Paly's Budhiraja wins her second league tennis title

Palo Alto girls' tennis coach Andy Harader has mentioned more than once that his No. 1 singles player, senior Aashli Budhiraja, was the best in the Central Coast Section.

While that has yet to be proven, Budhiraja can be called the top player in the SCVAL De Anza Division following her singles championship on Wednesday at the division's individual tournament.

Budhiraja defeated Juliette Martin of Los Altos in the title match, 6-3, 6-0, after knocking off Martin's teammate, Carina Burdeck in the semifinals, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2.

The singles title is Budhiraja's second straight. She defeated Martin in the semifinals last year on the way to the title.

At the Peninsula Athletic League Individual Tournament at Burlingame High, Menlo-Atherton saw its entries in singles and doubles both eliminated on Wednesday.

In singles, the Bears' Amelia Tiemann lost in the quarterfinals to Hillsdale's Cindy Liu, 6-0, 6-1. M-A teammate Caroline Kelly also fell, to San Mateo's Lizzie Siegle, 6-1, 6-0.

In doubles, M-A's tandem of Samantha Andrew and Lindy LaPlante reached the semifinals before falling to the top-seeded team from Hillsdale, 6-3, 6-1. LaPlante and Andrew had won in the quarterfinals, 2-6, 6-1, 6-3. They'll play for third place on Thursday.

Water polo

The Menlo School boys and Menlo-Atherton girls wrapped up undefeated league seasons with solid wins on Wednesday in the PAL Bay Division.

The M-A girls finished off an 10-0 devision season with a 14-10 triumph over host Burlingame. The Bears (16-8 overall) got six goals from senior Jessica Heilman and three from Sofia Caryotakis.

Francesca Gilles came up with 10 saves for M-A, which has lost starting goalie Sierra Sheeper for the remainder of the season. She suffered a broken ankle in a Powder Puff football game a few weeks ago.

In another PAL girls' match, visiting Castilleja got four goals from Anna Yu in an 11-7 victory over Sequoia. Maddie Tarr had 10 saves for the Gators (8-2, 12-7).

The Menlo boys, meanwhile, completed a 10-0 league season with a 20-6 boys' water polo win over host Sequoia on Wednesday. The Knights (21-3 overall) wrapped up sole possession of first place while securing its 20th title in 21 years. This year's Menlo team is hoping to become the fourth in school history to finish the season with three or fewer losses.

Menlo came out strong and grabbed an 8-0 lead. From there, Sequoia put up a fight. Nick Bisconti led the Knights with six goals while Chris Xi added four as eight Menlo players scored. Weston Avery added four steals.

The Menlo-Atherton boys finished 8-2 in the division following a 17-5 win over host Burlingame. Mostyn Fero led the Bears (13-9 overall) with four goals. M-A played without three starters -- John Knox, Evan McClelland and Jace Blazensky -- but had more than enough offense as Dimitri Herr, Jake Bassin, Alex Hakanson, Matt Bascucki and Chris Blank all scored twice.

In other action:

The Palo Alto boys advanced in the SCVAL De Anza Division playoffs with an 11-8 win over Lynbrook. The Vikings (21-4) will host Mountain View in the semifinals on Friday at 4:20 p.m. The Spartans moved on with a 10-7 win over Monta Vista.

Top-seeded Gunn will face Los Altos at Paly at 5:40 p.m. The Eagles reached the semifinals with a 16-6 dunking of Los Gatos. The championship match is Saturday at Paly at 6:20 p.m.

— Palo Alto Online Sports


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