Menlo School ran into a buzzsaw Saturday in its season-opening boys water polo contest against Sir Francis Drake, dropping an 11-3 nonleague decision Saturday.
The Pirates beat Menlo for the first time in three meetings and have outscored their first two opponents by a 26-12 margin.
"This is the best Drake team in the history of their program," said Menlo coach Jack Bowen, in his 18th season. "They've been building up to this year with an exceptional group of upperclassmen who have played together now for a long time."
The Knights, who open Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division play Wednesday against visiting Hillsdale at 4 p.m., were within 4-1 at halftime before Drake netted four goals in the third period to pull away.
"Our program's goal is, 'Be Your Best.' As such, we constantly seek out the best teams we can play, which is why we set this game as our home opener," Bowen said. "Drake will be one of the top teams in the country this season and, while we did a lot of things very well, we clearly have some things to work on. In a sense, Drake taught us that: Game One of the season is a great time to be learning."
Menlo is coming off a 27-3 season as league champions and section runner-up. Having lost some key players from that team, they have had to plug some new players into the system.
"Every year has a new feel to it, with new players coming in to learn the system and assert themselves," Bowen said. "It was great to see our new goalkeeper, Josh Poulous, play so well, as well as our new lefty, Connor Enright, who scored a great goal early in the third. This is a great team who's going to continue working hard and having fun together and I'm excited about the next step in our season."
Next weekend, Menlo hosts the 19th annual Scott Roche Memorial Tournament, which features a tough lineup of teams including Acalanes, San Ramon Valley, Davis, Granite Bay, St. Mary's, La Jolla, among others.
Cate Desler recorded 16 kills and Katie Quinlan had 36 assists to help Sacred Heart Prep down visiting San Mateo, 25-16, 25-20, 25-23, in a nonleague game Friday night.
Ally Polverari and Alexa Bartlett combined for another 12 kills and Caroline Caruso added 11 digs for the Gators (7-2), who travel to Woodside for a contest at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday.
Pinewood (0-1) hosts Basis Independent in a nonleague match at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Woodside lost to Carlmont, 51-27, in a nonleague game Friday. The Wildcats (0-2) play at Leigh at 7 p.m. Friday.
Priory nipped visiting Stuart Hall, 58-56, on Friday. The Panthers (2-0) host Crystal Springs Uplands at 3 p.m. Friday.
Priory won the Ora et Cor cup, a trophy that goes to the winner of the game between the two Catholic schools. The series is now tied at 4-4.
Priory scored with two minutes left to tie the game at 56-56. Jaeden Barker ran the ball to convert the 2-point conversion (58-56).
The 5-foot-5 junior Barker took over at quarterback for Adrian LaValle, who sustained a left wrist injury, and threw for 124 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 6-of-6 passing. He also rushed nine times for 63 yards and a score.
Keyshawn Ashford carried the ball ball 27 times for 224 yards and scored five times. He added two receptions, one for a TD, for 49 yards.
Ashford also led the team with nine tackles and made a fourth down tackle on Stuart Hall's final drive.
Ayo Aderoboye had a 59 yard TD reception from Barker.
The East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy lost to visiting Roseland Prep, 68-56, Friday. EPA travels to Priory on Friday, Sept. 15.
EPA Phoenix Academy freshman quarterback Deontae McKeon threw three touchdown passes and ran for three scores.
He passed for 279 yards, including four passes, two for touchdowns, for 189 yards to freshman Juan Diaz. Senior Santiago Pacheco had three catches for 90 yards and a touchdown and ran for 67 yards.
Junior Sal Rodrigez carried the ball 13 times for 124 yards and a touchdown.
"Proud of the effort from the team," EPAPA coach Stephen Ashford wrote in an e-mail. "We lost four starters in the first three quarters."
Pinewood and Mission Prep cancelled its game Friday. The Panthers will open their season next Friday with a home game against Cornerstone Christian at 4 p.m.