In its four tennis losses in SCVAL De Anza Division play this season, the Palo Alto girls had suffered three setbacks by 4-3 decisions. The hard-luck Vikings finally reversed that trend in a big way on Thursday.
Palo Alto avenged an earlier one-point loss to defending Central Coast Section champ Monta Vista by beating the visiting Matadors, 4-3, on Thursday.
While the victory won't affect the division standings that much since Paly is 6-4 in league (16-4 overall), the triumph could help the Vikings when it comes time for the CCS seedings to be decided.
Beating Monta Vista had to be especially satisfying for Paly senior Aashli Budhiraja, who lost the deciding match the first time the teams met. This time, Budhiraja defeated Kelsey Chong, 7-5, 6-1, while contributing to the triumph.
Freshman Avanika Narayan provided a 6-0, 6-1 win at No. 2 singles as the Vikings earned a split there.
In doubles, Paly won a pair of three-setters. Hollie Kool and Kelsey Wang won at No. 2, 1-6, 6-4, 6-0, while teammates Madeline Lee and Julianne Le produced a 7-5, 4-6, 7-5 win at No. 3.
Equally impressive for Paly was the fact the Vikings bounced back from a tough 5-2 loss at Lynbrook on Tuesday.
In the West Bay Athletic League (Foothill Division), host Menlo School won its 15th straight and moved closer to winning its 18th straight league title under coach Bill Shine following a routine 7-0 win over Notre Dame-San Jose. The Knights (8-0, 18-1) won the top three singles by default while registering their 206th straight league dual-match victory, an ongoing state record.
In another WBAL Foothill Division match, Castilleja remained in second place following a 4-3 win over host Sacred Heart Prep. Castilleja improved to 7-1 in league (10-3 overall) while SHP dropped to 4-4 (9-9). Castilleja won the top three singles matches while losing only a combined four games and clinched the victory when Jackie Maloney and Julia McKay won at No. 3 doubles, 7-6, 7-5.
In the PAL Bay Division, Menlo-Atherton (7-6, 9-11) gave host Carlmont a scare before dropping a 4-3 decision. Sami Andrew and Amelia Tiemann won at No. 1 and 3 singles for the Bears while Julia Chang and Camilla Calmasini posted a 7-6 (8-6), 6-4 win at No. 3 doubles.
Menlo-Atherton sophomore Madeleine Baier clocked a personal best of 18:37 while finishing fourth to help the Bears win the team title in the varsity girls' division at the second Center Meet of the season at Crystal Springs in Belmont. Menlo-Atherton finished with 41 points to hold off St. Francis (59) and Menlo School (118).
Fellow M-A sophomore Katie Beebe joined Baier in the top 10 by finishing seventh in 19:06. Senior Taylor Fortnam was eighth (19:07), senior Annika Roise was 13th (19:41) and sophomore Maddie Worden was 28th overall (20:23) as the Bears continued their highly successful season.
Nicole Colonna of Pinewood was fifth in 18:47, Menlo's Zoe Enright took sixth in 19:02 and teammate Lizzie Lacy was ninth in 19:17 to round out the top finishes.
In the varsity boys' race, Menlo-Atherton senior Zach Plante was third overall in 15:53 while Sacred Heart Prep junior Daniel Hill ran fourth in 16:07. Priory's Ross Corey was just outside the top 10 in 11th while clocking 16:40. Menlo-Atherton finished second to Scotts Valley in the team race, 91-98, while Sacred Heart Prep was fourth with 127 and Priory fifth with 136.
Menlo School remained atop the WBAL Foothill Division standings with a 25-17, 25-18, 28-26 victory over visiting Priory on Thursday night. The Knights (7-0, 23-5) got seven kills each from Maddie Stewart, Kate Gilhuly and Maddie Frappier as Menlo continued its streak of not surrendering a set in league play this season. Elisa Merten had 18 assists and Sloan Cinelli added 14 while Jessica Houghton and Gilhuly posted 16 digs and nine digs, respectively.
Marine Hall-Poirier led Priory (0-7, 13-9) with 13 kills, 19 digs and three blocks while Jane Ross added nine kills and 10 digs. Anna Brett finished with five kills and two blocks for the Panthers while libero Michaela Koval had 16 digs.
Also in the WBAL Foothill Division, Katya Scocimara had 13 kills to help host Castilleja defeat Harker, 25-19, 25-19, 28-26. Sarah Rose had eight kills, Madeline Johnson finished with four aces and seven kills while Jennifer DiSanto provided 34 assists for the Gators (5-3, 14-9).
In the SCVAL De Anza Division, host Palo Alto posted a 25-17, 25-14, 25-19 victory over Mountain View as senior Keri Gee provided 24 digs for the Vikings (6-2, 17-5). Senior Becca Raffel had 11 kills, Jade Schoenberger served four aces, Anna Dukovic added 12 digs and Jessica Lee finished with 27 assists.
In the PAL Bay Division, Menlo-Atherton won its second straight in league play (after dropping two matches last week) with a 25-18, 25-21, 25-17 win over host South San Francisco. Devin Joos paced the Bears (8-2, 16-7) with 18 kills while Leanna Collins added 14 and Paulina King 11. M-A hit .351 with 45 kills in 94 attempts and only 12 errors. Virginia Lane had 21 digs, King had 13 and freshman Kirby Knapp contributed 40 assists.