The demolition of both gyms to make way for a new athletics complex at Palo Alto High has forced the school's water polo teams to practice and play on the road.
The Paly boys tested the away home matches on Tuesday and still found success with a 14-10 triumph over Wilcox at Gunn High to open the SCVAL De Anza Division season.
The Vikings gave first-year coach Aaron Johnson his first league triumph. Johnson took over for his older brother, Brandon, just before the start of the school year when Brandon took a teaching job in San Francisco.
The Vikings pulled away to a 3-1 lead after one period and made it 6-2 at the half. Winston Rosati poured in nine goals to pace Paly with Kevin Bowers adding two. The Vikings (1-1, 2-1) got single goals from Justyn Cheung, Jared Stanley and Tommy Smale.
While Paly was in the Gunn pool, the Titans were on the road at Mountain View on Tuesday and opened defense of their regular-season water polo title with a 17-3 dunking of the Spartans.
Christian Znidarsic paced the Titans (1-0, 4-4) with six goals with Calder Hilde-Jones adding five and Jack Mallery three. Aaron Babian contributed two goals and JP Napaa tallied once. Gunn pulled away early with an 8-0 lead after one period and made it 10-0 by halftime.
The Priory-Hillsdale match was not reported.
The Menlo-Atherton girls opened their Peninsula Athletic League season by running away with the team title at the first league-wide meet of the year on Tuesday at Westmoor High in Daly City.
The Bears finished with 39 points while Half Moon Bay was well back in second with 82.
Madeleine Baier led the Bears over the 2.4-mile course with a third-place finish of 15:17. Teammate Cat DePuy was fourth in 15:31 with the Bears' Annalisa Crowe racing home sixth in 15:47. Olivia Shane was 12th (16:25) and Katie Beebe took 14th (16:30) to round out M-A's scoring.
In the boys' meet, Menlo-Atherton totaled 72 points and finished second to Half Moon Bay's 49.
Robert Lane led the Bears with a 13:23 clocking for fifth place. Kevin Conrad was 10th (13:35), Rohan DePuy was 14th (13:45), Andrew Tan ran 20th (14:04) and Scott MacDonald was 23rd (14:10) to round out M-A's scorers.
Gunn grabbed sole possession of first place in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League race with a 211-242 dual-match victory over visiting Homestead at the par-34 Palo Alto Muni layout on Tuesday.
The Titans improved to 3-0 as Tiffany Yang led the way with a 6-over 40. Isha Mohan and Margaret Redfield each shot 42 for Gunn with Sabrina Chen (43) and Lucy Lamb (44) rounding out the scoring.
In Cupertino, Palo Alto suffered a 172-187 dual-match loss to host Lynbrook at the quirky Deep Cliff Golf Course. The setback knocked the Vikings (1-1, 2-1) out of a tie for first place with Gunn in the SCVAL. The rivals will meet Thursday at Palo Alto Municipal.
Stephanie Yu led Paly against Lynbrook with an even-par 30 on the short course. Emily Hwang shot 37, Celia Willner a 36, with Candace Wang and Jasmine Choi carding 42s.
Menlo School bounced back from a loss in the first set to defeat host Aragon in nonleague action Tuesday. The Knights improved to 7-2 with their 20-25, 25-20, 25-21, 26-24 victory.
Menlo climbed back when the Dons had set point in Game 4.
The Knights were led by Ashley Dreyer and Maddie Stewart, who had 13 kills apiece. Stewart added five blocks. Freshman Sianna Houghton added 11 kills, 18 digs and two aces. Menlo middle blocker Payton Mack tallied eight kills and six blocks. Selina Xu distributed 31 assists and Kristin Sellers added 17. Jessica Houghton picked up 17 digs and a pair of aces.
The Knights play host to St. Francis on Thursday then are set for the fifth annual Chandler Invitational, a 16-team event, starting Saturday, Menlo begins plays against Mercy-Burlingame at 8:30 a.m.
In San Mateo, Cate Desler provided 17 kills as Sacred Heart Prep posted a 28-26, 25-21, 25-15 nonleague victory over host Hillsdale. The Gators (7-2) won their third straight as Lilika Teu dished out 33 assists with 10 digs and five kills. Natalie Zimits finished with six blocks and five kills while Jorden Schreeder added 18 digs from her libero position.
In Palo Alto, Castilleja fell to 4-12 overall in volleyball following a 25-7, 25-13, 25-14 nonleague loss to visiting Mountain View. Ashley Hu had 10 digs and four kills to pace the Gators.
In other nonlague matches Tuesday:
Menlo-Atherton (0-3) dropped a 25-19, 25-20, 25-21 match to host St. Ignatius and Pinewood defeated visiting Fremont, 12-25, 25-18, 25-16, 16-25, 15-9.
The Woodside at Palo Alto (played at Gunn) and Gunn at Pioneer matches were not reported.
Girls water polo
Mills jumped to an early 2-1 lead, but Menlo's Jane Zafran scored at the end of the first period to give the Knights a 3-2 lead on the way to a 9-5 victory in a PAL Ocean Division match Tuesday.
The Knights' defense, led by goalie Gillian Bressie (11 saves) went on to shut out the Vikings in the second period while Menlo grabbed a 6-2 lead. Mills cut its deficit to 6-4 in the third, but Menlo seniors Anna Miller and Michelle Meyer plus freshman Celia Fritsch closed the match with goals. Zafran led host Menlo with three goals.
Palo Alto, meanwhile, also opened its home season at Gunn High and came away with a 9-3 win over Lynbrook to open the SCVAL De Anza Division season. The vikings (1-0, 3-2) were led by senior Gigi Rojahn's five goals with Katie Francis adding two.
Gunn opened defense of its league title with an 8-3 win over host Mountain View. Mikaela Wayne led the Titans (3-0) with three goals. Gunn grabbed a 5-1 halftime lead and cruised from there.