DiSanto contributes from every spot on the court with a skill set that sets her apart. And she plays much bigger than her height.
Give her the chance, she could probably drive the team bus, plan a practice and bake cookies for the team in her spare time.
In Menlo-Atherton's 17-25, 25-17, 25-19, 25-22 victory over host Aragon in a PAL Bay Division match Tuesday, DiSanto recorded team highs of 15 kills and 26 digs, had a block and for the heck of it, added 14 assists.
She did not, however, record a service ace, but she leads the team with 41 of them on the season. That's Chloe Johnson (21) and Kiana Sales (20) combined and they're Nos. 2 and 3 in the category.
Bears coach Fletcher Anderson has no doubt DiSanto will make an impact at the collegiate level. She's verbally committed to Michigan, where the school sees her as a future libero star.
If she were six feet, she'd find herself on the court full-time, as she does with M-A, which is working toward a possible second straight appearance in the state championship game.
There's a goal of winning the PAL title but the Bears (9-0, 15-4), on a 14-match winning streak heading into Thursday's game against Carlmont, are focused on refining their own game.
"We try to focus on getting better with every match," said Anderson, who played collegiate volleyball at Long Beach State. "The goal is to get back to state, but more importantly, to play our game."
Most of the time that means falling behind and then going on long runs to produce victories.
"It's frustrating," Anderson said. "For some reason we like to do that. We like to feel pressured. We've struggled with that all season. We seem to like to com from behind."
The Bears emphasize their serving and passing game and those have become remarkably solid attributes. Aragon held leads in all four sets, but M-A just kept digging and passing and, ultimately, made fewer mistakes.
"We'd like to win points sooner but we can typically keep rallies going," M-A setter Kirby Knapp said. "We're hoping to pick that up."
With nearly flawless back row play, there's almost no need to worry. Sales and Johnson, who had four aces, are as good as it gets. Add DiSanto and there's not much that gets past them.
One thing that stood out against Aragon was how often both teams were able to get up over the net and block attacks. It's not unusual in itself, but it's rare to find any team capable of sustaining consistent blocks the way the Dons and Bears were able to do Tuesday night.
"Blocking is one of those things where you can do everything correctly and still not get a block," Anderson said. "We do emphasize winning the serve and passing game and we focus on trying to get better with every match."
Sophomore Alicia Letvin had an outstanding game at the net, whether it was her four solo blocks or combining with senior Eliza Grover, junior Lauren Heller or freshman Marit Hoyem to reject other Aragon spike attempts.
In WBAL Foothill action, Menlo and Sacred Heart Prep each won to stay within striking distance of first-place Notre Dame Belmont.
The Knights (4-1, 18-5) topped visiting Harker, 25-19, 25-19, 25-15, while the Gators (4-2, 16-7) downed visiting Notre Dame San Jose, 25-22, 26-24, 25-19.
The Tigers (6-0, 20-7), who had an easy time of it with host Mercy San Francisco, visited Menlo Thursday night, with the league title likely on the line.
Selina Xu had an all-around solid effort for Menlo, with 12 kills, 11 digs and 20 assists. Jess Houghton (18) and Sianna Houghton (12) combined for 30 digs and both Ashley Dreyer and Grace King recorded eight kills.
The Gators, who visit Harker on Thursday, were led by Cate Desler, with 17 kills and 13 digs, Natalie Zimits with 11 kills, Rachel Cheung with 15 digs and 3 aces and Hailey Martella with 28 assists and 9 digs.
In WBAL Skyline play, unbeaten league-leader Mercy Burlingame swept host Pinewood (2-7, 4-10), 25-18, 25-9, 25-19, and Crystal Springs Uplands beat visiting Eastside College Prep (0-7, 2-11), 18-25, 25-18, 25-15, 25-17.
Castilleja (4-3, 11-10) won at Priory, 25-15, 19-25, 25-11, 25-20, as senior libero Elle Kass recorded 23 digs and five aces. Gwen Cusing had nine kills, 13 digs and a pair of aces.
Lexi Stull added eight kills and four aces, Sam Gerber had six kills and Ashley Hu had six kills, 10 digs and four aces.
On Thursday, Priory travels to King's Academy, Castilleja hosts Crystal Springs Uplands and Eastside College Prep hosts Pinewood, all with 5:45 p.m. starts.
Palo Alto survived a scare from host Mountain View in a SCVAL De Anza Division contest Tuesday.
The Vikings (8-0, 14-6) bounced back from a two-set deficit to squeeze past the Spartans, 16-25, 19-25, 25-18, 25-23, 17-15.
Paly hosts Los Gatos in a league match Thursday at Gunn at 6:45 p.m.
Gunn downed host Wilcox, 26-24, 25-22, 25-21, in a SCVAL El Camino Division match.
