The Menlo-Atherton girls volleyball team survived a grueling nonleague schedule and then survived a tough, three-set match against Palo Alto to earn the title of the Chris Chandler Invitational, held at Menlo School on Saturday.
The Bears (8-4) won five times on the day, beating Gunn, 25-15, 25-16, and Woodside, 23-25, 25-12, 15-7, in pool play before topping Aragon, 25-13, 25-18, and downing Sacred Heart Prep, 25-16, 25-12, in the semifinal.
M-A, winners of seven straight, welcomed back senior setter Kirby Knapp to the lineup. She recorded 18 assists, had eight digs and added three blocks in the 25-17, 18-25, 15-13 victory over the Vikings in the title match.
Eliza Grover had 10 kills, nine digs and a hitting percentage of .429 and Kiana Sales added 13 digs for the Bears, who travel to Carlmont for a PAL Bay Division match Tuesday at 6:15 p.m.
Palo Alto (4-4) beat San Mateo, 22-25, 25-18, 15-13 and Notre Dame San Jose, 25-16, 26-24, in pool play and then defeated Half Moon Bay and host Menlo School (10-3) to reach the championship.
The Knights beat Sacred Heart Prep, 19-25, 25-19, 15-5, in the third-place game. Aragon edged Gunn (7-10), 30-32, 25-18, 15-8, in the fifth-place contest.
Several SH Prep players contributed, including Cate Desler, who had 39 kills on the day, Natalie Zimits, with 27 kills and 11 blocks and Sammy Phillips with 27 kills.
Setters Hailey Martella (56 assists) and Alexa Thompson (42 assists) were equally effective in distributing the ball. Elena Radeff (14 kills) and libero Caroline Caruso (36 digs) were also effective.
Woodside, 0-2 in pool play, came back to win the Bronze Division.
Girls water polo
Sacred Heart Prep (7-4) and Castilleja (6-3) met on the final day of the Amanda MacDonald Tournament at Menlo, though it was in the third-game game and not the title match.
SH Prep downed Castilleja, 10-3, with Maddy Johnston scoring four times and Layla Waters adding three. Jane Rakow made nine saves. Claire Pisani led Castilleja with three goals, while Georgia Lewis made six saves.
The SH Gators dropped an 8-7 decision to eventual tournament champion Soquel (11-2) in the semifinal. Rakow recorded 13 saves to keep her team in the game.
St. Francis, the tournament runner-up, beat the Castilleja Gators, 9-4, in the other semifinal.
Palo Alto went 3-0 over the weekend to claim the title of the 10th annual Paly Invitational. Castilleja finished 2-2.
The key match was a 10-8 decision over San Mateo, which finished in second place. Mailinh Truong and Isabel Cossio turned in all-star efforts to key the Vikings victory.