M-A, Menlo and SHP girls advance to CCS volleyball semis


The Menlo-Atherton, Menlo School and Sacred Heart Prep girls all advanced to semifinal matches following victories in the Central Coast Section volleyball quarterfinals on Saturday.

Defending Division I champion and No. 3 seed Menlo-Atherton (22-7) will face No. 2 San Benito (30-6) on Wednesday in a semifinal at Piedmont Hills High in San Jose. The Bears advanced with a 25-11, 25-20, 25-14 win over No. 6 Piedmont Hills (25-10).

Menlo-Atherton gave first-year coach Fletcher Anderson his first CCS win as senior Leanna Collins had 10 kills. Junior Jacqueline DiSanto, who last week was named MVP of the PAL Bay Division, added nine kills and 11 digs. Junior setter Kirby Knapp finished with 39 assists.

San Benito advanced with a hard-fought 24-26, 25-17, 25-18, 18-25, 15-12 marathon victory over No. 7 Palo Alto (24-13) on the Haybalers' home court.

In Division IV, No. 2 Menlo School (21-6) will face West Bay Athletic League co-champ and No. 3 seed Harker (19-8) in a semifinal Wednesday at Notre Dame-Belmont at 5:30 p.m. In the other semifinal, No. 5 Sacred Heart Prep (20-10) will take on defending champion and No. 1 seed Notre Dame-Belmont (26-10) at 7:30 p.m.

Using a balanced attack, Menlo School advanced with a 25-14, 25-18, 25-18 win over No. 7 Carmel (25-9) on Saturday in Atherton. Senior middle hitter Payton Mack posted 14 kills, including seven in Game 3, and finished with a lofty .722 hitting percentage for Menlo.

Menlo senior outside hitter Maddie Stewart tallied 10 kills, and was a key to the Knights' back-row defense. Junior middle Mia Vandermeer and sophomore outside hitter Ashley Dreyer each added seven kills for Menlo. Vandermeer also put up four blocks. Sophomore Kristin Seller had 22 assists and freshman Selina Xu added 15. Junior libero Jessica Houghton collected 22 digs for Menlo.

In Watsonville, Sacred Heart Prep advanced with a 25–23, 25–14, 19-25, 21-25, 15-12 victory over host No. 4-seeded Monte Vista Christian. The Gators were led by Cate Desler (31 kills and 20 digs), Lilika Teu (52 assists and 14 digs), Natalie Zimits (12 kills and 12 blocks) and Jorden Schreeder (30 digs).

Championship matches will be held Saturday at Independence High in San Jose.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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