M-A girls take control of PAL Bay Division tennis race


The Menlo-Atherton girls grabbed sole possession of first place in the PAL Bay Division and knocked Carlmont out of a share of the top spot with a 5-2 victory over the host Scots on Tuesday.

The Bears improved to 6-0 in league (6-4 overall) while the Scots dropped to 5-1.

M-A grabbed a quick 3-0 lead behind wins from freshman Laney Van Linge at No. 1, Caroline Kelley and Sarah Tiemann at No. 3 doubles and Amelia Tiemann at No. 3 singles.

Carlmont, however, had taken the lead in two matches and were 5-5 in the other two. In the following 10 minutes, M-A's Taylor Noble and Julia Chang at No. 1 doubles and Sami Andrew at No. 2 singles pulled out their respective first sets, 7-5. Andrew would go on to win her match and clinch the victory.

The teams will meet again on Oct. 23 at M-A.

In San Jose, Menlo School opened defense of its West Bay Athletic League (Foothill Division) title and gave head coach Bill Shine his 420th victory with the program following a 6-1 triumph over host Harker.

The Knights (1-0, 4-3) improved their league dual-match winning streak to 209 straight since 1994, an ongoing state record, while Shine moved to 420-79 in his 19th season with the Menlo girls.

In Hillsborough, Sacred Heart Prep kept its perfect season intact with a 5-2 victory over host Crystal Springs to open the WBAL (Foothill Division) season. Freshman Sarah Choy paced the Gators (1-0, 7-0) with a 6-0, 6-0 victory at No. 1 singles.

In Palo Alto, host Castilleja opened its WBAL season with a 7-0 triumph over King's Academy at Rinconada Park. Celeste Woloshyn led the Gators (1-0, 3-2) with a 6-2, 6-3 win as Castilleja took the singles matches while losing only 11 games.

In the SCVAL El Camino Division, Palo Alto continued to excel and remained atop the standings with a 7-0 romp over host Santa Clara. The Vikings moved to 5-0 in league (8-4 overall) by taking six of the seven matches in straight sets. Avanika Narayan led the way at No. 1 singles with a 6-0, 6-0 victory.

Menlo, Sacred Heart Prep, Gunn, Castilleja, and Menlo-Atherton all will be busy this weekend in the Battle of the Bay. The two-day tennis extravaganza brings together 40 teams from around the bay, playing in a round-robin format.

Matches are held at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Friday at Menlo School, Sacred Heart Prep, Gunn and Burlingame. On Saturday, the same schools -- with the exception of Menlo -- will host again. Menlo will move to Los Altos on Saturday.

Girls golf

Menlo School remained in the thick of the WBAL race following a 202-249 victory over host Notre Dame-San Jose at San Jose Municipal. The Knights (2-1, 3-1) were led by Jessie Rong, who earned medalist honors with a 1-under 35 that included a pair of birdies. Freshman Sophie Siminoff birdied the seventh hole on the way to a 1-over 37. Lauren Yang (39) and Nicole Henderson (40) also were steady for the Knights.

Girls volleyball

Menlo School bounced back from an 0-4 effort at the Mitty Showcase on Saturday and opened its WBAL (Foothill Division) season with a 25-19, 25-20, 21-25, 27-25 victory over host Harker on Tuesday.

The Knights (1-0, 7-12) were led by Lida Vandermeer's 26 kills, 15 digs and three aces while fellow senior Elisa Merten contributed 42 assists, 17 digs and five kills. Payton Mack added seven kills and nine blocks while Jessica Houghton finished with 20 digs and six kills.

Menlo next will host rival Sacred Heart Prep on Thursday at 5:45 p.m.

Sacred Heart Prep, meanwhile, opened its league season in shocking fashion by falling to visiting Mercy-San Francisco, 23-25, 25-22, 28-26, 25-21. Victoria Garrick paced the Gators (0-1, 13-6) with 21 kills and 28 digs while fellow senior Natalie Marshall contributed 26 assists. Lilika Teu added 20 assists and libero Jorden Schreeder finished with 16 digs.

In San Jose, Castilleja opened its WBAL (Foothill Division) season with a 25-16, 25-22, 25-11 loss to Notre Dame-San Jose. Junior Madeline Johnson led the Gators (0-1, 12-12) with 11 kills.

In the PAL Bay Division, host Menlo-Atherton got 20 kills from senior Devin Joos as the Bears held on to first place with a 25-16, 25-21, 25-15 victory over visiting Terra Nova. The Bears (3-0, 12-1) hit .350 as a team with Leanna Collins providing 14 kills in 21 attempts for a .520 hitting percentage. Joos hit .340 and served four aces, Kaitlin Tavarez added 12 digs and Kirby Knapp finished with 41 assists.

In the WBAL Skyline Division, Pinewood opened league play with a 25-12, 18-25, 25-20, 25-19 victory over host Eastside Prep on Tuesday. Mehra den Braven led Pinewood (1-0, 8-4) with 18 kills.

In Burlingame, Priory evened its record at 1-1 in WBAL Skyline Division action following a 25-20, 25-12, 25-17 loss to host Mercy-Burlingame. Samantha Sargent led the Panthers with eight kills and six digs and outside hitter Avery Simon provided four aces.

In the SCVAL De Anza Division, host Gunn (2-1, 14-6) fell out of first place following a 25-11, 13-25, 25-20, 29-27 loss to defending league champ Homestead.

"Both teams played well with long rallies from awesome defense!" said Gunn coach Craig Bankowski.

Meghan Mahoney lead the Titans with 18 kills while hitting .400 and Gunn libero Tahra Knudsen "had another outstanding performance protecting our back row," Bankowski said.

Boys water polo

Gunn remained tied for first place and set up a showdown for sole possession of the top spot in the SCVAL De Anza Division by dunking visiting Saratoga, 17-2.

Quinn Hamilton and Calder Hilde-Jones each tallied four goals while Christian Znidarsic and Ari Wayne combined for five more as the Titans improved to 4-0 in league (6-5 overall) heading into Thursday's battle for first at co-leader Mountain View at 6:45 p.m.

Girls water polo

Gunn maintained its hold on first place in the SCVAL De Anza Division race with an 8-4 victory over visiting Saratoga. Nia Gardner scored three goals and Sam Acker came up with 14 saves as the Titans moved to 3-0 in league (8-3 overall).

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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