The Menlo School girls tennis team reached double figures in Central Coast Section titles Saturday, beating St. Francis 4-3 in the championship match at Bay Club Courtside in Los Gatos.
The Knights (23-3) won their first CCS title since 2015 and recorded their 10th overall. They will be looking for their seventh overall NorCal title this weekend at the Broadstone Racquet Club in Folsom.
Menlo will meet Univeristy Prep at 11:30 a.m. Friday. St. Francis (15-3) also advances into the NorCals.
Knights' No. 1 singles player Addie Ahlstrom clinched the title with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Lancers' Alisha Chulani on center court. Ahlstrom and Chulani have played doubles together.
Ahlstrom had an inkling she was playing the final match of the night when the grandstand began filling up with spectators.
"I was pretty relaxed surprisingly for most of it," Ahlstrom said. "But when the crowd started piling up, I knew it was coming down to my match for the team title and I started looking around and feeling it a little more, but I was able to stay focused."
Ahlstrom, seeded second in the Central Coast Section singles tournament, is scheduled to meet Palo Alto No. 1 Kamila Wong in Tuesday's opening round at noon, also at Bay Club Courtside. It's a two-day tournament, with semifinals slated for noon Wednesday and the final to follow soon after.
Chulani is the fourth seed. "Alisha's a really good friend of mine," Ahlstrom said. "I've played with her and against her so many times. It's always a good match when I play with her, and I was just happy to have such great competition."
Menlo-Atherton's Ava Martin, Sacred Heart Prep's Sara Quinlan and Gunn's Mahima Agrawal are also entered in the singles tournament.
Against St. Francis, it was the strength of Menlo's doubles teams that carried the day as they each swept their matches.
Junior Lindsey Ball and freshman Natalie Westermann were off the courts first after earning a 6-1, 6-0 victory at the top of the doubles ladder.
Sophomore C.C. Golub and freshman Elsie Ragatz won at No. 2 doubles 6-2, 6-0 and the duo of senior Charlotte Lee and junior Penelope Anderson won, 6-2, 6-2.
Menlo has a pair of doubles teams entered in the CCS individual tournament, led by West Bay Athletic League champion Tricia Zhang and Brynn Brady, who are seeded second.
Westermann and Ragatz, WBAL runner-ups, are also joining forces and a victory in their first-round match might set up a showdown with their teammates.
Menlo-Atherton's Sarah Marks and Lila Motamedi, the Peninsula Athletic League champion, are also competing. Palo Alto's Claire Li and Iris Li are the No.1 alternates and Castilleja's Roxana Scott and Mabelle Pasmooij are the second alternates.