Sports Shorts | November 26, 2010 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - November 26, 2010

Sports Shorts

PREP ALUMS . . . Freshman Erin McLaughlin from Castilleja received the University Athletic Association (UAA) Athlete of the Week award for women's volleyball last week. McLaughlin was named NCAA New York Region Tournament Most Outstanding Player and helped lead the Violets to a 3-0 weekend (Nov. 12-14). NYU earned its first regional title since 2005 and advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight. McLaughlin recorded 32 kills (2.91 per set) with a team-best .417 hitting percentage, 10 service aces, 18 digs, and a team-high six blocks. This is McLaughlin's first Athlete of the Week Award. NYU's season, however, ended this past weekend as the Violets (38-6) dropped a 25-16, 25-16, 25-10 decision to third-ranked Washington University in the tournament quarterfinal match. McLaughlin had six kills and three digs while teammate and Menlo School grad Alexis Schwartz provided 14 digs, giving her a team-leading 581 this season, a school record. . . . Palo Alto High grad Hillary Ford was named honorable mention on the All-Ivy League team last week after helping the Tigers finish third place in league play. Ford, a junior libero from Portola Valley, averaged 3.98 digs per set, seventh-best in the Ivy League, and her 22 service aces led Princeton and ranked ninth in the league. Ford had double-digit digs in 15 of Princeton's last 16 matches, though she saved her best for last; she recorded a career-high 30 digs in the season finale against Penn. . . . Menlo School grads Mike Merlone and Matt Hale closed their college careers by helping lead No. 15-ranked Princeton to an 8-7 win over 17th-ranked Bucknell in the third-place game of the 2010 CWPA Eastern Championships on Sunday. Palo Alto High grad Tim Wenzlau led the Tigers (19-7) with three goals while Hale added two. Merlone, the school's all-time leader in saves, made nine in his final game. Following the championship game, which St. Francis won 8-4 over Navy. Hale was named to the All-Tournament second team. Earlier in the week, Merlone was named CWPA South Division Most Valuable Player. Merlone becomes Princeton's sixth Southern MVP and its first since 2008. Merlone also earned his second first-team All-Southern nod. Hale joined Merlone on the first team. Sacred Heart Prep grad Alex Whittam of Johns Hopkins also was named to the first team. Harvard, under the guidance of first-year coach Ted Minnis from Castilleja, capped season with a fifth-place finish at the CWPA Northern Division Championships at MIT. Harvard beat Iona, 7-6, in its final match as Crimson goalie Alexander Popp from Menlo-Atherton High had 11 saves in goal. Harvard finished its first season under Minnis at 12-16, the most wins for the program since 2007.

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