The Menlo School girls' volleyball team capped Senior Day with a game to remember, a four-set victory over visiting Sacred Heart Prep on Thursday to net a division co-championship.
The Knights won 29-27, 17-25, 25-19, 25-17, following a tribute for seniors Emma Thygesen, Charlotte Kohlberg and Kendyl Denenberg acknowledging their contributions to the program.
Menlo (22-10 overall) wrapped up the regular season with a 9-1 mark in West Bay Athletic League (Foothill Division) action, tying Sacred Heart Prep (9-1, 27-5), which won their earlier meeting.
"Our team brought a great level of energy and focus together and it was magic," Menlo coach Atlee Hubbard said. "Once we found a steady momentum offensively and defensively, we were going to be hard to beat."
Maddie Huber and Thygesen each had 16 kills and added 17 and 16 digs, respectively. Junior libero Melissa Cairo had a big night defensively with a career-high 30 digs.
Junior middle blocker Morgan Dressel added 10 kills and eight blocks while sophomore Elisa Merten had a big night all-around with 51 assists, nine digs, five blocks, and three kills.
Sacred Heart Prep was led by seniors Ellie Shannon (16 kills, three blocks and 20 digs), Sonia Abuel-Saud (15 kills and 27 digs), Payton Smith (11 kills and six blocks), Helen Gannon (25 digs),
and Cammie Merten (44 assists and 16 digs).
Elsewhere in the WBAL Foothill Division:
In Portola Valley, Priory volleyball defeated visiting Mercy San Francisco on Senior Night, 25-16, 25-20, 22-25, 25-16. The win locked up third place for the Panthers (5-5, 18-8) and an automatic berth into the Central Coast Section playoffs.
With the help of a great crowd, Priory played its most complete match of the season. The Panthers had great balance on offense and played solid team defense.
Priory had three players with double-digit kills -- Marine Hall-Poirier, Clara Johnson and Briana Willhite with 13, 11 and 14 respectively. Defensively, the Panthers had 11 blocks and 38 digs with Emily Tonogai leading the way in digs with nine and Michaela Koval adding eight. Senior setter Stephanie Swan had a nice match with 34 assists.
In San Jose, Castilleja wrapped up its regular season with a 21-25, 25-20, 25-14, 25-9 victory over host Notre Dame-San Jose. The Gators (3-7, 16-15) got 26 kills and four aces from Lucy Tashman, eight kills from Emily Pederson plus 19 digs and two aces from Jessica Norum.
The Gators will discover on Saturday whether they'll be in the CCS Division V playoffs, where they are the defending champion.
In the PAL Bay Division, Menlo-Atherton up another unbeaten regular season with a 25-18, 25-21, 23-25, 25-13 victory over host Carlmont. The Bears (14-0, 24-7) extended their winning streak in league play to 32-0 since 2010.
Senior Ali Spindt helped spark M-A with 40 assists, 19 digs and eight kills while fellow senior Katelyn Doherty added 16 digs, 14 kills and nine assists. Junior Pauli King finished with 21 digs and 18 kills with sophomore Ally Ostrow adding 21 digs and seven kills.
In the SCVAL De Anza Division, Palo Alto bounced back from its disappointing loss to Los Gatos on Tuesday and beat host Gunn, 25-17, 25-19, 25-18. The victory earned the Vikings (12-2, 27-6) a co-championship with Homestead. Paly could have won the title outright by sweeping both matches this week. Nonetheless, it's the seventh consecutive title by the Vikings.
"As I thought about it last night, this accomplishment is just as big as winning a state title for my squad, because they had to earn it over seven weeks of grueling league competition," said Paly coach Dave Winn, who graduated the bulk of last season's state championship team. " It's a big deal. A very big deal."
Junior Becca Raffel had 14 kills and seven digs for Paly while sophomore Jade Schoenberger and senior Shelby Knowles each added 10 kills. Senior Sophia Bono finished with 38 assists and junior Keri Gee contributed 15 digs. Knowles added 10 digs.
Since 2010, the Vikings have dropped only three league matches.