Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - September 23, 2011

Paly's state champs look to start new win streaks

Palo Alto's two defending state championship teams returned to reality as both suffered streak-ending losses last weekend. The girls' volleyball team saw its two-year, 27-match win string end in the second round of the Mitty Invitational while the Monarchs' football team ended Paly's streak of 15 straight wins at Foothill College.

The Paly volleyball team entered the prestigious Mitty tourney as the No. 1 seed. After sweeping No. 16 Santa Ynez in an opening-round match, the Vikings were upset by No. 9 Santa Barbara in five sets.

Paly headed back into the tournament on Saturday, split its two matches and finished sixth. The Vikings, ranked as high as No. 4 in the nation in one poll this season, had won seven straight tournaments over a two-year period.

The two losses knocked the Vikings out of the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 National Volleyball Rankings on Monday.

The Vikings (1-0, 14-2), however, didn't waste any time in righting their ship as they bounced back from their first losses of the season and opened defense of their SCVAL De Anza Division title with a 25-9, 25-18, 25-16 victory over visiting Gunn on Tuesday night.

In football, Palo Alto (1-1) fell behind to a Mitty team that had lost twice to the Vikings last season. A third time certainly wasn't a charm for Paly, which battled back to tie at 21 before the Monarchs connected on the game-winning 78-yard pass play in the fourth quarter to hand the Vikings their first loss since Nov. 20, 2009 when they lost to Bellarmine in the opening round of the CCS Open Division playoffs.

Next up for Palo Alto will be a nonleague game at Gunn on Friday at 7:30 p.m. The Titans (0-2) are coming off a 35-7 nonleague game to visiting Burlingame on Friday night.

In other prep football games Friday:

Sacred Heart Prep (3-0) plays host to Scotts Valley at 3:30 p.m., Menlo School (2-0) hosts Hillsdale at Woodside High at 7 p.m., and Menlo-Atherton (1-2) visits Half Moon Bay at 7 p.m.

On Saturday, Pinewood (0-2) hosts Kings Christian at 11 a.m. and Priory (0-3) hosts Alma Heights at 1 p.m.

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