Palo Alto girls reach quarterfinals with win over the Bears


It's been verified. The Palo Alto girls water polo team is much better than it was at the beginning of the season.

The Vikings defeated Menlo-Atherton, 9-6, Thursday at Mountain View High to advance to the quarterfinals of the CCS Division I tournament.

Palo Alto (14-15) became the fifth SCVAL De Anza Division team to reach the quarterfinal round and will meet top-seed Leland (24-3) at 4 p.m. Saturday at Monta Vista High.

Sophie Frick led Paly with four goals, Chesnie Cheung added three and Maddy Buecheler and Sabrina Hall also scored.

M-A beat the Vikings, 4-2, in the fourth game of the season. Paly has used the last 24 games to improve by at least five goals if that's the way to quantify it.

Senior Haley Chalmers felt the Vikings had improved and that the goal was to continue playing as well as possible.

She has to like the way the team played against the Bears (14-9), who finished third in the PAL Bay Division.

Woodside (14-10) beat Lincoln-San Jose, 6-2, in the late game at Mountain View to reach the quarterfinal, where it will meet No. 2 seed St. Francis in the 2:30 p.m. contest at Monta Vista.

No. 4 Gunn and No. 5 Mountain View play the 7 p.m. game.

It was also announced that the semifinals will be held at Gunn on Tuesday.

The Vikings have used the Gunn pool as its home this year.

In girls Division II, Menlo (9-12) lost to St. Ignatius, 8-5, at Serra High. The Wildcats (12-13) advance to play No. 2 seed Soquel (20-5) on Saturday.

"When we're playing good defense, it starts our offense, and when we're playing smart offense then we have that defense." Menlo first-year coach Alana Burgess said. "We had a really good first half in general, and I think we capitalized on every single one of their mistakes."

Menlo's lone senior Chloe Ebrahimian led the charge with four goals, including the Knights' first three, and added an assist.

Freshman Sophie Golub added the other goal while junior Parker Callender had two assists and sophomore Meg Reinstra added another. Junior Gillian Bressie made eight saves.

"This game was very emotional for me. Since I'm not playing in college, this was my last game. Sports has meant a lot to me growing up. I was always competitively swimming and playing," Ebrahimian said. "I couldn't ask for a better team to end my senior season with. "

Sobrato (15-8) topped Willow Glen, 11-9, and will meet top-seeded Sacred Heart Prep (17-9) in Saturday's quarterfinal at 5:30 p.m. at Sacred Heart Prep.

No. 3 Castilleja (17-8) meets No. 6 Presentation (10-12) at 7 p.m.

The Division II semifinal round will be conducted at Gunn on Wednesday.

In boys Division I, Willow Glen topped Los Gatos and meets No. 2 seed Gunn (20-7) on Saturday at Lynbrook High at 7 p.m.

Palo Alto (17-10) and Menlo-Atherton (11-13) meet in the 5:30 p.m. game.

Those semifinal games will be held at M-A on Wednesday.

In boys Division II, Pioneer (18-8) advanced with a 13-10 win over St. Ignatius and plays at top-seeded Sacred Heart Prep (20-6) on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

Menlo (25-2) will take on PAL rival Half Moon Bay, which beat Aptos, 8-7, to advance. The game will be held at Lynbrook at 4 p.m.

The Division II semifinal round will take place Tuesday at M-A.

Girls tennis

A sweep of the singles matches helped host Sacred Heart Prep beat Harker, 5-2, in the West Bay Athletic League Foothill Division regular-season finale Thursday.

The Gators (8-2, 15-4) will discover their postseason fate Saturday at the CCS seeding meeting for team and individual tournaments. The team tournament begins Monday.

SH Prep's No. 1 singles player Sara Choy, who won the league's singles title over the weekend, earned her 75th consecutive victory against a high school opponent with a 6-0, 6-0 win.

Gators' No. 2 singles Melina Stravropoulos also recorded a 6-0, 6-0 victory, while Isa Robinson and Taylor McKelvy added straight-set victories.

The doubles team of Nooryan Jafri and Emily McGrath Nooryan Jafri-Emily McGrath also scored for SH Prep.

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