Volleyball Victory: Undefeated Gold Team Wins SVAL!

Congratulations to the middle school girls Gold  team — which has won the 2013 Silicon Valley Athletic League (SVAL) championship — and finished the season undefeated with a record of 13-0! The last time the Hawks won SVAL was in 2006.

On November 19, the Hawks played San Jose’s Thomas More School for the championship. They lost the first game 18-25, and then rallied to win a close second game 25-23, and take the third game 15-11.

‘These girls overcame a lot of adversity on the floor — missing a key player, another player quite sick — and played through it, never losing focus or giving up,’ commented Gold Team Coach Tina Pendleton. ‘Thomas More is a tough competitor. The only games they’ve lost all season have been to us, and they’ve always taken us to 3 games.

‘I’m really proud of these hardworking, young athletes. I joke with their parents that it’s due to our lucky number 13: we played on November 13 to get into the championship; our record is 13-0, it’s 2013 — and on the court Tuesday night, we ‘channeled’ our missing player, and her jersey is number 13!’

The Gold team members are: AnMei Dasbach-Prisk, Brielle Goldstein, Lily Hernandez, Paola Jacobs, Sarah Babcock, Senna Kolagotla and Tabby Hardin-Zollo, 6th; Kahlan Tervalon, Kira Kaplan, Savannah Cambell and Violet Forbes, 5th; Grace Timan, Simone McIntyre and Sofia Brevis, 4th; and Bella Cambell and Maana Kolagotla, 3rd.

‘This season was really good,’ commented Senna Kolagotla. ‘Each one of us really improved and our team was so supportive of each other. The championship match on Tuesday night was fun and also nerve-wracking; because the other team was really good and we barely beat them!’

‘I liked being part of a team with my friends, shared Sarah Babcock. ‘My biggest challenge was getting my serves down, and I know this is one of the most important volleyball. Our team did so well because we got a head start and learned early, and we are all friends so we can communicate easily with each other. I liked that our coach really got to know us so she was able to know how to help us during stressful situations.’

‘We learned a lot about being team players and school spirit,’ added Brielle Goldstein.

Tabby Hardin-Zollo shared her teammates’ enthusiasm for the season, and acknowledged that ‘it was hard to get over our nerves and get better at trying the new things we learned at practice.’

In addition to her players’ commitment, Pendleton credits MMS Athletic Director Sidd McDonald with giving the team the best opportunity for a successful season by empowering her to create a competitive travel team, along with developing practice team from the nearly two dozen girls that showed up to play when the season began.

‘There was great support for the coach and this team from all the parents,’ noted McDonald. ‘This support contributed to making the entire season fun for the kids.’

Congratulations to players and coach for a season well-played! A big ‘thank you’ to team parents Jessica Cambell and Linda Pope for the great communications and coordination, and to parent Nanette Hardin and others who contributed by driving, feeding, and supporting the team this season.


Photos by Forrest Cambell

Contact: Leigh Ann Clifton, Marketing & Communications,

Nestled among the redwoods on 355 mountaintop acres, Mount Madonna is a safe and nurturing college-preparatory school that supports students in becoming caring, self-aware and articulate critical thinkers, who are prepared to meet challenges with perseverance, creativity and integrity. The CAIS and WASC accredited program emphasizes academic excellence, creative self-expression and positive character development. Located on Summit Road between Gilroy and Watsonville.


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