Menlo-Atherton girls wins important PAL volleyball match


Eliza Grover and Jacqueline DiSanto combined for 34 kills and the Menlo-Atherton girls' volleyball team beat host Carlmont, 25-13, 21-25, 25-20, 25-21, in an important PAL Bay Division match Tuesday.

The Bears (3-0 in the PAL, 9-4 overall) won their eighth straight since a four-match losing streak against some of the top teams in the nation.

Kirby Knapp had 32 assists for the Bears. Photo by Glenn Reeves.
Senior setter Kirby Knapp returned to the lineup over the weekend after dealing with a nagging injury. Knapp recorded 32 assists against the Scots (2-1, 12-3), a title contender.

Senior setter Casey Olsen proved effective and productive in Knapp's absence.

Grover had 19 kills to go with her .444 hitting percentage while DiSanto had 15 to go with a team-high 17 digs.

Chloe Johnson was a contributor both from the serving line (no errors in 18 serves) and the back line (13 digs).

M-A hosts Sequoia for a 6:15 p.m. PAL match on Thursday.

Sacred Heart Prep opened West Bay Athletic League action with a 25-23, 25-23, 25-22 victory over host Notre Dame San Jose as Cate Desler recorded 15 kills and had four aces.

Sammy Phillips added 10 kills, three blocks and a pair of service aces for the Gators (1-0, 12-5), who host Harker at 5:45 p.m. Thursday. Caroline Caruso added 13 digs.

Elsewhere in the WBAL, Castilleja topped host Crystal Springs Uplands, 23-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-19, as senior Elle Kass recorded 4 aces and 20 digs.

Gwen Cushing had 10 kills and 10 aces for the Gators (2-1, 6-8). Ashley Hu added seven kills and 11 digs and Maddie McClellan had 6 aces, 20 assists and 11 digs.

Menlo School used a balanced attack to launch the WBAL season with a sweep of Harker, 25-17, 25-20, 25-17, on Tuesday.

Junior Kristin Sellers posted nine kills, 16 assists and 12 digs for the Knights, who play at defending Central Coast Section champion Notre Dame Notre Dame at 5:45 p.m. Thursday.

Selina Xu collected a team-high nine kills, as well as, 14 assists, and fellow sophomore Sianna Houghton had seven kills and nine digs for Menlo. Senior Jessica Houghton had 14 digs.

In SCVAL action Tuesday, host Gunn downed Wilcox, 25-17, 25-13, 25-23, as Amy Wang recorded 11 kills and 11 digs.

The Titans (2-0, 8-10) play at Saratoga on Thursday at 6:45 p.m.

Palo Alto beat Mountain View, 25-17, 32-30, 25-13, to remain undefeated in league play. The Vikings (3-0, 7-4) travel to Los Altos for a 6:45 p.m. match Thursday.

In a nonleague match, host Pinewood beat Eastside College Prep, 25-20, 25-19, 25-13, a junior Maddie Escher had 11 kills and a .625 hitting percentage. Gabrielle Krohn hit at an .857 clip and recorded six kills to go with a pair of blocks.

The Panthers (4-11) host Capuchino on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.

Boys water polo

Gunn improved to 5-0 in the SCVAL with a 21-5 victory over host Monta Vista on Tuesday.

Jack Mallery led the Titans (6-4 overall) with six goals, followed by Quinn Hamilton with five scores and Patrick Zhao added four goals.

Palo Alto (4-1, 6-3) kept pace with an 11-6 win over host Wilcox as Jack Andersen netted four goals, Jared Stanley added three and Alex Beaudry had two.

Girls tennis

Sacred Heart Prep and Castilleja each won their WBAL opener Tuesday and Palo Alto remained unbeaten in SCVAL play.

SH Prep's Sara Choy extended her winning streak to 64 games against high school competition and the Gators beat visiting Crystal Springs Uplands, 5-2.

Melina Stravropoulos, Isa Robinson and Nathalie Rotenberg also recorded victories for SH Prep.

Castilleja (1-0, 8-3) edged host Pinewood, 4-3, as all three doubles teams won along with Sophia Nesamoney at No. 4 singles.

In the SCVAL, Palo Alto topped host Wilcox, 7-0, as Avanika Navayan and Claire Li each produced 6-0, 6-0 victories at the top of the singles ladder.

Menlo (1-0, 2-3) opened WBAL play with a 6-1 victory over Harker on Tuesday.

Knights' Georgia Anderson took a 6-3, 6-2 win at No. 2 singles and Kathryn Wilson won, 6-2, 6-4, at No.4.

Taylor Gould, at No. 1 singles, took the first set 6-1 then won by default. Elika Eshghi fell in three 4-6, 6-0 (7) at No. 4.

In doubles, Kaitlin Hao and Vivian Liu won at No.1, bouncing back from a 4-6 first-set loss before shutting out Harker in the next two sets.

Lauren Cremer and Penelope Penfold-Patterson won 6-0, 6-0 at No. 2 doubles while Ellie Lieberman and Ellen Cho picked up a 6-4, 6-1 victory.

Menlo won its 219th consecutive league dual match, a streak that began in 1994. The Knights look to add to that Thursday with a match at Pinewood at 3:30 p.m.

— Rick Eymer/Palo Alto Online Sports

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