Palo Alto is in its first season as a team and is making headway toward the kind of year the Titans enjoyed in 2012.
The Vikings forged a tie for first place in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League race and ended Gunn's streak of 20 straight league wins over two years with a 182-196 triumph on Wednesday at Palo Alto Municipal Golf Course.
"A really well-played match," said Gunn coach Chris Redfield. "Palo Alto played exceptionally well."
Michelle Xie led the Vikings (10-1) with a 1-under 33 to earn medalist honors. Audrey Horn shot a 1-over 35 as the Vikings' top two players topped Gunn's one-two punch of Jayshree Sarathy (35) and Anna Zhou (37).
Helping Paly compile its best score of the season was Emily Hwang (36), Annie Chen (39) and Celia Wilner (39). They all finished ahead of Gunn's Tiffany Yang (39), Lianna McFarlane-Connelly (40) and Sandra Herchen (45).
On Tuesday, Gunn was missing Zhou (taking an afternoon test(, but still posted a 212-225 victory over visiting Homestead.
Sarathy led the Titans with a 1-under-par 33 at Palo Alto Municipal. Tiffany Yang shot 38, Lianna McFarlane-Connelly carded a 44, Sandra Herchen finished with a 48 and Margaret Redfield shot 49.
In the West Bay Athletic League (Foothill Division), junior Chloe Sales birdied the final hole for a 1-over 36 to pace Castilleja to a 217-274 victory over visiting Mercy-Burlingame at Palo Alto Hills Golf & Country Club. Castilleja (7-0, 7-1) remained atop the standings and honored seniors Frances Hughes and Ellie Zales, who received roses on the final green.
Also at Palo Alto Hills, Sacred Heart Prep (6-1-1, 6-2-1) remained in second place following a 226-239 win over rival Menlo School. Jessie Rong led the Knights (3-4 league) with a 2-over 37, good for medalist honors, but the Gators picked up 15 strokes over the 3-4-5 spots as Isabelle Chum, Maddy Ellison and Sinead Haley all won.
On Tuesday, Sacred Heart Prep kept its possible title hopes alive with a 227-234 victory over host Notre Dame-San Jose action at San Jose Muni. Jessica Koenig and Haley each shot 42 to pace the Gators.
The Menlo-Atherton girls continued their fine season by winning the varsity division of the Del Oro Invitational on Saturday night in Loomis.
The Bears place all five of their scorers among the top 14 and scored 33 points to defeat Woodcreek (50) and El Dorado (88).
Menlo-Atherton sophomore Madeleine Baier also kept her string of top finishes intact by winning the 4K race in 15:20. M-A senior Taylor Fortnam was fifth in 15:44 while the Bears' Katie Beebe (15:47) and Annika Roise (15:49) were right behind in sixth and seventh, respectively. Maddie Worden wrapped up the scoring by taking 14th in 16:07.
In the boys' race, Menlo-Atherton finished 10th with Bellarmine winning the title. Adam Scandlyn ran 33rd in 13:40 to pace the Bears.
In the Large School Varsity Girls race at the annual Artichoke Invitational at Half Moon Bay, Palo Alto sophomore Bryan Carlson covered the 2.33-mile courst in 15:04 while finishing fourth. The Vikings finished sixth with 167 points while Monta Vista won the team crown with 41 points.
In the Large School Varsity Boys race, Palo Alto freshman Kent Slaney was 10th in 12:47 while helping the Vikings finish 10th in the team scoring.
Menlo continued to roll in the WBAL Foothill Division following a 7-0 win over host Notre Dame-San Jose at San Jose State. The Knights (3-0, 13-1) won three matches by default as they won their 201st straight league match since 1994, an on-going state record.
In Palo Alto, Castilleja remained on a collision course with Menlo with a big 5-2 victory over visiting Sacred Heart Prep at Rinconada Park. The Gators improved to 3-0 in league (6-2 overall) and will host Menlo on Tuesday (3:30 p.m.) in the first of two head-to-head matches.
Paulette Wolak led a sweep of the singles for Castilleja with her 6-1, 6-3 win over Britt Schuman. April Chien battled for a 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 win over Tara Ritchey at No. 2 singles while Celeste Woleshyn won at No. 3, 6-4, 6-1, and Rose Crisman took No. 4, 6-0, 3-6, 6-2, over Kate Ackley.
