Prep report: SHP, Palo Alto reach water polo title games

Palo Alto, Menlo-Atherton have volleyball season end in NorCals

Larsen Weigle scored five goals and the Sacred Heart Prep boys water polo team beat visiting Valley Christian, 14-2, in the semifinals of the Central Coast Section Open Division tournament Wednesday to advance to its second straight Open Division championship match on Saturday at Independence High in San Jose. Game time is 10:25 a.m.

The Gators (26-2) will meet Bellarmine (19-10) in a rematch of the West Catholic Athletic League title contest. Bellarmine beat Peninsula Athletic League champion Menlo School, 13-7, in a semifinal played earlier at Sacred Heart Prep.

In Division I, Palo Alto edged Los Gatos, 12-11, in overtime at St. Francis on Wednesday to reach the title game against Los Altos, at 1:15 p.m. Saturday at Independence.

The Menlo School girls play Saratoga for the Division II title at 2:35 p.m.

Kyle Ballack added four goals for Sacred Heart Prep, which reached its 14th consecutive CCS championship game and will be looking for its 11th CCS title.

The Gators scored the game's first four goals and was ahead 9-1 at halftime. Freshman goalie Griffen Price stopped 15 of 17 shots for an .882 save percentage and had two steals. John Petrakian came on late and stopped all three shots he faced.

Stanford-bound Andrew Churukian scored twice, assisted on a goal and made three steals. Harvard-bound Walker Seymour scored and added three assists. Will Riley added a pair of assists.

California-bound Sam Untrecht scored four goals to lead the Knights (21-7), which fell behind early and then played catch-up the rest of the way.

Menlo reached last year's championship game by beating Bellarmine in the semifinals.

Junior goalie Josh Poulos made six saves and led the team with three steals. Noah Housenbold and Connor MacMitchell each had a pair of ejections earned.

Menlo advances to the NorCals, which are being held at St. Francis, Bellarmine and Independence beginning Tuesday, by virtue of its first-round win.

Girls volleyball

Palo Alto sophomore Sophia Krugler had a team-high six kills and 10 digs but Palo Alto fell to host Buchanan, 25-12, 25-17, 25-21, in a NorCal Open Division match Wednesday.

Senior Mallory Kuppe added 11 digs and sophomore Kylie Mies had 11 assists for the Vikings (24-6), who will have all but four players back next year.

The four seniors, Kuppe, Maria Fletcher, Siena Brewster and Ashlyn Callan each played in at least one set and were part of back-to-back SCVAL championships.


In a competitive match, the 13th-seeded Bears lost the first two sets and then took over in the third set.

In the final set, M-A led until the end, when host No. 4 seed Amador Valley mounted a comeback.

The balanced Bears offense was led by UC Davis-bound Alicia Letvin with 17 kills on a .421 hitting percentage. She also recorded seven blocks and 12 digs.

Junior Marit Hoyem joined the block party with six total and hit .533 from the middle with nine kills. Sophomore Emma Spindt (14 kills, 13 digs) and junior Natalie Grover (10 kills, 10 digs, three blocks) also recorded double-doubles.

Junior Mariah Grover led the team with 35 assists and sophomore Solie Cecil added 14. Senior libero Erica Fischer led the defense with 23 digs, with junior Bella Shermis contributing another 13 digs. Senior Sawyer Jones had five blocks.

The Bears, who missed the CCS playoffs last year, ended a strong comeback season at 23-6 and return five starters for next season.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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