Sacred Heart Prep, Menlo earn water polo tournament titles

Menlo School won the Girls 1 race at the Lowell Invitational on Saturday. Photo by John Hale.

Eleanor Facey scored five goals and the Sacred Heart Prep girls’ water polo team downed host St. Francis 8-3 in the championship match of the St. Francis Invitational on Saturday.

Facey scored twice in the Gators (4-0) 11-7 victory over Soquel in the semifinals earlier in the day. Isabella Bachler scored four times to pace SH Prep over Soquel. Ashley Penner added three goals.

Alexandra Szczerba and Ella Woodhead each scored a goal in both games for SHP, which travels to Campolindo for a nonleague match at 6 p.m. Friday.

Megan Norris recorded 11 saves in the championship game after saving nine in the semifinals.

Castilleja dropped a couple of tough games on the final day, losing 8-7 to Arroyo Grande and 7-4 to St. Francis Sacramento.

Lexi Triantis scored five goals in the two games while Elsa McElhinney scored twice against Arroyo Grande. Minhee Chung scored once in each game.

Gunn beat Tamalpais, 14-8, in its final game at the Acalanes Tournament. Menlo lost to Monte Vista, 12-6.

Kate Mallery scored seven times for the Titans and Cooper McKenna added four goals. Goalies Sophia Tong and Jayden Kratt combined for six saves.

Menlo finished top eight, its best finish at the Acalanes Invitational.

Against Monte Vista, senior Sophie Golub scored twice while senior Sydney Bianchi and sophomore Rusha Bhat added two assists apiece.

Boys water polo

Greg Hilderbrand scored four goals and Menlo School rallied for behind to earn its fourth consecutive Scott Roche Invitational title, beating Monte Vista Danville 12-10 in the championship game Saturday.

Hilderbrand added three goals in the Knights’ 11-6 win over Buchanan in the semifinals.

Menlo-Atherton finished seventh, beating Granite Bay 14-9.

"I'm immensely proud of this team," Menlo coach Jack Bowen said. "They played the toughest schedule I could justify in this tournament, meeting last year's runner-up Buchanan in the semi-finals and taking on East Bay powerhouse Monte Vista in the finals. We were down by three in the third and made some changes and went on a five goal run against a great team."

Over the weekend, Menlo was led in scoring by senior co-captain Connor Enright with 13 goals and 11 assists. Hilderbrand scored 13 goals and junior Connor MacMitchell contributed 11. Senior co-captain Noah Housenbold was strong at the center position earning a team-high 10 ejections while senior goalie Josh Poulos recorded 31 saves in the team's four games.

Menlo opens West Catholic Athletic League play Wednesday against Sacred Heart Prep.

Girls tennis

In a fight to the finish, the Menlo girls' tennis team took third in its own two-day, 16-team Golden State Classic at Stanford on Saturday.

After going 2-0 to open the tournament, the Knights (5-1) fell to eventual champion Mira Costa.

Menlo met Westlake of Thousand Oaks in the third-place match, and the teams were locked in a 3-3 match tie and a 51-51 tie in sets won.

So, the No.2 doubles teams, the last match on the court, came back on to play a super tiebreaker to determine the winner. Sophomores Brynn Brady and C.C. Golub won 11-9 for the Knights.

Mira Costa won the tournament on a tie-breaker with St. Francis. Palo Alto dropped a 4-2 decision to Cupertino in the fifth-place match and Monta Vista topped Menlo-Atherton in a tie-breaker for seventh-place.

The Vikings downed M-A 4-2 in the consolation second bracket.

Cross country

Menlo School senior Charlotte Tomkinson raced 16:42.4 to place second at the Lowell Invitational in Golden Gate Park on Saturday. Los Altos freshman Lauren Soobrian was first in 16:39.3.

Kyra Pretre was sixth for the Knights, who claimed the team title in the girls 1 contest.

Woodside’s Sarah Perry and Palo Alto’s Ella Ball finished fourth and fifth respectively.

Paly’s Miranda Jimenez was 10th, followed by Sacred Heart Prep’s Luci Lambert in 12th, Menlo’s Marisa Castagna in 17th, Menlo’s Alexandra McCusker in 18th and Paly’s Gretchen Berndt ni 20th.

M-A’s Ethan Mimeles was the top local finisher in the Boys 1 race, finishing in 14:51.2. Woodside’s Nathan Bowman and M-A’s Lars Osterberg also finished among the top 25.

In the boys 2 race, Menlo’s Kamran Murray placed 10th in 14:46.71. Palo Alto’s David Evans was 15th in 14:56.25.

— Palo Alto Sports Online

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