The Menlo-Atherton girls' tennis team wrapped up the PAL Bay Division regular-season title with a routine 6-1 victory over host Woodside on Tuesday. The Bears improved to 13-1 in league (15-5 overall) and earned an automatic berth into the Central Coast Section playoffs.
Menlo-Atherton had forced a tie for first place last Tuesday by upending host Carlmont. One day later, the Scots were upset by Burlingame in the resumption of a match that had been suspended.
Thus, all the Bears had to do was win their final two matches -- which they did -- to become champs.
The PAL playoffs will be held Thursday and Friday to decide the second team advancing to the section tournament.
The Bears set the tone of the match by sweepinmg the singles while losing only four points. Erin LaPorte had the toughest match at No. 1 singles, winning by 6-2, 6-1. Samantha Andrew lost one point at No. 2 while Lindy LaPlante and Valerie Giordano both posted 6-0, 6-0 wins.
While Menlo-Atherton was breezing to one title, Menlo School was struggling to secure another.
The Knights won their 19th straight league title and the 17th under head coach Bill Shine by edging visiting Harker, 4-3, on Tuesday in West Bay Athletic League (Foothill Division) action. The Eagles threatened to end the Knights' historic winning streak before finally falling.
Menlo (9-0, 14-7) still has Thursday's regular-season finale at Sacred Heart Prep to play, and will take a league record of 197-0 since 1994 into that match.
Sophomore Liz Yao led the way for Menlo with a 6-1, 6-1 victory at No. 1 singles, which clinched the victory. Christine Elizao (6-3, 6-1) and fellow junior Laura Gradiska (6-1, 6-0) won at No. 3 and 4, respectively.
Doubles, which have been Menlo's Achilles' heal this season, nearly cost the Knights as Harker won at No. 1 and 2. Menlo seniors Christine Kvamme and Sam Hoag helped preserve the team's streak with a 6-4, 6-2 win at No. 3.
Menlo held a 4-0 lead and played without No. 2 singles player Kristy Jorgensen, who has left the team in order to concentrate on her academics.
Sacred Heart Prep, meanwhile, tuned up for its Senior Day match with Menlo by cruising past host Crystal Springs, 6-1. Caroline Nordman led the Gators (5-4, 11-9) by battling for a 7-6 (9-7), 7-6 (7-5) victory at No. 1 singles.