On paper, it was just another West Bay Athletic League tennis match -- and victory -- for the Menlo School boys. Yet, Tuesday's match against visiting Harker was much more than that.
Menlo coach Bill Shine did something that, perhaps, no other tennis coach in America has done. For that matter, maybe no other coach in any sport.
For the first time ever, Shine has five sets of brothers. Nine of the 10 siblings were on the court against Harker, with only junior Lane Leschly unable to make it a perfect 10 due to illness.
"It's really special and unique," Shine said. "I've never had this before."
The doubles featured three tandems of brothers -- Vikram and Siddharth Chari at No. 1, Nathan and Clark Safran at No. 2 and Michael and David Quezada at No. 3. All three teams won efficiently and quickly while losing only a combined four games.
"It's good for team chemistry," said Vikram Chari, a senior. "We had an immediate team, even though we got like a brand new squad."
In singles, senior Gunther Matta won at No. 2 and brother Tucker won at No. 4. Only freshman Bo Leschly, playing at No. 3 singles, suffered a loss and that didn't come without a fight as Leschly fell, 6-2, 4-6, 11-9, while filling in for his brother.
All the younger brothers are freshmen.
"All the new guys on the team fit perfectly together," said Gunther Matta. "It's a great team atmosphere."
Menlo improved to 5-0 in league (13-1 overall) and improved its ongoing state record to 221 straight league dual-match wins.
In San Jose, Gunn remained tied with Saratoga for first place in the SCVAL De Anza Division race following a 6-1 win over host Lynbrook. The Titans (5-1, 9-3) continued its strong season despite not having No. 2 singles player Conrad Russell. Amit Rao moved into that spot against the Vikings and suffered Gunn's only loss, 6-2, 6-3.
Andy Zhou won at No. 1 singles, 7-5, 6-1, with Dillon Yang and Martin Vladimirov posting wins at No. 3 and 4 singles for Gunn. The Titans' only league loss is to Saratoga and those teams will meet again April 16 at Gunn, most likely to decide the division title and top seed for the Central Coast Section team tournament.
In another De Anza Division match, Palo Alto (1-6, 7-6) fell to host Homestead, 5-2.
In San Mateo, Menlo-Atherton (6-0, 9-2) reached the halfway point in the PAL Bay Division season and remained atop the standings with a 7-0 blanking of host Aragon.
In Los Altos Hills, Gabe Owens remained unbeaten in WBAL action, but visiting Sacred Heart Prep posted a 5-2 victory over host Pinewood. The Gators moved to 2-3 in league (4-8 overall) with the Panthers falling to 1-4 (3-5).
Palo Alto remained atop the SCVAL De Anza Division standings with a 175-230 victory over visiting Cupertino at Palo Alto Municipal Golf Course on Tuesday. The Vikings improved to 5-0 in league (7-1 overall) with their season-low round at the par-34 layout.
Freshman Ahmed Ali fired a 1-under 33 to earn medalist honors. He had birdies on the sixth, eighth and ninth holes -- two of which are short par-4s. Henry Hughes and Matt Lewis each shot 35 with John Knowles wrapping up the scoring with a 36. Alex Hwang shot 38, but his score did not count.
In a showdown between two of the top teams in the WBAL, the Menlo School girls grabbed early control of the league race with a 14-9 victory over the visiting Bears on Tuesday.
Menlo junior captain Kaitlin Frangione had a breakout performance with two goals and a team-high four assists. Sophomore Sophia Donovan also tallied six points with four goals and two assists for the Knights (1-0, 4-2). Donovan owned seven of Menlo's eight draw controls in the first half.
Junior captain Nikky Price finished with three goals and an assist with junior Parvathi Narayan matching that hat trick. Nine of the 14 goals were assisted.
M-A senior Amanda Wiseman added three more goals to her team-leading totals and now has 33 for the Bears (0-1, 6-3). She earned four of M-A's seven draws won in the first half and won six contested ground balls. Sophomore goalie Allie Payne matched Menlo's Alena Stern as both had eight saves.
Also in Atherton, Sacred Heart Prep dropped its sixth match in seven outings this season following a 16-13 nonleague setback to visiting Foothill of Pleasanton. The Gators had a season-high nine goals from senior Brigid White plus three goals from junior Juliana Clark and one from junior Emma Johnson. Sophomore goalie Emilie Swan had nine saves.
The Gunn at Los Gatos and Palo Alto at Leland matches were not reported.
Menlo-Atherton started off fast with seven runs in the first three innings and went on to hold off visiting El Camino, 7-6, in PAL Ocean Division action. The Bears (1-1, 6-5) got a solid pitching effort from Emily Katz, who struck out nine and limited El Camino to six hits. She helped herself with two hits. Sarah Scandalios had three hits and two RBI for the Bears while teammate Brianna Martinez added two hits and two RBI. .
In Palo Alto, Gunn made its first appearance in the SCVAL De Anza Division in quite some time, but didn't get the victory it was hoping for. Instead, visiting Wilcox posted an 11-1 victory in a game shortened to five innings by the 10-run rule. The Chargers are one of the teams to beat in the division this year after taking second last year and returning most of their starters.
The tone of the game was set in the very first inning when Wilcox (2-0, 9-2) put up four runs on four hits. Gunn's defense strengthened in the second and third innings while allowing one more run. The Chargers then put up five more runs in the fourth, including two hits off the fence and a three-run homer.
Down 11-0 in the bottom of the fifth, the Titans (0-1, 5-4-1) attempted to fight off the run rule to keep the game going. Gunn did get a run and, while not enough for the game to continue, it spoiled a Chargers' shutout. Gunn once again played without starting pitcher Iris Chin, who is still nursing a finger injury.
In Burlingame, Castilleja picked up its second win of the season with an 8-3 triumph over Mercy-Burlingame in WBAL action. Tara Thakurta tossed a six-hitter and struck out five. Abby Lowell had three hits and drove in two runs for the Gators (2-0, 2-9) with Allison Zanolli adding two hits and scoring twice.
In nonleague action, host Palo Alto got a two-out, two-run single by Sophie Frick in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift the Vikings to a 3-2 victory over Sacred Heart Cathedral. Paly scored all of its runs in the seventh. The game-winner was Frick's second hit of the game.
Megan Glassford had a pair of doubles for Paly (6-5) and the other RBI in the seventh. She also gained the pitching win after entering the game in the top of the seventh for her sister, Casey, who struck out six with just one walk in her six innings of work.