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Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - October 4, 2013

Showdowns are all set in the PAL

It'll be Menlo vs. M-A boys while Castilleja takes on M-A girls

by Keith Peters

The showdown for the title in the PAL Bay Division boys' water polo race is all set between rivals Menlo School and Menlo-Atherton.

The first-place Knights (4-0, 12-2) and second-place Bears (4-0, 9-3) both won on Wednesday, setting up next Wednesday's match at Menlo (4 p.m.) as the title-decider. A win by the Knights all but gives them the league crown while a victory by the Bears means a co-championship.

Menlo won the first meeting of the round-robin schedule, 10-8, last month.

The Knights tuned up with a 19-6 dunking of visiting Sequoia on Wednesday. Andreas Katsis and Nick Bisconti each scored five goals while Chris Xi added three and Weston Avery two. Menlo grabbed a 12-2 halftime lead.

Just a few miles away, Evan McClelland tossed in five goals and John Knox added four as host Menlo-Atherton rolled to a 17-6 victory over Burlingame. The Bears also got two goals from Jake Bassin while six teammates tallied one goal apiece. Goalie Peter Berquist had nine saves.

Gunn remained atop the SCVAL De Anza Division standings with a 13-4 victory over host Los Gatos on Tuesday. The Titans improved to 4-0 (8-4) as Christian Znidarsic scored four goals and brothers Ari and Coby Wayne added three each.

In Cupertino, Palo Alto remained a game back of first place with an 11-10 victory over host Monta Vista. The Vikings improved to 3-1 in the division (14-3 overall).

Local teams had a very big weekend as Sacred Heart Prep won the Gold Division title at the NCS-CCS Challenge on Saturday at Acalanes High. Palo Alto also went 4-0, taking the Silver Division crown. Gunn went 3-1 and took third in the Silver Division while Menlo finished 3-1 and earned the consolation crown in the Gold Division.

Girls water polo

Menlo School scored 10 first-half goals and cruised to a 15-2 victory over host Terra Nova in PAL Ocean Division action. The Knights (5-2, 5-7) got five goals from Audrey Flower with Kate Huneke and Jennie Greenstein each posting a hat trick while seven Menlo players scored. Donya Dehnad finished with eight saves in the cage.

In the SCVAL De Anza Division, Palo Alto new head coach Aileen Delaney saw her team decisively beat host Lynbrook, 14-2. Olivia Scola scored four goals to pace the Vikings (2-3, 4-9) while goalie captain Hannah Bundy posted a strong performance.

In Los Gatos, Gunn avenged a tough loss to the Wildcats last season with a solid 16-5 triumph. Caroline Anderson led the Titans (4-0, 8-3) with a season-high 10 goals.

"We knew this would likely be our toughest league test this year, especially the way they play at home," said Gunn coach Mark Hernandez, who watched his team lose an 8-5 lead last year on the way to a 9-8 setback.

Los Gatos grabbed a quick 2-0 lead Tuesday, but Gunn rallied and took a 3-2 lead into the second period.

"I'm proud of the girls, they didn't panic and just kept at it," said Hernandez, whose team tallied five goals in the second quarter for an 8-4 halftime lead.

On Wednesday, Castilleja got seven goals from Anna Yu in a 12-5 victory over visiting Sequoia in PAL Bay Division action. Stephanie Flamen added three goals and goalie Maddie Tarr had seven saves for the Gators (4-1, 8-5), who will visit first-place Menlo-Atherton next Wednesday (4 p.m.) in a showdown for first place.

The Bears (5-0, 8-3) tuned up with a 12-4 win over visiting Burlingame. Jessica Heilman tallied five goals and Sofia Caryotakis added four for M-A.

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