Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - September 20, 2013

M-A girls run to another PAL meet team title

Gunn girls remain unbeaten in golf by edging Palo Alto; Paly girls improve to 8-1 in volleyball heading into Harbor tournament

by Keith Peters

For the second straight week, sophomore Madeleine Baier and senior Taylor Fortnam led the Menlo-Atherton girls to a team victory in Peninsula Athletic League cross-country action.

After opening the league season last week at Westmoor High, the PAL's second meet shifted to Half Moon Bay on Wednesday. The result, however, was the same as Baier clocked 14:43 for the victory and Fortnam finished third in 14:57 on the 2.33-mile course.

The Bears' one-two punch was backed up by sophomore Katie Beebe's fourth-place finish of 14:57. Senior Annika Roise was seventh in 15:05 and sophomore Cat DuPuy rounded out the scoring with a 15:25 for ninth as Menlo-Atherton finished with 24 points, seven ahead of runner-up Half Moon Bay.

M-A also had sophomore Maddie Worden take 13th (15:49) and sophomore Elizabeth Muenzen finish 15th (16:03) as the young and talented Bears flexed their considerable muscle among the league's 11 other teams.

The M-A girls are ranked No. 5 in the Central Coast Section this week and No. 3 among Division I teams — trailing Gunn (No. 2 overall) and Monta Vista (No. 4).

The M-A boys, meanwhile, rank No. 15 in the section. Unfortunately for the Bears, Carlmont is No. 2 and Half Moon Bay is No. 11. Both those teams finished ahead of M-A once again on Wednesday.

The Scots won with 24 points with Half Moon Bay second with 52 and M-A third with 88. Senior Zach Plante once again led the Bears, taking seventh in 12:23. Junior Adam Scandlyn was 10th in 12:45 while Arnaud Laprais was 21st, Nicolas Plume 23rd and Charlie Cain 27th.

Girls golf

In a day for Palo Alto-Gunn showdowns, the schools' golf teams met for the first time ever with the Titans holding on for a 195-197 victory in SCVAL action at Palo Alto Municipal.

Palo Alto is in its first season as a team, but pushed Gunn to the limit during a windy day that saw three players match par.

Gunn (4-0, 5-0) had two of them — senior Jayshree Sarathy and junior Anna Zhou. Paly's Michelle Xie also shot 34.

Both teams were undefeated in league play coming into the match, with Paly dropping to 3-1.

Lianna McFarlane-Connelly shot 40 for Gunn with teammates Sandra Herchen (42) and Tiffany Yang (45) also scoring. Audrey Horn and Annie Chen each shot 39 for the Vikings, who got a 40 from Emily Hwang and a 45 from Elise Kiya.

On the same course later in the day, Menlo-Atherton shot 281 and won a Peninsula Athletic League tri-meet from Hillsdale (264) and Mills (295).

The Bears had only five players, missing one due to illness, and thus everyone's score counted. Freshman Naomi Lee led the way with a 41, followed by freshman Abigail Pederson's 42. Junior Ashley Utz and freshman Christiana Park both shot 44 while Tiffany Yang carded a 47.

In Menlo Park, Sacred Heart Prep opened its West Bay Athletic League season with a 237-273 victory over Harker at Sharon Heights Country Club. Junior Jessica Koenig led SHP (1-0, 1-1) with a 7-over 43. Lauren von Thaden shot 46 and Maddy Ellison a 47.

On Wednesday, Castilleja remained unbeaten in the West Bay Athletic League with a 224-240 victory over host Menlo School at Palo Alto Hills Golf & Country Club. Chloe Sales led the Gators (2-0, 2-1) with a 5-over 41 while the Knights (0-1) were led by Jessie Rong's 40.

Girls tennis

Menlo's lengthy homestand continued on a successful note as the Knights disposed of visiting Gunn, 7-0. Menlo is playing eight straight home matches, with Menlo-Atherton No. 4 on Friday at 3:30 p.m.

