Local girls' volleyball teams remain in title contention


The Menlo-Atherton girls volleyball team continues to roll, beating visiting Burlingame, 25-11, 25-18, 23-25, 25-17, Tuesday night in a PAL Bay Division match.

The Bears (7-0, 13-4) have won 12 straight and opened a two-game lead over the Panthers, Aragon and Carlmont.

Emma Munch. Photo by Tone Lee
Senior Eliza Grover continues to rise to the occasion. She recorded 24 kills and has a team-high 218 (12.8 per match) on the season. She hit at a .667 clip and added 11 digs.

Jacqueline DiSanto, another of the outstanding seniors that populate the M-A roster, added 20 digs and four aces. She has 201 kills (11.8), 40 aces (2.4) and 246 digs (14.5) on the year.

Seniors Kiana Sales and Kirby Knapp also made their marks. Sales added 22 digs and Knapp recorded 41 assists.

Senior libero Elise Carlomagno has also made significant contributions and junior Lauren Heller has given the Bears solid defense. She had 10 digs and has reached double figures in digs in each of the past four matches.

M-A hosts Half Moon Bay at 6:15 p.m. on Thursday.

Woodside took over sole possession of first place in the PAL Ocean Division, recovering from a two-set deficit to beat host San Mateo, 14-25, 22-25, 25-13, 25-20, 15-12, on Tuesday. The Bearcats suffered their first league loss of the year.

Seniors Jordan Crevelt, Pascale Tregon, Jessie Crowley and Claire Cicchetti have been steady contributors for the Wildcats (7-0, 12-7), who travel to Westmoor on Thursday.

Palo Alto continues to enjoy a successful season, despite having to play all its home matches at Gunn. The Vikings downed host Lynbrook, 25-15, 22-25, 22-25, 25-15, 15-6, to remain alone in first in the SCVAL De Anza Division.

Junior Chelsea Fan, who has been outstanding all year, added 24 kills, two shy of her season-high, and hit .373 in the win over Lynbrook. She also had 18 digs.

Senior Fiona Green turned in her best match of the year, recording 17 kills and 16 digs. Seniors Cassandra Fong and Jessica Lee have provided steady leadership at setter.

Paly (6-0, 13-5) hosts second-place Los Gatos at Gunn on Thursday at 6:45 p.m.

Gunn (5-1, 11-11) heads into its Thursday match against visiting Fremont on a three-match winning streak. The Titans are currently in a three-way tie with Cupertino and Saratoga in the SCVAL El Camino Division.

The Falcons beat Gunn, while the Titans beat Cupertino, which in turn topped Saratoga.

Senior Amy Wang has recorded at least nine kills in each of her past five matches and senior Emma Munch has topped 20 digs in a match on four occasions.

Senior Tara Tracy added 11 kills in the win over Santa Clara and senior setter Lynette Xu has six aces over her last two matches. Sophomore Monica Crichton has recorded 14 aces over her past five matches.

There's a bit of a bottle neck at the top of the West Bay Athletic League Foothill Division, though unbeaten and defending state Division IV champion Notre Dame Belmont is in the driver's seat.

Menlo School (2-1, 15-5) and Sacred Heart Prep (3-1, 15-6) are still capable of crowding the front seat. Both schools can make things interesting, especially the Gators, who beat host Saratoga, 25-18, 25-17, 25-14, in a nonleague match Tuesday.

SH Prep's lone league loss came at Menlo and the Gators are headed to Notre Dame for a 5:45 p.m. match Thursday. It's the first of two meetings with the Tigers.

The Knights, who host Mercy San Francisco on Thursday at 5:45 p.m., have lost at Notre Dame and have one more chance at them next Thursday in Atherton. Menlo makes the short trip to Sacred Heart Prep in a couple of weeks.

Cate Desler recorded 14 kills in the win over the Falcons, while Natalie Zimits added six kills to go with eight blocks.

Castilleja (4-2, 11-9) fell out of second place in the WBAL Skyline Division after falling to host King's Academy, 25-18, 23-25, 25-15, 25-21. Gwen Cushing and Ashley Hu combined for 21 kills and 23 digs. Libero Elle Kass added 15 digs.

Castilleja will look to bounce back against league-leader Mercy Burlingame (7-0, 14-1) on Thursday at 5:45 p.m. at Serra High in San Mateo.

The Crusaders beat Eastside College Prep (1-6, 5-11), 25-16, 25-17, 25-19, to remain atop the standings.

Crystal Springs Uplands topped host Pinewood, 25-9, 23-25, 25-23, 26-24, despite Madeleine Escher's 22 kills, .310 hitting percentage and three aces. Kassandra Davis added 32 assists and five aces.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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