The young Foothill High girls' volleyball team advanced to the CIF NorCal tournament for the second straight year before seeing their season ended by Oak Ridge of El Dorado Hills.
In the loss to Oak Ridge, the Falcons got great play from junior co-captain Katie Salonga (32 assists, 3 kills, 3 aces), junior co-captain Paige Bennett (17 kills, 10 digs) and sophomore Kaycie Burdick (15 kills, 15 digs).
To advance to the NorCal tournament, the Falcons knocked off higher-seeded Monte Vista on the road in the North Coast Section semifinals.
Great play from Salonga (42 assists, 3 kills), Bennett (25 digs, 16 kills), Burdick (19 kills, 12 digs), sophomore Lulu Hoenninger (7 kills, 3 blocks) and senior Tehya Williamson (17 digs, 9 service points).
In the NCS finals, Foothill fell to San Ramon Valley 3-0, with the Falcons getting great play from Bennett (16 kills, 10 digs) and Salonga (26 assists, 4 kills, 3 aces).
The Falcons finished with a 28-10 overall record and spot for the first time ever in the NorCal Open Division.
Amador girls' water polo
The No. 2-seeded Dons battled throughout, but in the end dropped a heartbreaking 6-5 game to No. 1 Las Lomas in the Division I finals last Saturday at Acalanes.
The game went back and forth, with the teams taking turns leading the game.
In the first quarter, Amador got a goal in the final seconds from Evelyn McLaughlin for a 1-0 lead. In the second, Las Lomas tied it early in the quarter, but the Dons stormed back and got a lob-shot goal from Lily Keegan with four minutes left until the half to make it 2-1.
With time running out in the half, freshman Susan Swyers fired a laser from well out that found the back of the net with three seconds left to make it 3-1 Amador at the break.
In the third quarter, Las Lomas came out and scored three goals early to take the 4-3 lead. Another goal late in the third made it 5-3 Las Lomas, but the Dons scored one again as the clock was winding down, with Amador goalie Erin Brown launching a bomb as the last seconds ticked off to cut it to 5-4 with one quarter to play.
Keegan tied it in the fourth with a goal in a one-up situation.
Las Lomas scored with just under two minutes for the 6-5 lead. Amador fought back and had multiple shots, including hitting the post two times, but in the end, the Dons couldn't find the game-tying goal.
Brown was sensational in the goal, keeping the Dons in the match, stopping multiple Las Lomas shots. The senior goalie also continually started the Amador attack with long clears.
The Falcons celebrated seven athletes signing NCAA Division I letters of intent on Nov. 8.
Brandon Knight (University of Colorado, golf), Ava Perry (Siena College N.Y., softball), Tyler Gebb (UC Riverside, baseball), Jackson Flora (Loyola Marymount University, baseball), Brendan Comerford (St. Mary's College, baseball), Breuklynn Harris (George Washington University, swimming) and Yassin Dwidar (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, swimming).
There was no information submitted from Amador Valley, but I am working on running it down for future publication.
Tennis national champs
A local team comprised of players from Pleasanton, San Ramon and Dublin captured the 2022 USTA National Championship Adult 40 and Men's 3.0 title.
The tournament took place Oct. 21-23 in Arizona.
Team members were: Narayana Rao Surapaneni (captain), Vamsi Paladugu (co-captain), Raghupal Bejjanki, Ravi Guntur, Rajeev Gupta, Gautam Joshi, Manoj Lakinana, Dave McConnell, Shiv Sharma, Kishore Sundaresan, Venkata Venkataraman, Sudhish Verma, Mohammad Ziaee, Shankar Murahari, Bheemsen Aitha and Muneesh Batra.
Editor's note: Dennis Miller is a contributing sports writer for the Pleasanton Weekly. To contact him about his Pleasanton Preps column, email firstname.lastname@example.org.