Palo Alto girls capture Spikefest II volleyball crown


Palo Alto and Menlo-Atherton had the top two Division I girls' volleyball programs in the Central Coast Section last season, based on the Vikings' win over the Bears in the 2010 CCS final.

Little has changed since then, based on the results from Saturday's Milpitas Spikefest II at Independence High in San Jose.

Palo Alto went 5-0 and won the title with a 25-20, 25-22 victory over Division III Sacred Heart Cathedral. The Vikings beat the Bears in the semifinals, 25-16, 25-20, with M-A going 4-1 and finishing third following a 24-26, 25-22, 15-7 victory over Central Valley Christian.

Thus, don't be too surprised if Palo Alto (28-3) and Menlo-Atherton (24-5) meet up again in the CCS Division I finale on Nov. 19 at Independence.

Palo Alto now has won five of its past six tournaments, failing to win only in the prestigious Mitty Tournament this season during which the Vikings suffered two of its three losses. The came in a nonleague loss to St. Francis on Sept. 16. Perhaps not to surprising, the Vikings haven't lost since.

Palo Alto will take a 13-match win streak into this week, visiting Los Gatos (9-1) on Tuesday in a showdown to decide the SCVAL De Anza Division title. Paly will close the regular season on Thursday at Gunn, both at 6:45 p.m.

The Vikings are 105-9 since the beginning of the 2009 season.

Palo Alto defeated Gilroy (25-20, 25-5), topped Mercy-Burlingame (25-15, 25-15), held off Aptos (25-13, 25-18) and beat M-A before toppling defending CCS Division III champ Sacred Heart Cathedral.

Paly senior Maddie Kuppe hit .494 on the day, racking up 43 kills with just four hitting errors, three blocks, five aces, 28 digs and passed a 2.4 (on a 3 scale) with 25 perfect passes out of 43 attempts.

Paly coach Dave Winn said Kuppe was absolutely dominant in the semifinals against Menlo-Atherton, hitting .581 (eight kills with only one error), finishing off the match with two aces, which she did when Paly won the 2010 CIF Division I state championship.

Paly senior Melanie Wade added 50 kills in the five straight-set wins with eight blocks. Senior Kimmy Whitson dished out 92 assists and had 20 digs with nine aces.

Menlo-Atherton opened with a 25-10, 25-5 win over Andrew Hall before beating San Benito (25-17, 25-12), topping St. Ignatius (25-22, 25-14) before losing to Paly and then beating Central Valley Christian.

Sophomore Pauli King led the Bears with 24 kills, 32 digs and five blocks while junior Ali Spindt contributed 34 kills, 27 assists, 20 digs, four blocks and three aces in a fine all-around effort. Senior Sarah Collins dished 46 assits to go with 14 digs, five aces and seven kills while senior Hannah Branning added 33 digs and seven aces. Senior Seini Moimoi added 13 kills and 11 blocks while junior Katelyn Doherty finished with 20 kills, 28 digs and eight blocks.

Gunn went 3-2 in the Spikefest II, defeating Lynbrook (25-16, 24-26, 15-13), Mercy-Burlingame (25-22, 30-28) and San Benito (25-21, 25-19) but suffering losses to St. Ignatius (25-12, 23-25, 15-7) and Carlmont (26-24, 25-10) in the Bronze Division finals. The Titans (14-17) finished 10th overall.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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Like this comment
Posted by Theresa Carey
a resident of Gunn High School
on Oct 31, 2011 at 10:18 am

Correction: Gunn defeated San Benito by the scores you reported (25-21, 25-19) and went 3-2 on the day. We did indeed finish 10th overall. I'm the varsity statistician at Gunn so I'm the one with the numbers.... :)

The M-A vs. Paly match was terrific and I was really impressed with how both teams played. The group I was sitting with all remarked that we were seeing a preview of the CCS Div I championship match. M-A has a lot of weapons and they play scrappy defense.

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