Menlo-Palo Alto boys meet in CCS tennis semifinals

Top-seeded Knights favored to reach section championship match on Friday

The Menlo School boys' tennis program has achieved an unbeaten record only once in school history. That was the 1999 team that finished 23-0 while winning Central Coast Section and NorCal titles. The Knights, however, are in position to do that again.

Menlo improved to 22-0 and advanced to the semifinals of the CCS Team Tournament with a 7-0 victory over visiting Menlo-Atherton on Tuesday.

The top-seeded Knights will take on No. 5 Palo Alto (15-6), which upended No. 4 St. Ignatius, 4-3, at San Francisco State. The Vikings and Knights will play in the second semifinal on Wednesday at Courtside Tennis Club in Los Gatos at 2 p.m.

Second-seeded Saratoga (21-2) will face No. 3 Bellarmine (19-1) in the first semifinal at noon. The winners will meet Friday, also at Courtside, in the championship match at 2 p.m. Both finalists will advance to the CIF NorCal Championships set for May 21-22 in Oakley.

Palo Alto pulled the biggest surprise of the day by knocking off St. Ignatius. The Vikings came in with no expectations, especially after graduating a large senior class and then losing some other players who had expected to contribute.

Paly coach Andy Harader, who set up his lineup for a possible sweep in doubles and then had to bank on Nicky Hu in singles, got just that. Hu provided a 7-6, 6-4 victory at No. 1 and the Paly doubles tandems of Drew Pearson-Jujhaar Singh at No. 1, Grand Audet-Alex Freeman at No. 2 and Michael Li-Ryan Rasti at No. 3 all prevailed.

Pearson and Singh provided the clinching point with a 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 triumph.

Menlo ended Menlo-Atherton's fine season at 19-2. The Bears' loss was not unexpected as they cruised through the PAL Bay Division season unscathed this season at 14-0 and didn't have a lot of tough nonleague matches. M-A's previous toughest opponent likely was Gunn, which handed the Bears their first loss of the season a week ago.

Gunn (16-7) went on to earn the No. 6 CCS seed and advanced to the quarterfinals before falling to host Bellarmine on Tuesday, 7-0, at the Decathlon Club.

The Titans certainly didn't give up without a fight, despite the seemingly lopsided score. Senior Rajeev Herekar lost at No. 1 singles, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3, and senior Bharat Reddy battled during a 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) loss at No. 2 singles.

In doubles, Gunn's Simon Kaubisch and Roy Peleg dropped a tough 6-4, 6-7 (2-7), 7-6 (7-4) decision at No. 1 and teammates Jack Kwan and Paul Wang lost at No. 2, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5).



At Menlo 7, Menlo-Atherton 0

Singles -- J. Ball (M) d. Haley, 6-4, 6-4; P. Chase (M) d. Mitchell, 6-2, 6-1; Pham (M) Sarwal, 6-1, 6-4; A. Ball (M) d. Friedman, 6-0, 6-0.

Doubles -- Chan-Carlisle (M) d. Shah-Menninger, 6-1, 6-0; Morkovine-Sum (M) d. Brown-Giordano, 6-1, 6-1; Peltz-Hoag (M) d. J. Perkins-C. Perkins, 7-6 (7-3), 6-2.

Records: Menlo-Atherton 19-2; Menlo 22-0

At Decathlon Club

Bellarmine 7, Gunn 0

Singles -- James (B) d. Herekar, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3; Taylor (B) d. Reddy, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5); Chung (B) d. Wolak, 6-1, 6-1; Chang (B) d. Jiang, 6-1, 6-1.

Doubles -- Schoebel-Menon (B) d. Kaubisch-Peleg, 6-4, 6-7 (2-7), 7-6 (7-4); Standifer-Tashjian (B) d. Wang-Kwan, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5); Wadwani-Shankar (B) d. Macario-George, 6-1, 6-1.

Records: Gunn 16-7; Bellarmine 19-1

Other scores: Palo Alto 4, St. Ignatius 4; Saratoga 6, R.L. Stevenson 1

-- Palo Alto Online Sports


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