26-24.
“The girls started off flat, made unforced errors, and couldn’t find their rhythm in the first set,” American Canyon coach Rick Manibusan said. “They found some momentum in the second set to make a run, but Napa still held on for the win.”
The Wolves’ top performers were Gabriella Trinidad (9 digs, 3 kills), Alexa Berry (4 blocks, 2 kills), Selah Hmun (3 blocks), Vyvylyn Tran (3 aces, 3 assists), Carissa Lee (4 assists), Leila Adel (9 digs) and Jackie Mendoza (9 digs).
St. Helena 2, Willits 1
The Saints won in three sets, 25-12, 23-25, 15-7 at Willits on Tuesday night.
Vintage 2, Casa Grande 0
The Crushers won 25-10, 25-17 at home Tuesday. Sofia Lopez led their serving with 3 aces, serving 9 in a row, and had 3 kills, Beverly Bolen added 10 digs and 3 aces, Alex Whipple had 4 assists, and Lyla Kaufman had 3 blocks and 2 kills.