Four local volleyball players named to all-state teams | January 31, 2014 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - January 31, 2014

Four local volleyball players named to all-state teams

Raffel, Huber, Merten and Hall-Poirier receive postseason recognition

by Keith Peters

Palo Alto senior Becca Raffel got a chance to experience the big state in high school volleyball when she played on the Vikings' CIF Division I state championship teams in 2010 and '11.

While Raffel wasn't able to lead Paly back to that level this past season, she nonetheless earned some lofty honors by being named to the MaxPreps 2013 California All-State Division I volleyball team.

Raffel recently was named to the 20-player team, which featured Player of the Year Taylor Nelson of Division I state champion Granite Bay -- the team that ended Paly's season in the NorCal semifinals.

Raffel, who had 14 kills in that final match against unbeaten Granite Bay, helped the Vikings finish 25-11 in 2013. She ended the season with 391 digs, 39 aces, 508 kills and 31 blocks. She was the only playter selected from the Central Coast Section.

Raffel was one of four local players named to an all-state team. The others were Menlo School's Maddie Huber and Elisa Merten plus Priory's Marine Hall-Poirier.

Huber was the MVP of the West Bay Athetic League (Foothill Division) and helped the Knights to a 32-6 record that included an appearance in the Division IV state finals. She and Merten were on the 20-player Division IV all-state team and the only players selected from the CCS.

Merten was one of seven juniors on the honor squad, which included Player of the Year Michaela Dews of Francis Parker, which defeated Menlo in the state finals. Merten, a setter, averged 9.1 assists and added 203 digs and 39 aces while helping the Knights reach the state finals.

Hall-Poirier was only one of two CCS players named to the Division V all-state team. The other was Lizzy Tardieu of Santa Catalina in Monterey. Hall-Poirier led the Panthers to the CCS title in Division V and was an All-WBAL first-team selection.


Gunn had a pair of fourth-place finishes to highlight a 19th-place team finish at the prestigious Mid Cal Invitational that wrapped up Saturday at Gilroy High.

Leading the Titans were junior Ian Cramer (134) and senior Stephen Martin (184). Both athletes exceeded their seeds and defeated top wrestlers from out of the Central Coast Section over the weekend.

Cramer scored 28 of Gunn's 105 points by going 5-2. He won a major decision (14-0) over Jake Perry of Atascadero; pinned Austin Wilson of Menlo-Atherton, lost to Jaden Enriquez of Mission Oaks, 4-3; decisioned Michael lee of Enterprise, 6-0; won a major decision (30-3) over Nick Valadez of Pitman; posted a major decision (10-1) over Max McCann of Monta Vista; and then dropped a 7-5 decision to Chase Herrin of Hughson in the third-place match.

Martin scored 29 points with a 4-2 record. He pinned Niko Schumann of Sacred Heart Cathedral in just 43 seconds to open his tourney. Martin then won in overtime in an ultimate tiebreaker over Noe Garcia of Gilroy, 5-3; pinned Chris Maex of Morro Bay in 3:32; and lost to eventual champion Skyler Gonzalez of Rocklin in the semifinals, 11-6. In the consolation semifinals, Martin won by medical forfeit over Carlos Monetjo of Frontier, but dropped a 3-1 decision to Antonio Melo of Hilmar in the third-place match.

Martin's two losses were his first of the season. He's now 19-2.

Other Gunn wrestlers competing included Cadence Lee (2-2 at 106); David Abramovitch (0-2 at 120); Tanner Kerrins (2-2 at 126); Tavor Baharav (3-2 at 138); Cedric Linares (1-2 at 145); Eric Calderon (1-2 at 220) and Kirill Demyanenko (2-2 at 285).

Aside team champion and host Gilroy and eighth- placer Bellarmine, every school in the top 10 was from out of the CCS. This year's tournament drew teams from all over the state and featured a 64-man bracket in every weight division.


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