Menlo School suffered only three losses in girls tennis last season while winning 26 times. Two of those setbacks were to Monta Vista, once in the Central Coast Section final and the second at the NorCal title match.
This season, the Knights have taken steps to avenge those defeats and how have beaten the Matadors twice already following a 6-1 nonleague triumph on Tuesday.
Menlo did beat Monta Vista in nonleague action last season, and the teams likely will meet again this year when more is riding on the matches. Still, a 7-0 win at the California Classic and Tuesday's 6-1 win gives Menlo coach Bill Shine an idea his team will contend for section and NorCal honors once again.
Sisters Elizabeth and Alice Yao won at No. 1 and 2 singles while Georgia Anderson won in a tiebreaker at No. 3. The most encouraging sign, however, was Menlo's sweep in doubles -- all in three sets -- as the Knights ended a three-match losing streak and improved to 3-3.
Menlo and Monta Vista will be among the huge field of 40 for the first annual Battle of the Bay Tennis Challenge, which includes teams from around Northern California and one from Hawaii.
The two-day event begins on Friday, Oct. 3 and concludes on Oct. 4.
In addition to Menlo School, local teams include Castilleja, Gunn, Los Altos, Menlo-Atherton, Mountain View and Sacred Heart Prep.
Menlo will host 2013 NorCal participant Dougherty Valley, Los Altos and Tamalpais on the first day. On Oct. 4, those same teams will be joined by Mitty, Monta Vista (Cupertino), Foothill (Pleasanton) and Monte Vista (Danville) in round-robin action.
Gunn also will host both days, as will Sacred Heart Prep. Castilleja will be one of the teams playing in Atherton.
Local runners tuned up for Saturday's annual Stanford Invitational by getting in some speed work at the annual SCVAL Meet No. 1 on Tuesday over a 2.3-mile layout at Central Park in Santa Clara.
The Palo Alto boys finished third with Gunn sixth while the Gunn girls took second in its varsity division.
Paly senior Lucas Matison paced the Vikings with a second-place finish of 12:07.9. Teammates Naveen Pai (12:38.2) and Aaron Chandler (12:42.8) were 16th and 18th, respectively.
In the girls' race, Gunn junior Gillian Meeks cruised to second place in 12:23.1 as the third-place finisher was 12 seconds behind. Illi Gardner of Gunn was seventh in 14:04.9 and teammate Emily Aiken was ninth in 14:13.4.
The Gunn and Palo Alto teams will compete in Division I at Stanford, the boys going off at 11 a.m., followed by the girls at 11:30 a.m. All the high school races will be conducted over a 5K course at the Stanford Golf Course.
Despite missing No. 3 player Stephanie Yu, who was out with an arm injury, Palo Alto pulled it together and posted a 198-206 SCVAL victory over host Lynbrook (4-2) at the par-36 Santa Teresa Golf Course in San Jose on Tuesday.
Emily Hwang had three birdies and show a 1-under 35 to earn medalist honors. Paly senior Michelle Xie also had three birdies while shooting 36. Sophomore Celia Willner carded a 39 and senior Olivia Johnson shot 44 to wrap up the win as the Vikings moved to 4-1 in league (5-1 overall).
In Menlo Park, Sacred Heart Prep's title hopes in the West Bay Athletic League took a step sideways on Tuesday as the Gators suffered a rare tie with visiting Harker at Sharon Heights Golf & Country Club.
Both teams shot 228 on the par-36 layout and moved to 1-0-1 in league. The Gators (3-0-1 overall) were led by Jessica Koenig's 4-over 40 while Lauren von Thaden shot 43.