The Palo Alto girls' volleyball team finished third at the Deer Valley tournament on Saturday. The Vikings went 4-1, losing only to Monte Vista (Danville) in the semifinals.
Paly senior Becca Raffel had 40 kills, hit .380, added 28 digs and two aces during the one-day event. Paly topped Granada, 25-19, 25-15; defeated St. Patrick/St. Vincent, 25-23, 25-10; held off Foothill (Pleasanton), 25-12, 25-16; and survived a tough match with San Ramon Valley, 17-25, 28-26, 15-13 before falling to Monte Vista.
Paly faces a tough week, hosting Presentation on Tuesday (6:45 p.m.) and visiting Sacred Heart Prep (6:30 p.m.) on Thursday.
At the Milpitas Spikefest, Menlo School showcased another strong performance in the young season with a sixth-place finish. The 32-team tournament, which takes place at Milpitas and Presentation, features some of the top teams in the section.
Menlo fell to eventual tournament runner-up Sacred Heart Cathedral in three games. In the Silver playoff bracket, The Knights defeated Bishop O'Dowd in two games and lost to Clovis West in three games.
"Maddie Huber and Lida Van der Meer played extremely well during the tournament," Menlo first-year coach Steven Cavella said. "It was also a good experience for the younger players on our team -- Jessica Houghton, Olivia Pellarin, and Maddie Stewart -- who all saw extended playing time."
Menlo downed Christopher School, 25-17, 25-11; defeated Gunn, 25-16, 25-20; lost to SHC, 19-25, 25-21, 15-9; topped Bishop O'Dowd, 25-20, 25-18; and fell to Clovis West, 25-15, 20-25, 15-11.
The Knights (4-2) host Woodside on Thursday at 7:15 p.m.
Elsewhere at the Spikefest:
Gunn (2-3) finished 14th, closing with a loss to Burlingame. The Titans had victories over Mountain View and Castilleja.
Castilleja (4-2) wound up 17th overall, despite winning the Red Division title. The Gators won four of five matches, its only loss a 6-25, 25-19, 16-14 setback to Gunn that dropped Castilleja into the bottom 16. The Gators, however, did upset Los Gatos, 25-19, 23-25, 15-11.
Menlo School's Lizzie Lacy and Zoe Enright placed fourth in their respective age-division races to highlight local efforts at the Early Bird Invitational at Toro Park in Salinas on Saturday.
Enright finished the sophomore race in 19:21, taking 45 seconds off her time from last season. Lacy had a time of 19:47 in the junior race - also shaving a lot of time off her previous mark on the course. She was 52 seconds faster this year.
Menlo-Atherton senior Taylor Fortnam was seventh in the senior girls' race in 20:19 with teammate Annika Roise ninth in 20:24. M-A's Madeleine Baier was 11th in the sophomore girls' race in 20:03 with teammate Cat DePuy 17th in 20:47.
In the overall team standings for girls, M-A finished fifth.
Pinewood junior Nicole Colonna was 10th in her division in 20:43 while Castilleja senior Alaina Brown was 19th (21:46) in her divisional race.
For the boys, M-A senior Zach Plante was 17th in 16:54 over the 3-mile layout.
James McDaniel rushed for 133 yards on 15 carries, scored three touchdowns and tallied four two-point conversions to lead host Priory to a 60-14 victory over El Sobrante in a season-opening eight-man nonleague game Saturday in Portola Valley.
Will Latta added 101 yards on just six carries and scored two touchdowns in addition to throwing for another. Brandon Zarringhalam had a 50-yard punt return for a TD, Tom Latta had a 32-yard TD reception and David Reichert scored on a four-yard run.
In San Angelo, Texas, Menlo School's trip to Texas turned out to be a nightmare as the Knights were crushed by host Central High, 84-49, in a nonleague opener for the Knights. The host Bobcats scored 50 points in the first quarter and led, 64-35, at halftime.
Menlo senior quarterback Jack Heneghan put up some numbers of his own, completing 29 of 51 passes for 411 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran for two more touchdowns.
The Knights got on the board at the 3:28 mark of the first quarter when Heneghan connected with Jack Marren for the first of their three touchdown connections.
The Knights spread the ball around as four players had at least 72 yards receiving, led by Graham Stratford (six catches, 123 yards), Peter Bouret (7-118) Marren (7-95) and Travis Chambers (8-72).
Menlo finished with 435 yards passing, which broke a record for Bobcat opponents.
Menlo allowed 370 passing yards and 259 rushing yards while the 84 points is believed to be the most ever allowed by a Menlo team. The Bobcats (2-0) scored 71 points in their opener the previous week.
Menlo wrapped up the California Classic with the consolation championship, finishing fifth among 116 teams Saturday in Fresno.
The Knights went 3-1 in the season-opening tournament, defeating a tough Leland team in the consolation final.
The doubles teams of Paulina Golikova and Melissa Tran, and Mia McConnell and Georgia Anderson had standout performances.
Girls' water polo
Gunn opened its season by winning a pair of matches in the Janette MacKinla Memorial in the Titans' pool.
Gunn (2-0), which played without leading scorer Caroline Anderson (on a recruiting trip in Michigan), defeated Half Moon Bay, 13-4, and Sequoia, 12-4.
Junior Bianca Batista had six goals against HMB and three against Sequoia to led Gunn. Senior Rachel Wong had three goals in each match.
"Our level of competition gets dramatically more difficult very quickly," said Gunn coach Mark Hernandez. "On Thursday, we host Davis (7:30 p.m.), and then travel to the Acalanes tournament on Friday. Then next Tuesday we open the (De Anza Division) season at Palo Alto."
Also Saturday, Sacred Heart Prep improved to 2-0 with a 10-3 nonleague win over visiting Acalanes. Freshman Maddy Johnston and sophomore Malaika Koshay led the way with three goals each while seniors Morgan McCracken and Caitlin Stuewe added two apiece.