Gunn girls grab early golf lead by holding off Palo Alto


The Gunn girls grabbed an early lead in the SCVAL golf race with a 192-195 victory over rival Palo Alto at the par-34 Palo Alto Municipal Golf Course on Monday.

The Titans also defeated the Vikings last year in their first meeting (by two strokes), but Paly won the second showdown and the teams shared the regular-season dual-match title.

Palo Alto went on to win the CCS title, take second at NorCals and finish fourth at the state meet.

Both teams battled windy conditions, with Paly senior Michelle Xie coming out the individual winner with a 2-under 32. Gunn senior Anna Zhou nearly matched that, settling for a 1-under 33. Teammate Lydia Tsai followed with a 36, Margaret Redfield shot 38, Tiffany Yang a 42 and Lianna McFarlane-Connelly carded a 43. Sabrina Chen's 45 did not count in the scoring.

Following Xie for Paly was Emily Hwang's 36, Stephanie Yu's 39, Celia Wilner's 43, and Candace Wong's 45. Elise Kiya withdrew due to illness. Gunn improved to 3-0 in league while Palo Alto dropped to 1-1.

The teams will meet again later in the season. Gunn is 3-0 in SCVAL play, Palo Alto is 1-1.

Boys water polo

Two of the best CCS teams battled it out in a roller-coaster game in Menlo School's season opener, with the host Knights holding on for a tough 10-8 nonleague victory on Monday.

Menlo came out strong, scoring four goals in the opening three minutes followed by an 8-1 run by St. Francis. Menlo made some key changes in its front court defense and went on a 5-0 run, holding the Lancers scoreless in the final period.

"I was most proud of these guys when they went down to St. Francis by three," said Menlo head Coach Jack Bowen. "They were tired, but they trusted in our game plan and stuck with it, playing like a team."

Scoring was led by team captain Andreas Katsis, who tallied five goals and led the team along with Chris Xi in ejections with four each. Xi scored three goals and Nick Bisconti two. Weston Avery lead the defense with four steals, leading the counter-attack with his speed. Goalie Spencer Witte came up with 10 saves.

"With a start like this," said Bowen, "I'm really excited to watch this group grow together this season and continue to improve upon an already solid foundation."

Menlo will have a chance to do just that as they host the 16th Annual Scott Roche Invitational this Friday and Saturday. The tournament features some of the top teams in Northern California including San Ramon Valley and St. Mary's, along with some top teams from Los Angeles and San Diego such as La Jolla and Vista.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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