Paly grad Wade could be playing for an NCAA title

It was only two seasons ago when Melanie Wade helped the Palo Alto girls volleyball team win its second straight CIF Division I state championship. Now, Wade is attempting to win an even bigger prize.

Palo Alto High grad Melanie Wade is a sophomore on the Washington volleyball team. Photo courtesy University of Washington Athletics.
Wade, now a sophomore at the University of Washington, will join with her teammates on Thursday to face Penn State in one of two semifinals in the women's NCAA Final Four at KeyArena in Seattle, Wash. The match will be televised on ESPN2 at 6:30 p.m.

The Huskies (30-2) advanced to the national semifinals after rallying from two sets down, and saving two match points to defeat No. 6 USC in five sets in the NCAA quarterfinals. Washington will join Penn State, Wisconsin, and Texas after reaching the Final Four for the first time since 2006, and the fourth time in program history.

The Huskies last won an NCAA title in 2005.

For the first time all season, UW rallied back from two sets down to beat the Trojans for the third time this year, and the second time at USC's Galen Center, 26-28, 23-25, 25-22, 25-18, 17-15.

Wade played in all five sets while finishing with four kills, one ace, five digs and a block assist. She served the 16th and 17th points to clinch the victory. Wade is tied for third on the team with 32 aces, is No. 2 on the team with 136 total blocks and has 152 kills.

At Palo Alto, the 6-foot-4 Wade helped the Vikings to a two-year record of 77-4 her final two years, which included CCS, NorCal and Division I state titles.

Women's basketball

USF freshman Hashima Carothers, the former Eastside Prep standout, scored a career-high 12 points and grabbed five rebounds in a 76-70 nonconference victory over host Boise State on Saturday. The Dons moved to 4-5 on the season under head coach Jennifer Azzi, the former Stanford All-American.

Men's soccer

Former Menlo School soccer, football and track standout Timmy Costa has been selected as the Whitworth /Bruchi's men's Student-Athlete of the Month for his accomplishments in men's soccer during the month of November.

Timmy helped the Pirates post a strong finish to the 2013 season. He allowed only one goal over the final three matches of the season, generating a 0.35 goals-against average in 260 minutes of play. The Pirates went 2-0-1 and Costa was credited with two shutouts.

College commitments

The Menlo School athletics program kicked off the season with an exclamation point this fall as nearly every team advanced to the playoffs, which culminated with the volleyball team landing in the state final. A key factor for the success is based on both the team and individual effort, and the guidance of a strong senior class.

In addition to Mikey Diekroeger (Stanford baseball) and Maddy Price (Duke track and field) reported earlier, several more Menlo student-athletes have announced that they plan to play their chosen sport at the collegiate level.

Jack Heneghan is headed to Dartmouth for football. The versatile quarterback who powered Menlo's prolific offense completed 198 passes for 2,974 yards and 37 touchdowns in nine games. He also rushed for 279 yards in 10 carries and had a single-game passing high of 498 yards.

Sarah Bruml is headed to Claremont Mudd Scripps for volleyball after suffering a season-ending injury at the start of 2013. Melissa Cairo is headed to Brown for volleyball after finishing with 523 digs in the Knights' record-breaking season and being named to the All-West Bay Athletic League for the third time.

Morgan Dressel is headed to Dartmouth for volleyball. She's a two-time All-WBAL selection who bounced back from an injury during the season to record 207 kills and a team-high 89 blocks in Menlo's run to the state championship game. She finished with 182 blocks and 375 kills in the past two seasons. Fellow volleyball standout Maddie Huber will continue her career at Princeton. She's a two-time WBAL (Foothill Division) MVP and a four-year varsity outside hitter who surpassed 300 kills.

Basketball camp

The Portola Valley-based Future Stars Hoops Academy will host its fifth annual Christmas Holiday Hoops Camp from Saturday through Tuesday at Priory School. The camp, which is open to boys and girls ages 6-13, will run from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. each day, with the exception of Tuesday's final day (9 a.m. to noon). Registration can be done online at

The camp recently teamed up with a non-profit organization called Hoops of Hope (, which raises money to help African children who have been displaced and orphaned by HIV & AIDS. Future Stars will be donating a portion of the proceeds earned for each registered camper. Additional information can be found at

— Palo Alto Online Sports


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