Menlo School boys tune up for Roche tourney with win


The Menlo School boys opened defense of their PAL Bay Division water polo title with a 20-6 victory over visiting Sequoia on Wednesday.

The Knights (1-0, 2-0), who have won 20 of the past 21 titles dating to 1993 -- the only non-title came in 2012 -- rolled to a 12-2 halftime lead and cruised from there as 11 different players scored and 10 had assists.

Andreas Katsis had five assists to go with two goals while Nikhil Bhatia led the offense with three goals. Spencer Witte and Will Crouch split time in the cage with Crouch getting seven of the combined 12 saves.

Menlo next will host the 17th annual Scott Roche Invitational, which runs Friday and Saturday, and looks to improve upon last year's loss in the championship game to San Ramon Valley.

The Knights open Friday at home against El Dorado at noon. Menlo-Atherton will play Oak Ridge at 3 p.m. At Gunn, the host Titans will face Rio Americano at noon followed by Palo Alto taking on Drake at 2:50 p.m.

Semifinals are Saturday at Menlo at 11:05 a.m. and 12:15 p.m., with the title match set for 4:40 p.m.

Elsewhere, Sacred Heart Prep took a big step toward defending its title in the West Catholic Athletic League with a 15-6 dunking of host Bellarmine on Wednesday evening in San Jose. The Gators also beat the Bells last year on the way to finishing 6-0 in the dual-match season.

Seniors Michael Swart, Nelson Perla-Ward plus sophomore Jackson Enright all tallied three goals for SHP while Finn Banks added two. Goalie JC Marco coming up with seven saves for the Gators.

The Priory vs. Capuchino match was not reported.

Girls golf

Menlo posted an impressive 222-235 nonleague victory over a strong Gunn team on Wednesday at Palo Alto Hills Country Club. High winds and slick greens made conditions difficult, but Menlo junior Jessie Rong overcame those obstacles, carding a 2-over 37. Menlo's Lauren Yang posted a 42 and Nicole Henderson finished with a 43, making two triple bogeys on the first three holes before bouncing back with five straight pars.

"Jessie just played really well, and the team did a really good job and got a big win," Menlo coach Ron Driscoll said. "Lauren just played a really steady game."

Gunn played without No. 1 Anna Zhou, who reportedly was on a college visit to Harvard.

In San Mateo, Menlo-Atherton picked up a victory before the match even started as host Hillsdale had only four players available and forfeited its PAL Bay Division match with the Bears. M-A played nonetheless with Abigail Pederson earning medalist honors with a 43. Margaret Sten shot 46 and Christiana Park carded a 48.

Girls volleyball

Priory senior Anna Brett came up with five kills and six blocks, but the Panthers dropped a 25-20, 25-20, 25-12 nonleague decision in action in Portola Valley. Senior Jane Ross added 12 digs, four kills and two aces for Priory.

Girls water polo

Sacred Heart Prep remained perfect by opening its WCAL season with a 15-2 dunking of visiting Presentation on Wednesday. The Gators (1-0, 7-0) grabbed an 8-2 halftime lead before making it 12-2 heading into the final period.

Sophomore Maddy Johnston led the way with five goals with junior Malaika Koshy and sophomore Maddie Pendolino each adding three. Layla Waters finished with two with goalie Emily Riley coming up with 10 saves.

In Palo Alto, host Castilleja posted an 8-1 victory over Sequoia to open the PAL Bay Division season. Anna Yu tallied four goals for the Gators (1-0, 5-2) with Celia Aldrete adding three and Alexandra Zafran one.

In Atherton, Menlo School opened play in the PAL Ocean Division with a 12-3 loss to visiting Aragon. The Knights fell to 0-1 (2-4 overall).

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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