M-A, Menlo girls advance in CIF NorCal volleyball playoffs


The Menlo-Atherton and Menlo School girls both moved on to the second round of the CIF NorCal volleyball playoffs following victories on Tuesday night.

In Division I, No. 3-seeded Menlo-Atherton opened with a 25-23, 25-17, 25-13 victory over visiting and No. 6-seeded Lowell of San Francisco (26-7).

M-A junior Jacqueline DiSanto, the MVP of the PAL Bay Division this season, produced 13 kills with 13 digs, two blocks and three aces. Fellow junior Kirby Knapp had 32 assists and 10 digs with junior Alexa Roumeliotis adding 14 digs.

The Bears (25-7) next will face host and No. 2 Pitman (30-6), the defending state runner-up, on Saturday in Turlock at 7 p.m. Pitman advanced with a 27-25, 21-25, 25-19, 25-20 victory over No. 7 Carlmont (27-10).

Pitman is ranked No. 35 in the state and Menlo-Atherton is No. 37 in the MaxPreps rankings. Pitman ended M-A's season last year in the NorCal title match in five sets.

In Division IV, No. 4 Menlo School (23-7) posted a 25-21, 25-21, 23-25, 25-19 victory over the No. 5 Yellow Jackets (36-8) to advance to the second round, where the Knights will face top-seeded and host Notre Dame-Belmont (29-10) on Saturday (7 p.m.) in a rematch of last weekend's CCS title match.

Menlo senior outside hitter Maddie Stewart tallied a team-high 16 kills with a .308 hitting percentage to pace the Knights past Hillmar. Middles Payton Mack, a senior, added 12 kills and Mia Vandermeer, a junior, posted five kills and three blocks.

Sophomore setter Kristin Sellers recorded 40 assists and also had three blocks.

The Knights countered the Yellow Jackets' big hitters 6-foot-2 Emily Baptista, the three-time Trans Valley League MVP, and 6-foot Mariah Ahid. Menlo junior libero Jessica Houghton picked up a team-high 22 digs while freshman Sianna Houghton added 17. Freshman Riley Holland and sophomore Caroline Bradley each added 12 for the Knights.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Menlo Athletics

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