The Palo Alto girls will not have to wait until the final match of the regular season to wrap up the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League lacrosse title.
The Vikings took care of that on Thursday evening with an easy 16-0 romp over visiting Pioneer. The Vikings improved to 11-0 in league and 15-1 overall with just one regular-season match remaining next Tuesday against visiting Mountain View at 7 p.m.
Palo Alto, which is ranked No. 12 in the state by Laxpower.com, attacked quickly and pulled away to an 11-0 lead after the first half in winning its 11th straight. The Vikings have outscored the opposition, 175-74, during that stretch while averaging 15.9 goals per match.
The Vikings got five goals from Allie Peery, three from Lisa Rogge and two from Maya Benatar. Solo tallies came from Lauren Gargiulo, Claire Chevallier, Kaitlin Chiu, Sarah McDonnell, Megan Valencia and Kylie Callan. Gargiulo provided two assists to lead that department.
In other league action involving contending teams, second-place Gunn traveled to San Jose on a hot afternoon and came home with a hard-fought 7-6 victory over third-place Leland.
Gunn improved to 8-2 in league, with its only two losses coming to Paly, and 11-4 overall. Seniors Rachael Tsai and Anna Dang each tallied three goals for Gunn, which will be looking to avenge those losses to Paly in the upcoming league playoffs.
Gunn and Menlo School received at-large bids into the Central Coast Section regionals following the section seeding meeting on Thursday night.
Gunn will join Sacred Heart Prep in Tuesday's first regional at Rancho Canada (West) in Carmel Valley with Menlo joining Palo Alto in Wednesday's regional on the same course.
The top four teams in each regional will advance to the CCS Championships on May 12, also at Rancho Canada (West).
Despite having only one double-winner, Gunn used its considerable depth to post a 116-70 victory over visiting Homestead and swim off with its first SCVAL De Anza Division dual-meet title since 2002.
The Titans wrapped up a 6-0 mark on Senior Day by winning nine events. Luke Chui took the 200 IM and 100 breast in addition to swimming leadoff on the winning 200 free relay.
Next up for the Titans will be the league championships, which Gunn last won in 2004.
In Los Gatos, Palo Alto got a pair of individual victories from sophomores Daniel Sing and Alex Liang and the Vikings made their final tuneup before next week's league championships a good one with a 102-83 dual-meet victory over host Los Gatos to wrap up the dual-meet season.
The Vikings finished 5-1, losing only a season-opening meet to Gunn. Paly competed without Sing, Liang and fellow sophomore Andrew Cho. All three have competed in the past five dual meets and will be ready to avenge their team's only loss when the Vikings and Titans battle for league meet honors at Saratoga High on May 8.
Paly junior diver Reed Merritt won the 1-meter board with a school record of 319.35 points. Sing and Cho clocked times of 1:47.05 and 1:47.21 to finish one-two, respectively, in the 200 free while Liang went 1:56.23 in the 200 IM and a solid 4:47.84 to win the 500 free.
In Atherton, host Menlo-Atherton posted a 103-61 dual-meet win over Burlingame to clinch second place behind Carlmont heading into the league meet next week. Gordon Williams won the 200 IM (2:06.85) and 100 fly (54.70) for the Bears (5-1, 6-3). Matheus Santos got a CCS cut in the 50 free with a 22.72 clocking while teammate Zach Goland did likewise with a 1:48.40 time in the 200 free.
The Palo Alto put the finishing touches on its first SCVAL De Anza Division dual-meet title since 2012 with a 115-71 victory over host Los Gatos on Thursday.
The triumph gave the Vikings a 6-0 record and the inside track for the league meet title, which will be decided next week at Saratoga High.
All of Palo Alto's victories were recorded by freshmen or sophomores with freshmen Sofia Sagrist and Zoe Lusk joining sophomore Grace Zhao in posting two individual victories apiece.
Zhao had a season-best 24.05 to win the 50 free in a meet record and added another meet record with a 1:05.17 victory in the 100 breast. She also swam on two winning relays, leading off the 200 free relay in 24.10 and clocking 53.80 to get the 400 free relay rolling to a season best of 3:37.66. Freshman Claire Lin won the 100 free and also anchored the 200 and 400 free relays to victory.
In Atherton, host Menlo-Atherton captured the PAL Bay Division dual-meet title with a 91-79 win over Burlingame.
Holding an 81-75 lead after the 100 breast, the Bears needed to win the final 400 free relay or finish second and third to claim the crown. M-A won in 3:43.54 and took third to finish 6-0 in dual meets.
Faith Dunn (2:14.83 in 200 IM), Kate Denend (25.61 in 50 free) and both free relays won with CCS cuts. Denend added a victory in the 100 free and led off the 200 free relay while Dunn anchored both winning relays to help overcome five wins by the Panthers, the defending PAL championship meet champions.
Also in Atherton, Sacred Heart Prep made its final swim tuneup before next week's West Bay Athletic League Championships a solid one despite dropping a 94-76 nonleague dual meet to visiting St. Francis.
The Gators held their own against the Lancers, who should be in the running for the Central Coast Section title later this month. SHP won seven events, including two solid relay victories. Junior Kathryn Bower and sophomore Kayla Holman were double winners for the Gators in addition to swimming on both winning relay squads. Freshman Matte Snow added a quick 54.52 victory in the 100 free in addition to a pair of legs on winning relays.