Menlo girls wrap up a perfect volleyball season in the WBAL


The Central Coast Section girls' volleyball seedings will be determined on Saturday. Don't be surprised if Menlo School receives the No. 1 spot for the Division IV playoffs.

The Knights, under first-year coach Steven Cavella, have done everything this season to earn the top spot. Menlo is 26-5 overall after wrapping up a 10-0 campaign in the West Bay Athletic League (Foothill Division) by defeating 2012 Division IV state runner-up Sacred Heart Prep on Thursday night.

Menlo, which shared the WBAL crown with SHP last season, posted a 25-15, 25-13, 24-26, 25-9 triumph while defeating the Gators for a second time this season.

Menlo junior Elisa Merten posted nine kills, 53 assists, 14 digs, four blocks and hit .474. Outside hitters Maddy Frappier (12 kills, five aces, eight digs, two blocks) and Lida Vandermeer (16 kills, three blocks,12 digs) paced the attack. Melissa Cairo had 18 digs and two aces. Morgan Dressel added eight kills and seven blocks while Maddie Huber recorded 12 kills and 13 digs.

Sacred Heart Prep (6-4, 20-10) got 16 kills and 19 digs from Victoria Garrick and 24 assists from fellow junior Natalie Marshall. Ara Peterson contributed 11 kills plus three blocks while Mamie Caruso added 16 digs.

While Menlo was putting the finishing touches on a title, Menlo-Atherton lost its final chance to force a tie for first place in the PAL Bay Division race following a 25-18, 25-18, 24-26, 21-25, 15-6 loss to host Woodside on Thursday night.

The Bears fell to 11-3 in league (19-9 overall) while the Wildcats captured the title with a 13-1 record. Top M-A players included Devin Joos (18 kills, 19 digs), Leanna Collins (11 kills), Pauli King (20 kills, 12 digs), Virginia Lane (24 digs), Kirby Knapp (20 digs, 51 assists) and Kaitlin Tavarez (13 digs).

In other final regular-season volleyball matches Thursday:

Castilleja kept host Priory winless in the WBAL Foothill Division with a 25-20, 25-18, 18-25, 25-14 victory. Katya Scocimara had 16 kills and six aces with Sarah Rose adding 13 kills for the Gators (6-4, 16-10. Madeline Johnson and Jessica Norum each finished with 11 kills with Norum adding 14 digs, while Jennifer DiSanto contributed 39 assists.

Priory (0-10, 13-12) was led by senior Marine Hall-Poirier, who had 22 kills and 16 digs. Junior Anna Brett returned from an injury with eight kills and four blocks while seniors Riley Gallivan (35 assists, 8 digs) and Michaela Koval (26 digs) capped their home careers.

In Los Gatos, Palo Alto wrapped up its regular season in the SCVAL De Anza Division with a tough 22-25, 25-23, 13-25, 25-23, 15-12 loss to Los Gatos. The Vikings finished 8-4 in the division and will take a 22-9 overall record into the CCS playoffs next week.

In Mountain View, Gunn finished up play in the De Anza Division with a 25-20, 25-20, 21-25, 25-19 win over the host Spartans. Meghan Mahoney had 16 kills for the Titans (5-7, 14-14) while Jessica Dinneen had six solo blocks and Tahra Knudsen served six aces and added 13 digs.

In San Francisco, Pinewood traveled to Immaculate Conception Academy for the final match of the regular season and the Panthers came away with a 25-13, 25-14, 25-16 victory. Mehra den Braven led Pinewood (6-6, 13-11) with 22 kills.

Boys water polo

Top-seeded Sacred Heart Prep advanced to the championship match of the West Catholic Athletic League playoffs with a 15-6 triumph over visiting St. Francis on Thursday in Atherton. Junior Michael Swart poured in five goals and junior Grant Harvey added three as the Gators improved to 22-3. SHP will host the title match Saturday at 7:30 p.m., most likely against No. 2 seed Bellarmine.

Girls water polo

Seniors Caitlin Stuewe and Morgan McCracken each scored goals and freshman Maddy Johnston joined them with a hat trick of her own as Sacred Heart Prep defeated visiting Mitty, 11-2, in the semifinals of the WCAL playoffs.

The Gators (19-6) will play St. Francis for the playoff crown on Saturday (6 p.m.) in Atherton. The Lancers advanced with a 13-5 win over St. Ignatius.

At the SCVAL De Anza Division playoffs, Palo Alto dropped an 8-4 decision to Los Altos. The Vikings (9-15) got three goals from senior captain Emma Wolfe and one from junior Tess van Hulsen.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Menlo School Athletics


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