Sports

Trio of local girls teams face year's toughest polo challenge

 

San Ramon Valley has the best girls water polo team in Northern California and likely should be ranked among the best in the country. One big reason is senior Katherine Klass, arguably the nation's No. 1 recruit.

Not too surprisingly, the unbeaten Wolves (20-0) head into this weekend's Northern California Championships at Sacred Heart Prep and Menlo-Atherton High as the top seed.


San Ramon Valley senior standout Kat Klass. Photo courtesy of USA Water Polo.
San Ramon Valley is heavily favored to defend its title. After all, Campolindo is the No. 2 seed and has lost to the Wolves three times this season -- 9-3, 11-4 and 9-7.

SRV is 11-0 against teams playing in the NorCal tourney, having beaten No. 3 seed Monte Vista (Danville) twice, No. 4 Miramonte, No. 6 Davis, No. 7 Sacred Heart Prep, No. 9 Las Lomas, No. 12 Acalanes twice and No. 14 Leland.

The Wolves, who were also 20-0 before winning last year's NorCal title, is led by the veteran Klass. She is joined by her sophomore sister, Sarah, and their father, Craig, an assistant coach. Craig is a two-time U.S. Olympian (1988, '92) and former Stanford All-American in the sport.

Kat Klass played on the USA Youth Women's National Team during the summer, winning gold medals at the FINA Youth World Championships in Spain in August and at the UANA Junior Pan Am Championships in Riverside in July.

San Ramon Valley hasn't lost a match since falling to Sacred Heart Prep in the NorCal tourney two years ago.

Despite having won seven straight Central Coast Section titles, SHP comes in as a decided underdog, as does No. 13 seed Gunn and No. 16 Menlo-Atherton.

This tournament will provide the toughest competition of the season for all three local teams as they prepare for their respective league playoffs next week.

Sacred Heart Prep was third in this event last year, fashioning a 3-1 record while losing to San Ramon Valley in the semifinals, 7-5. Gunn also went 3-1, falling to Miramonte in the opening round, while M-A finished 1-3.

2014 NORCAL WATER POLO CHAMPIONSHIPS

Hosted by Sacred Heart Prep and Menlo-Atherton

FRIDAY

At Sacred Heart Prep

Game 1 -- Campolindo vs. St. Francis (Sacramento), noon

Game 3 -- Sacred Heart Prep vs. Clovis North, 1:05 p.m.

Game 5 -- Monte Vista (Danville) vs. Leland, 2:10 p.m.

Game 7 -- Davis vs. St. Francis (Mt. View), 3:15 p.m.

Game 9 -- Game 1 loser vs. Game 3 loser, 4:20 p.m.

Game 11 -- Game 1 winner vs. Game 3 winner, 5:25 p.m.

Game 13 -- Game 5 loser vs. Game 7 loser, 6:30 p.m.

Game 15 -- Game 5 winner vs. Game 7 winner, 7:35 p.m.

At Menlo-Atherton High

Game 2 -- San Ramon Valley vs. Menlo-Atherton, noon

Game 4 -- Clovis vs. La Lomas, 1:05 p.m.

Game 6 -- Miramonte vs. Gunn, 2:10 p.m.

Game 8 -- Clovis West vs. Acalanes, 3:15 p.m.

Game 10 -- Game 2 loser vs. Game 4 loser, 4:20 pm.

Game 12 -- Game 2 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 5:25 p.m.

Game 14 -- Game 6 loser vs. Game 8 loser, 6:30 p.m.

Game 16 -- Game 6 winner vs. Game 8 winner, 7:35 p.m.

SATURDAY

At Sacred Heart Prep

Game 17 -- Game 11 loser vs. Game 15 loser, 8:50 a.m.

Game 19 -- Game 12 loser vs. Game 16 loser, 10 a.m.

Game 21 -- Game 11 winner vs. Game 15 winner (semifinal), 11:10 a.m.

Game 23 -- Game 12 winner vs. Game 16 winner (semifinal), 12:20 p.m.

Game 25 -- Game 17 loser vs. Game 19 loser (7th place), 1:30 p.m.

Game 27 -- Game 17 winner vs. Game 19 winner (5th place), 2:40 p.m.

Game 29 -- Game 21 loser vs. Game 23 loser (3rd place), 3:50 p.m.

Game 31 -- Game 21 winner vs. Game 23 winner (1st place), 5 p.m.

At Menlo-Atherton High

Game 18 -- Game 9 loser vs. Game 12 loser, 8:50 a.m.

Game 20 -- Game 10 loser vs. Game 14 loser, 10 a.m.

Game 22 -- Game 9 winner vs. Game 13 winner, 11:10 a.m.

Game 24 -- Game 10 winner vs. Game 14 winner, 12:20 p.m.

Game 26 -- Game 18 loser vs. Game 20 loser (15th place), 1:30 p.m.

Game 28 -- Game 18 winner vs. Game 20 winner (13th place), 2:40 p.m.

Game 30 -- Game 22 loser vs. Game 24 loser (11th place), 3:50 p.m.

Game 32 -- Game 22 winner vs. Game 24 winner (9th place), 5 p.m.

Seedings:

1, San Ramon Valley; 2, Campolindo; 3, Monte Vista (Danville); 4, Miramonte; 5, Clovis West; 6, Davis; 7, Sacred Heart Prep; 8, Clovis; 9, Las Lomas; 10, Clovis North; 11, St. Francis (Mt. View); 12, Acalanes; 13, Gunn; 14, Leland; 15, St. Francis (Sacramento); 16, Menlo-Atherton

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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