The Central Coast Section girls' tennis championship has come down to Saratoga and Monta Vista the past two years. The Falcons have won both teams. Unless something drastic changes in the next month, don't be surprised to see the same squads battling it out once again for section honors.
This, of course, is not good news for Menlo School, which was knocked out of the CCS team tournament by Monta Vista in the semifinals last season.
The Knights may be one of the top four teams in the CCS, but all that gets you is a pat on the back. Menlo already has lost twice to Monta Vista this season, the second time coming Wednesday during a 6-1 nonleague setback on a hot day in Cupertino.
"The match was very close, but not the score," said Menlo coach Bill Shine, whose team last beat Monta Vista in the CCS finals in 2005. "It was close, but they won all the three-set matches. They're just a little more experienced than we are."
While the Knights have the potential to be one of the school's best teams, it's also one of the youngest. Kacie Madeira is the only senior on a squad that has three starting juniors, five starting sophomores and two starting freshmen.
That inexperience may have shown up Wednesday as junior Giannina Ong won her first set at No. 1 singles, but lost the next two; sophomore Christine Eliazo lost a three-setter and freshman Liz Yao dropped a first-set tiebreaker during a three-set loss at No. 4 singles. Sophomore Sarah Schinasi and freshman Helena Ong also lost a three-setter at No. 3 doubles after winning the opening set.
"I was pleased with the effort," said Shine, "(but) we've got work to do."
Boys' water polo
In a battle between two undefeated teams in the SCVAL De Anza Division, defending champ Los Altos held on for a 9-8 victory over host Palo Alto on Wednesday.
Bret Pinsker scored three goals for the Vikings (3-1, 7-2) with Will Conner adding two. The teams were equal throughout the match until the Eagles pulled ahead for good in the fourth quarter.
Palo Alto won't have time to prepare for its next match as the Vikings visit Gunn on Thursday in a showdown for second place at 6:45 p.m.
The Titans (3-1 league) tuned up with an 8-5 victory over host Monta Vista on Wednesday.
In the West Catholic Athletic League, Sacred Heart Prep remained on a collision course with co-leader Bellarmine after swamping host Valley Christian, 17-7, on Wednesday in San Jose. Harrison Enright scored scored five goals for the Gators (3-0, 7-4) while junior goalie Will Runkel had 12 saves. SHP will host Bellarmine next Wednesday (6 p.m.) for first place.
Girls' water polo
Gunn (4-0, 6-5) will put first place in the SCVAL De Anza Division on the line against visiting Palo Alto on Thursday (3:30 p.m.) after dunking host Monta Vista, 20-7, on Wednesday.
Elizabeth Anderson (six goals) and sister Caroline (five) took care of the offensive production for Gunn.
Meanwhile, Palo Alto (1-2, 7-6) failed to help Gunn take over sole possession of first place as the Vikings lost to co-leader Los Altos, 9-5. Emma Wolfe and Skylar Dorosin each scored twice for Paly.
In the WCAL, Sacred Heart Prep remained atop the league with a 13-4 victory over visiting Valley Christian. Senior Pippa Temple scored six goals for the Gators (3-0, 9-2) with fellow senior Erin Sheridan adding three.