Student Life
Braves in Action

Fall Sports Previews

3 Fall teams set to defend VVAL championships.
Girls Tennis
The 2019 Girls Varsity Tennis team is coming off an undefeated 2018 season, and as of this writing, the Braves have won both of their preseason matches, as well as starting 1-0 in VVAL play, extending their undefeated string to 16 matches. Although losing five of the ten starters from last season, other players have stepped up or joined the team for the 2019 season. The VVAL season opened up this past Tuesday at Sonoma and long time Coach Jim Reilly feels the girls have a legitimate shot at another VVAL championship and possibly another undefeated season.
Leading the team is sophomore Priyanka Shanker along with senior Captain Presley Schultz and junior Captains Ashlyn Mills, Lucia Lanzafame, and Rose Newell. Rounding out the starters are senior Libby Birkbeck, junior Ines Keller, and sophomore Bella Rampa. Coach Reilly is excited about Freshman Megha Jackson and other starters including freshman Kendall Manasse . The bench is strong with seniors Cielo Guerrero and Stephania Colonna, juniors Julia Best, Katie Nations, and Samantha Patterson, and Freshmen Maggie Cooke and Vanessa Solis. International students have also come out for the team, including Dayoon Kim, Chaewon Lee and Wendy Wang.

Girls Water Polo

The Braves started their season last weekend with a tournament in Moraga. First year coach Jane Hansen is excited about how the team is looking so far.  Several returning players will make a big impact, including: Senior Meghan Hansen, juniors Lina Phinney and Lexi Hollister, and sophomores Sarah Reynolds, Maddie Vanoni, and Twyla Borck (goalie) who are all returning starters from last year's co-championship team.  Adding to that mix are freshmen Elle Baskerville and Taylor Blakely, who both have previous water polo experience. Also returning from last year is Jaxon Lexy, who will add to the team’s strength. Freshman Carlie Fiorito and sophomore Cassie Richardson are new this year, but have already shown great promise. The team is a small, but mighty team and everyone will play a big role.
Coach Hansen had this to say about the girls,“Our team is looking stronger than it ever has and I have been impressed by their work ethic and dedication.  Our main rivals for the league title this year look to be Napa High School and Vintage High School. Many of these girls play with or against each other during the club season, so there will be some good match-ups.  We hope to come out on top.”

Boys Water Polo

The Boys Water Polo team is also being led by a new coach this year, Jordan Williams. Coach Williams says 3 things that she really likes about her team so far are their excitement to learn the sport, their dedication during hard workouts, and their overall positive attitude. She is looking for contributions from returners Andrew Baskerville, Bryce Mayo, Gino Bartalotti, and Casey Kleis. New to the team this year is Jack Ryan who according to Coach Williams is now a key starter on the team. 

When asked about the team, Coach Williams had this to say,”We are excited to see the progress in each player throughout this season, because they are learning so much so fast already. They are dedicated and really making a lot of breakthroughs as such a young team.” 

Cross Country
The Boys and Girls Cross Country teams have started their season with numerous workouts and a couple of early meets to get ready for their league and section meets. Returning to lead the team this season are Paul Giusto, Jacob Guiducci, Sophia Smith, Lauren Aubert, and Casey Potrebic. Also new this season is Braves coach, Belinda Halloran, who has previously been an assistant coach in the Girls Soccer program. Coach Halloran is excited about the number of new runners, especially how many freshmen boys that have come out for the team. When asked how the team stacked up in the VVAL this year, Coach Halloran said,“We have the biggest Cross Country team Justin has had for years with 32 athletes registered. Our focus this year is to build from this and grow the team. Our Varsity Boys team has 4 very strong Juniors so I am hoping with structured training this year will form the foundation for a huge season next year.”

Halloran is very proud of the team’s work so far, “Our team has an amazing team spirit and attitude towards improving as a team and as individuals.  Now with a periodization and structured training, course familiarization and instruction on how to race, I feel Justin athletes will enjoy the cross country experience more than ever before.”   

Coming off their first win of the season Tuesday night over rival Sonoma, the Volleyball team is now 1-2 overall, and 1-0 in the VVAL. They are being led by senior outside hitter and 2nd year starter Eva Cleary, senior and 2nd year libero Marianne Fernandez, junior outside hitter and 3rd year starter Megan Hanson, sophomore middle blocker Eleanor Meyers, and senior middle blocker and 2nd year starter Bailee Paxson. New to the team this year and ready to contribute are Freshman Mea Todd, whom Coach Reilley calls an amazing talent, and Senior Middle Blocker Gabi Richardson, who Coach Reilley says will make a huge impact after transferring.

As for the league season, Coach Chelsea Reilley (3rd season) thinks the Braves will stack up well as they defend their VVAL title from last season. When asked about things that she sees as positives for her team, Coach Reilley pointed to the team chemistry that they have already developed, the overall team height which should help with defense at the net, and the passion for the sport that the girls play with and hold themselves to higher standards because of. “We have some work to do – we have some young contributors who need to blend with the older returners, but we’re making huge strides every day. Our ceiling is so high, and the coaches are excited to see how far this team goes!” - Coach Chelsea Reilley

Girls Golf
Coach Ray Graziani, one of the longest tenured coaches on the Justin-Siena staff, once again leads the Girls Golf team this season. So far the girls are 4-1 in the VVAL and headed towards another great season. As the season has unfolded, Coach Graziani has been impressed with the work ethic the girls have shown to improve their games. Returning and leading the Braves this year are seniors Samantha Tuite and Abbie Bain will lead the Braves this year. Returning players Alex Mazzucco, Ashley Esperanza, and Serena Chen will have experience heading into the season that will help. Emma Tada is new to the team and is improving each week and Coach Graziani is looking for her to make a difference going into the second half of the season. The girls are hopeful to continue to challenge for a league title and also hoping to qualify for the NCS Division 2 Championship this year.
The Justin-Siena Football team, led by long time teacher, Alum, and current Dean Brandon LaRocco is off to their best start in a long time at 3-0 with wins over Piedmont, Healdsburg, and Armijo. The team has been led by Seniors Miles Williams, Solomone Anitoni, Christian Kappler, Grant Koehler to name a few. Juniors Hudson Beers (quarterback) and Noah Young (running back, linebacker) have both made their presence felt in the early going as well.  The Braves are in action again tomorrow night at Dodd Stadium, wrapping up their preseason schedule with a game against Archbishop Riordan of San Francisco. To read more about the football team, click here.