Prep report: Gunn beats Paly, SH Prep, Menlo also win


If the first few days of the girls tennis season is any indication, than local observers are in for a roller coaster ride.

Gunn delivered a 4-3 victory over host Palo Alto, a day after losing to Sacred Heart Prep by the same score.

Menlo topped visiting Monta Vista, 4-3, a match after losing to Saratoga by the same score.

The Gators beat host Mountain View, 5-2, a day after edging the Titans, 4-3.

Castilleja played host Leland tough, dropping a 5-2 decision a match after losing to San Mateo, 4-3.

Gunn senior Julia Pham, a four-star recruit according to, is among a long list of junior players ranked among the top 100 in Northern California on high school rosters. She paced the Titans with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over up-and-coming Paly freshman Maddi Page, a ranked player herself.

Junior Anna Yu and Olivia Aspegren, both ranked, also won their singles matches to help Gunn (1-1).

The first doubles team of Catherine Pham and Catherine Novick proved to be the decisive match. The pair earned a 6-3, 7-5 victory.

For Menlo, No. 1 singles Taylor Gould clinched the victory with a 6-4, 6-3 decision over Leslie Ligier, ranked 28th in NorCal in U16 to Gould's 51. They also happen to be good friends.

"She is a great and fair player with excellent sportsmanship, so I knew either way it would be a great match," Gould said. After Tuesday (which went to a third-set tiebreaker), I felt like I had let the team down, so I really wanted to win this match for them. I just focused on taking the match one point at a time and staying positive no matter what. I was very fortunate to win. Overall, our team is very grateful for the win."

The Knights (1-1) beat the heat and staved off a tough Monta Vista team that reached the NorCal final last season.

Gould was mobbed by her teammates after the victory.

"Monte Vista is a great team, and it's always fun to play them because it's normally very close and our teams have a lot of history," Gould said. "That being said, we had to bounce back from our tough loss again Saratoga, and everyone had to be on their 'A' game. The combination of the youth of our team and our preseason workouts were a huge part of our win today."

Three freshman dotted the lineup: Addie Ahlstrom, who is 2-0 at No.2 singles, Lindsay Ball, who won in straight sets at No. 3, and Penelope Anderson, who teamed with sophomore Charlotte Lee for another win at No. 3 doubles.

Ahlstrom ranks 74th in U16 and Ball is among the top 100 in her age group.

"We also have been working extremely hard the past month to try to get our team in the best possible shape for the season, and that definitely paid off, today in the heat," Gould said.

Sacred Heart Prep (2-0) won its second straight without blue-chip prospect Sara Choy, with the three doubles teams winning in addition to No. 2 singles Isa Robinson and No. 4 Noorayn Jafri, who clinched the Gators match against Gunn a day earlier.

Senior Melina Stavropoulos, playing at the top of the ladder, rebounded from a tough loss in the first set to force a third-set tiebreaker before falling.

Nathalie Rotenberg and Emily McGrath, Lindsey Marcus and Sarah McGrath, and Bridgette Molumphy and Ella Sheehan all won in straights sets.

Castilleja's No. 1 doubles teams of Mabelle Pasmooij and Roxana Scott won their match, 6-1, 6-1, but the other two doubles went to a tiebreaker. Soline Boussard and Eliza Goler battled through a 6-4, 5-7, 10-8 victory.

The Gators also had a single match go to a tiebreaker. That's six in two matches.

Girls golf

Menlo and Sacred Heart Prep braved the heat in a West Bay Athletic League match on Thursday The Knights prevailed with a 222-300 victory at Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club.

Senior Sophie Siminoff led the way. She recorded a solid three-birdie performance, shooting a 1-under 35. Gianna Inguagiato hit seven of nine greens and finished with a 38.

"Sophie overpowered two par 5s and also birdied the tight seventh hole," Menlo coach Jim Miller said. "Both Sophie and Gianna hit the ball extremely well.

"Vikki Xu and Sulwen Ma both played well they both hit some great shots which included Vikki's nice birdie on the par-3 second hole. Sulwen made some very good recovery shots."

Playing in their first match, freshmen Sarah Fujimori and Tessa Grosso helped the Knights secure their second win in as many matches.

Girls water polo

Defending Central Coast Section champions Leland edged the 10-time defending CCS Division II champions Sacred Heart Prep, 9-8, in a nonleague match Thursday.

Nadia Paquin led the Gators (1-1) with five goals. Bella Bachler added two and Claire Kerrigan added a goal.

Sacred Heart Prep opens West Catholic Athletic League play Wednesday with a match at St. Ignatius.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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