Menlo made quick work of the Titans (0-3) as its four singles players -- Liz Yao, Christine Eliazo, Alice Yao and Helena Ong — lost just a combined four games. The Yao sisters both posted 6-0, 6-0 victories.

The victory was No. 396 for Menlo coach Bill Shine in his 18th season with the Knights.

Also in Atherton, host Sacred Heart Prep opened its West Bay Athletic League season with a 7-0 victory over Pinewood. Tara Ritchey, Alison McLaughlin, McKenzie Lynch and Kate Ackley swept the singles for the Gators (1-0, 2-2).

Girls volleyball

Palo Alto tuned up for this weekend's Harbor Tournament in Santa Cruz with a 25-9, 25-7, 25-21 nonleague victory over visiting King's Academy.

Becca Raffel had 10 kills for the Vikings (8-1) with fellow senior Keri Gee providing 18 digs. Molly Fogarty had 12 assists while fellow junior Hayley Poore had five kills on 11 swings and added six digs. Claire Dennis and Anna Dukovic also had five kills as 12 players contributed in that department.

In Atherton, 2012 Central Coast Section champions Menlo-Atherton and Sacred Heart Prep faced off, with the host Bears coming away with a 25-18, 25-17, 25-21 nonleague victory.

Senior Pauli King and junior Alyssa Ostrow each had 14 kills for the Bears (2-2), who won their first-ever CCS Division I title last season. Virginia Lane led the way with 28 digs, with Ostrow adding 16 and freshman Kirby Knapp 11 along with 36 assists.

The Gators (4-3), who won the CCS Division IV crown in 2012 and reached the state finals before losing, were led by Victoria Garrick's 17 kills. Natalie Marshall finished with 25 assists, Mamie Caruso had 12 digs and Ara Peterson added 10 kills.

In Portola Valley, Priory won its second straight home match by defeating Lick-Wilmerding, 25-19, 25-23, 25-23. The Panthers got 19 kills and 11 digs from Marine Hall-Poirier, 23 assists from setter Riley Gallivan and three aces from freshman Megan Love.

On Wednesday, Priory remained unbeaten as Michaela Koval produced 20 digs during a 25-21, 25-9, 25-14 victory over host Pinewood in nonleague action. Hall-Poirier led all hitters with 19 kils while Anna Brett finished with five kills and five blocks. Pinewood (3-1) was led by Mehra den Braven's 10 kills

In Palo Alto, Castilleja got 19 kills from Katya Scocimara and 18 kills plus six aces from Jessica Norum in a 25-20, 21-25, 25-23, 33-31 marathon nonleague win over visiting Westmont. The Gators rallied from a 24-18 deficit in the fourth set to pull out the victory. On Wednesday, Castilleja (6-3) took on nationally ranked Valley Christian (9-0) and suffered a 24-26, 25-19, 25-13, 25-17 setback.

In San Jose, Menlo School put up a battle before dropping a 25-21, 21-25, 28-26, 25-23 nonleague decision to defending CCS Division II champ Mitty, currently ranked No. 11 in the state by MaxPreps.com.

The Knights (6-3) had chances to take away the third and fourth games in what coach Steven Cavella called their "best match of the season."

"The effort was there, but we weren't able to execute at key moments," he said. "We had a swing to win set 3 and made a hitting error. We had a chance to tie the match at the end of game 4 . . . "

Lida Van der Meer finished with a team-high 20 kills. Maddy Frappier, making her first appearance of the season after coming off an injury, tallied 12 kills with a hitting percentage of .345. Maddie Huber pitched in with 15 kills.

"We played our best match of the season but came up short," Cavella said. "We need to improve our serve receive passing. It is inconsistent and we are putting a lot of pressure on our outsides to terminate in tough situations. We have a great middle in Morgan Dressel and we need to get her the ball. We also need to provide better situations for our outsides."

The Knights will get another major test when they host the third annual Chandler Invitational, a 16-team tournament, beginning Saturday at 8:30 a.m.

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