In the PAL Bay Division, Menlo-Atherton (4-4, 6-9) dropped a tough 4-3 decision to host Hillsdale. The Bears were swept in singles, but took all three doubles matches behind the teams of Sally Carlson-Amanda Scandalios, Carolyn Kelly-Taylor Noble plus Julia Chang-Camilla Calmasini.
The Bears had a shot at victory when Laila Volpe even her match at No. 4 singles, but Volpe eventually dropped a 6-1, 3-6, 7-5 decision.
In the SCVAL De Anza Division, host Palo Alto (4-2, 13-2) dropped a tough 4-3 decision to Saratoga while Gunn (1-5, 1-8) fell to visiting Lynbrook at Cubberley Community Center.
Paly, which was coming off a 6-1 nonleague win over Milpitas on Monday, was in great shape after Aashli Budhiraja (7-6, 6-0), Felicia Wang (6-2, 6-0) and Avanika Narayan (6-3, 6-1) swept the top three singles against Saratoga. The Vikings, however, suffered a rare sweep in doubles in straight sets. Palo Alto now trails Monta Vista (6-0) and Saratoga (5-1) in the division race.
Menlo-Atherton grabbed control of the PAL Bay Division race with a 25-18, 22-25, 26-24, 23-25, 15-9 victory over visiting Carlmont. The Bears improved to 5-0 in league (11-3 overall) while dropping the Scots to 4-1 (11-7).
M-A was led by junior Devin Joos, a junior transfer from St. Francis. She made her season debut a good one with 25 kills and 18 digs from her positions at outside hitter and opposite.
Pauli King added 13 kills and 22 digs for the defending PAL Bay and Central coast Section Division I champion Bears. Virginia Lane added 34 digs and freshman Kirby Knapp produced 51 assists and 11 digs.
In the SCVAL De Anza Division, junior Anna Dukovic had seven kills with no hitting errors, hit .412, produced nine digs and five aces to help Palo Alto sweep visiting Monta Vista, 25-21, 25-12, 25-10.
The Vikings (3-1, 13-4) also got 11 kills from Becca Raffel, nine kills from fellow senior Lauren Kerr, 12 digs from senior Keri Gee plus 22 assists from senior Sarah Limb. Paly had only 10 hitting errors in 106 attempts as nine different players contributed to the attack.
At Los Gatos, Gunn won the first set but then dropped three straight while suffering a 19-25, 25-16, 25-13, 25-14 loss to host Los Gatos in SCVAL De Anza Division action. The Titans (2-2, 6-8) play host to first-place Homestead on Thursday night at 6:45 p.m.
In the WBAL Foothill Division, Menlo School rolled past host Mercy-San Francisco, 25-17, 25-16, 25-21. The Knights (3-0, 16-4) got 23 kills from Maddie Huber, fellow senior outside hitter Maddy Frappier added 14 kills, Elisa Merten distributed 38 assists while Melissa Cairo picked up 14 digs and Jessica Houghton posted eight digs.
In Atherton, host Sacred Heart Prep suffered reportedly its first-ever loss at home to Castilleja, 24-26, 25-19, 20-25, 25-21, 15-12. Castilleja's last win over SHP reportedly came in 2007 at another site.
Katya Scocimara had 19 kills and 16 digs for Castilleja first-year coach Jacqueline Heler. Jessica Norum added 15 kills and 13 digs; Madeline Johnson finished with 11 kills, two blocks and two aces; Sarah Rose contributed 13 kills and two blocks and Jennifer DiSanto had 50 assists and 17 digs for Castilleja (1-2, 10-8). Elle Kass added 21 digs while Emily Pederson finished with three aces, three kills and three blocks.
SHP (2-1, 11-6) got 22 kills and 28 digs from Victoria Garrick, 18 kills from Ara Peterson, 48 assists from Natalie Marshall and 16 digs from Mamie Caruso.
In Portola Valley, Priory dropped its third straight to open the WBAL Foothill Division season following a 25-22, 25-16, 25-14 setback to visiting Harker. Marine Hall-Poirier led the Panthers (0-3, 13-6) with 22 kills, 10 digs and two aces while setter Riley Gallivan added 19 assists and five digs. Michaela Koval finished with eight digs and two aces for Priory.
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