The win sets up Thursday's 5:45 p.m. showdown between the Titans (7-1, 13-11) and visiting Saratoga (6-1, 14-6) for control of the league race.
Boys water polo
Gunn had a chance to clinch the top seed for the upcoming SCVAL tournament with a victory at Homestead on Thursday. The Titans made it happen with a 12-6 victory over visiting Monta Vista on Tuesday.
Gunn (11-0, 13-4) has a two-game on second-place Palo Alto (9-2, 12-9), which hostee Mountain View at Gunn on Thursday. The Vikings beat winless Wilcox (0-11, 0-13), 13-9, as Eric Maser scored four goals and Tommy Smale added a pair.
Quinn Hamilton led Gunn with five goals, while Patrick Zhao and Jack Mallery each added a pair.
Girls water polo
Sabrina Hall scored five goals as Palo Alto defeated host Cupertino, 16-5, in a SCVAL De Anza Division match on Tuesday.
Sophie Frick added three goals for the Vikings (4-6, 7-10), who hosted Mountain View at Gunn at 3:30 p.m. Thursday. Chesnie Cheung, a member of Team USA Synchro, Isabelle Taggart and Haley Chalmers each added a pair of goals.
Menlo-Atherton stayed undefeated in PAL Bay Division play Tuesday, blanking host Burlingame, 7-0, with No. 3 singles Sofia Longo and No. 3 doubles Nia Zisman and Anushka Patnaik each earning lop-sided victories.
Julia Marks, Julia Chang and Sarah Marks all won singles matches for the Bears (10-0, 13-5), who hosted Carlmont on Thursday.
In the WBAL Foothill Division, Sacred Heart stayed on the heels of league-leading Menlo, as Melina Stravropoulos continued to perform at No. 1 singles in the absence of Sara Choy, the two-time defending CCS champion, who is 69-0 against high school competition.
The Gators (5-1, 11-3) downed host Crystal Springs Uplands, 7-0. Freshman Isa Robinson, who has played just about everywhere in the lineup, won at No. 2 singles, while Nathalie Rotenberg won at No. 3 singles.
Menlo (6-0, 9-6) topped visiting Harker, 6-1, for its 238th consecutive league victory, a streak that began in 1994. Elika Eshghi and Kathryn Wilson each won key singles.
Menlo hosted Pinewood (1-5, 4-10) on Thursday while Sacred Heart Prep traveled to Castilleja.
Castilleja (3-3, 11-6) downed the Panthers, 6-1, at Rinconada Park with Wallis Hess, Simran Sandhu and Sophia Nesamoney scoring singles wins. Pinewood's Haley Matthews won at No. 2 singles.
In the SCVAL El Camino Division, Palo Alto edged host Mountain View, 4-3, getting big production from all three doubles teams.
With three matches remaining, the Menlo School girls golf team has all but wrapped up the West Bay Athletic League dual-match title after beating visiting Notre Dame San Jose, 205-289, Monday at Menlo Country Club.
The Knights (9-0) hold a two-match over Castilleja (7-2) and Harker (6-2) heading into the final two weeks of the regular season.
Menlo and Castilleja meet next Monday at Menlo CC. Castilleja met Sacred Heart Prep on Wednesday at the Stanford Golf Course.
Sacred Heart Prep (4-4, 5-5) leveled Mercy Burlingame, 225-275, at Sharon Heights, led by Lauren von Thaden with a round of 41. Caroline Park, Danielle Sarkisian, Sinead Haley and Cami Steppe were within four strokes of each other between 44-48 to complete the scoring.
Mercy's Emma Curia came in with a 42.
Menlo played on the difficult, newly renovated and redesigned Menlo Country Club.
"It was nice to get a look at the challenging undulating greens," Menlo coach Jim Miller said. "Anytime you play a new golf course there is a big learning curve so I thought all of our players did a good job taking mental and physical notes. Despite an unusual lack of birdies we had some very good scores."
Junior Sophie Siminoff was the medalist with a very solid 37. Her round featured a good demonstration of her ball-striking abilities.
Freshmen Gianna Inguagiato and Sulwen Ma were next with a pair of 39's. Ma parred the final five holes after a difficult start.
"We know that Sulwen has the potential to really turn around a golf round and she never gives up," Miller said. "I was very pleased with Gianna's play she finished with two solid pars that very easily could have been birdies and her ballstriking and mental approach was very good."
Freshman Vikki Xu shot a 42 which included back to back pars on two difficult par threes. Lauren Yang was next with a 48. Kendall Weingart (52) made a nice par and hit some very good tee shots as well as pitches and chips.
This story contains 1623 words.
Stories older than 90 days are available only to subscribing members. Please help sustain quality local journalism by becoming a subscribing member today.
If you are already a subscriber, please log in so you can continue to enjoy unlimited access to stories and archives. Subscriptions start at $5 per month and may be cancelled at any time.