Six local girls' volleyball teams head to the semifinals


If the seedings hold true, five of six local teams will reach the Central Coast Section girls' volleyball finals on Nov. 19 at Independence High in San Jose. It will be up to Menlo School to make it six.

The No. 3 seed in Division IV, the Knights are the lowest seed of the six local teams remaining following Thursday night's quarterfinals. Menlo will need to upend No. 2 Soquel next Wednesday in the semifinals in Atherton to more than likely put six area squads in championship matches.

The Division I finale is shaping up to be No. 1 Palo Alto and No. 2 Menlo-Atherton, if the seeds fall as expected. That would be a rematch of last year's title match won by the Vikings, who went on to win NorCal and state titles.

Palo Alto opened defense of its CCS title by disposing of visiting Gunn, 25-19, 25-17, 25-17 on Thursday night. The top-seeded Vikings (31-3) next will play No. 4 Salinas (22-8) in the semifinals next Thursday at Milpitas High at 5:30 p.m. Salinas advanced with a 25-22, 25-14, 25-22 win over No. 5 Homestead. No. 8-seeded Gunn finished its season 15-20.

Meanwhile, No. 2 Menlo-Atherton moved a step closer to that rematch with Palo Alto with a 25-19, 25-10, 25-7 romp over visiting No. 10 Monta Vista (16-17) on Thursday night. Junior Ali Spindt, who earlier in the day was named the PAL Bay Division Most Valuable Player, produced seven kills, six digs, six assists and three aces to pace the Bears (28-5). Junior Katelyn Doherty added six aces, six digs and four blocks while sophomore Pauli King contributed six kills, five digs and four blocks. Senior Seini Moimoi finished with six kills and two blocks.

Menlo-Atherton next will face No. 3 Carlmont (25-9) in the semifinals next Thursday at Milpitas High at 7:30 p.m. M-A defeated Carlmont twice during the PAL Bay Division season on the way to a 14-0 finish and league title.

In Division IV, Sacred Heart Prep opened defense of its CCS title by blanking No. 8 Carmel, 25-20, 25-15, 25-14, in a quarterfinal match Thursday night in Atherton. Senior Jesse Ebner led the top-seeded Gators (22-6) with 13 kills while juniors Ellie Shannon and Payton Smith each contributed eight kills. Sacred Heart Prep next will face No. 5 Harbor (19-16) in the semifinals on Wednesday at Menlo School at 5:30 p.m.

Menlo School attained one goal of reaching the CCS semifinals, which will be played in the Knights' gym, by defeating No. 6 Mercy-San Francisco, 25-22, 25-16, 18-25, 25-23, on Thursday night in Atherton. Third-seeded Menlo (24-7), which beat Mercy-SF twice during the WBAL Foothill Division season, will host No. 2 Soquel (29-4) next Wednesday in the semifinals at 7:30 p.m.

In Division V, top-seeded Priory (24-4) advanced to the semifinals with a 25-12, 25-19, 25-6 sweep of visiting No. 8 Alma Heights on Thursday in Portola Valley. Marine Hall-Poirier and Alyssa Gutman-Green each had seven kills for the Panthers, who will face No. 4 Anzar (20-10) in the semifinals on Thursday at Alma Heights in Pacifica at 5:30 p.m.

With senior Hannah Boland producing 14 kills, second-seeded Castilleja (18-14) also advanced to the Division V semifinals with a 25-14, 25-17, 25-15 victory over No. 7 St. Thomas More in Palo Alto. Junior Lucy Tashman added seven kills, 20 digs and two aces with junior setter Hannah Hsieh contributing 32 assists and two aces. The Gators next will face No. 3 Mt. Madonna (13-14) on Thursday at Alma Heights in Pacifica at 7:30 p.m.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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