Uploaded: Friday, November 9, 2012, 5:59 PM
Menlo girls reach CCS tennis semifinals
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|By Keith Peters
Palo Alto Online Sports
Menlo School girls' tennis coach Bill Shine is not a big fan of the three-singles, three-doubles format that the Central Coast Section adopted last season for its annual postseason tournament. In fact, most coaches don't like the system.
That said, Shine knows that the odd format -- used only for the CCS tournament -- is perhaps the best opportunity his team has of reaching the CCS finals and NorCal tourney.
"We use this format, hopefully, to our advantage," Shine said Friday after his team clinched a 12-6 victory over visiting Saratoga in the section quarterfinals to earn a date with heavily favored Monta Vista in the semifinals.
"This format is more of an equalizer, since we're the underdog," Shine of Monday's match. "That's how I look at it."
The No. 4-seeded Knights (17-7) next will face defending champion Monta Vista (22-0) at Courtside Club in Los Gatos at 1:30 p.m. The Matadors, who topped Menlo in last year's semifinals, advanced with a 13-2 win over No. 8 Los Altos on Friday.
In the other half of the bracket, No. 2 Mitty (19-2) eliminated No. 7 Lynbrook, 13-5 and No. 3 St. Francis (15-5) bounced No. 6 Harker, 11-7. The WCAL rivals will meet Monday in the other semifinal, at the Los Gatos Racquet Club, at 1:30 p.m.
Menlo will be the underdog Monday, but Shine is hoping his team has improved enough to give the Matadors a challenge. The teams met earlier this season and, playing pro sets over six singles and three doubles, Monta Vista rolled to a 9-0 victory.
"Our doubles are playing much better than the first time we played them," Shine said. "And, our singles are always good."
Menlo won seven points on singles against Saratoga, with sophomore Liz Yao and senior Giannina Ong both going 3-0. Ong got the Knights to within one point of clinching, but that honor went to the No. 2 doubles team of seniors Christine Kvamme and Sam Hoag. That duo produced a 2-1 mark on the cold day.
The No. 1 doubles team of senior Laura Gradiska and junior Paulina Golikova went 3-0 while Menlo's No. 3 doubles team of sophomores Sadie Bronk and Helena Ong also contributed to the victory.
Menlo is hoping to reach its first CCS title match since 2006. The last time the Knights brought home the championship trophy was 2005.
CCS GIRLS' TEAM TENNIS
Crystal Springs 11, Monterey 4
Carlmont 11, Piedmont Hills 7
Leland 11, Menlo-Atherton 7
Burlingame 15, San Benito 3
Palo Alto 14, R.L. Stevenson 4
Santa Catalina 11, Gunn 7
Carmel 13, Evergreen Valley 5
Homestead 11, Aptos 7
Harker 10, Crystal Springs 4
St. Francis 14, Carlmont 4
Lynbrook 14, Leland 4
Mitty 18, Burlingame 0
Saratoga 11, Palo Alto 7
Menlo 13, Santa Catalina 3
Los Altos 12, Carmel 6
Monta Vista 17, Homestead 1
St. Francis 11, Harker 7
Mitty 13, Lynbrook 5
Menlo School 12, Saratoga 6
Monta Vista 13, Los Altos 2
Semifinals at 1:30 p.m.
No. 3 St. Francis (15-5) vs. No. 2 Mitty (19-2) at Los Gatos Racquet Club
No. 4 Menlo School (17-7) vs. No. 1 Monta Vista (22-0) at Courtside Club, Los Gatos
Championship match at Courtside Club, 1:30 p.m.
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