League titles, CCS berths at stake in volleyball
Publication Date: Wednesday Oct 30, 1996

League titles, CCS berths at stake in volleyball

Sacred Heart Prep can wrap up a league title, Gunn can tie for one, and Palo Alto can improve its chances for a Central Coast Section playoff berth.

That's the situation facing those three volleyball teams this week, a busy one with plenty at stake.

Sacred Heart Prep can wrap up the Girls Private School League title on Wednesday when the Gators (8-0) take on Notre Dame-Belmont (7-1) at Serra High at 5 p.m.

Gunn (8-2) will have the opportunity to force a first-place tie in the SCVAL El Camino Division by beating visiting Homestead (9-1) on Thursday at 7 p.m.

Palo Alto (5-4, 15-10) could use one victory in its final three SCVAL De Anza Division matches to keep its postseason hopes alive. All three matches--against visiting Los Gatos, at Mountain View Thursday and at home against Los Altos on Nov. 4--will be tough. Finishing 6-6 and 16-12, however, might be enought for a CCS berth.

Sacred Heart, of course, is sitting pretty these days. The Gators, ranked No. 1 in the state in Division V, are 29-4 after going 5-1 in the Brentwood Invitational last weekend in Southern California.

"This was good for us," said SHP coach Liz Santie, whose team knocked off Division V state runnerup Bishop's of La Jolla in the very first match. "If we play any of these teams in the state championship, we won't be surprised."

After knocking off Bishop's at 8 o'clock Saturday morning, 15-12, 18-16, SHP wrapped up pool play by beating Capital Valley Christian, 15-6, 16-14, and by downing University, 15-9, 15-4. In the playoffs, the Gators disposed of Santa Monica, 15-13, 15-5; lost to Capital Valley Christian, 15-10, 13-15, 15-13, then beat Brentwood in a single game (15-5) for third place.

"This is like a state meet preview," Santie said. The only school in the eight-team tournament that SHP didn't face was Windward of Los Angeles. Santie said, however, that "We can beat any of them."

Sacred Heart seniors Denise Sheldon and Jennie Eckardt were named to the all-tournament team.

Palo Alto tuned up for its final three-match stretch by fashioning a 3-1 record in the Halloween Classic tournament held in Milpitas last weekend.

The Vikings, playing without senior defensive specialist Jenny Briz (playing in a softball tournament) and having the limited services of 6-1 senior middle blocker Emily Brown (whacked on the head by a sign during Homecoming activities), nonetheless hung tough. Paly topped Holy Names, 15-4, 15-9; overcame Santa Cruz, 15-8, 14-16, 15-9; and got 15 kills from sophomore Paige Barry in a 17-16, 15-6 win over South San Francisco.

Paly's march to a possible title ended with a 9-15, 15-4, 15-6 loss to Moreau Catholic.

--Keith Peters 

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