Prep report: Water polo readies for postseason tournaments | News | Palo Alto Online |


Prep report: Water polo readies for postseason tournaments

PAL Bay Division champion Menlo looks to win the league tournament as well. Photo by Pam McKenney/Menlo Athletics.

The Peninsula Athletic League boys and girls water polo tournaments will be held at four different sites within a span of five days beginning Monday with a pair of play-in games at Carlmont.

Regular season boys champion Menlo (15-6), which beat visiting Coronado 14-11 in a nonleague game on Thursday, will meet the winner of the play-in game between Carlmont and Mills on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Burlingame.

Second-seeded Menlo-Atherton (13-6), which participates in a tournament this weekend, meets Half Moon Bay at 2:45 p.m. and Woodside (7-10) plays the host Panthers at 4 p.m., also at Burlingame.

Menlo, M-A and Burlingame have already qualified for the Central Coast Section tournament, while the winner of Tuesday's 5:15 p.m. contest between Hillsdale and Sequoia will also qualify.

The semifinal round will be held at Menlo on Thursday at 2:45 p.m. and 4 p.m. The championship game will be played at Menlo-Atherton at 4:45 p.m. Saturday.

Niko Bhatia scored five goals to pace the Knights past Coronado. Miller Geschke added three and Connor Enright and Jayden Kunwar each had two.

Jason Poulos recorded 12 saves in the annual game. Randall Burgess, the father of current Menlo girls' coach Alana Burgess, coaches Coronado. He also mentored Menlo coach Jack Bowen.

"Menlo visits Coronado each summer and stays with the team at their homes, the players all know each other well," Bowen said. "The game is always spirited and, yet, competitive."

Menlo's Senior Night was punctuated when all six seniors were in the pool together during the fourth quarter.

Los Altos clinched the SCVAL De Anza Division league title and will be the top seed at the SCVAL tournament that begins Tuesday at Lynbrook.

Gunn (12-10, 10-3) and Los Gatos (12-5, 9-4) have a match remaining on Monday at 3:30 p.m. at Gunn.

The Titans beat host Lynbrook, 6-2, on Thursday.

Girls' water polo

Castilleja, the PAL girls' champion, will meet the winner of Monday's play-in game between Carlmont and Sequoia at Menlo on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

The Gators (16-3), Burlingame and Menlo are the PAL's automatic qualifiers. Notre Dame-Belmont and Aragon will play at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday to determine the fourth qualifier.

Second-seeded Burlingame plays Woodside at 2:45 p.m. and the Knights (12-12) play Menlo-Atherton (7-11) at 4 p.m.

The semifinals will be held Thursday at Woodside. The championship match is slated for Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Menlo-Atherton.

Gunn (12-7, 10-1), which is playing in the NorCal tournament this weekend, hosts Los Gatos (16-2, 11-0) on Monday at 6:30 p.m. to determine the league championship ahead of the SCVAL tournament that begins Tuesday.

Mountain View beat Palo Alto, 13-4, on Thursday.

Girls golf

Palo Alto completed play in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League with a 10-0 record after beating both Saratoga and Monta Vista in a three-way match on Wednesday.

The Vikings, led by defending CCS champion Stephanie Yu, will participate in the league tournament on Tuesday at Santa Teresa GC.

Due to air quality control issues, the Paly players have had to work out in their own the past week.

Gunn (5-3-2) finished second to the Vikings in SCVAL play. The Titans beat Saratoga, 215-216, at Palo Alto Hills G&CC on Thursday in the regular-season finale.

Gunn's Lydia Tsai earned medalist honors with a 1-under 35. Isabella Yu followed with a 41 and Audrey Li shot a 43.

The Titans will be looking for a return trip to the CCS tournament in the SCVAL tournament.

The CCS tournament is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 31 at Laguna Seca GC.

On Thursday, Menlo won, shooting a 218, netting a pair of victories over Notre Dame-Belmont (232) and Mercy Burlingame (267).

Gianna Inguagiato, a sophomore, birdied the first hole en route to her medalist score of 38. She also finished with three straight solid pars to end her nine.

Vikki Xu also birdied the first hole and hit the ball well tee to green, ending with a 41. Freshmen Vivian Herr shot a 45 in her round, which included some nice pars and solid drives.

Sophomore Kendall Weingart, using her knowledge of Poplar Creek, shot a personal-best of 47.

Menlo (11-2) meets Castilleja on Monday at Stanford GC to help decide the WBAL regular-season title.

The Gators (11-1) also take on Harker (11-1).

Girls volleyball

Chelsea Fan recorded 19 kills and 16 digs to help Palo Alto beat host Monta Vista, 23-25, 25-7, 25-18, 25-22, on Thursday to remain undefeated in SCVAL De Anza Division play.

Amelia Gibbs added 10 kills for the Vikings (17-3, 10-0), who travel to Saratoga for a 6:45 p.m. match Monday. Paly finishes the regular season with a home match Thursday against Lynbrook (17-7, 8-1).

Susanna Limb had 20 digs, Mallory Kuppe added 15, Michelle Li had 11 and Tanli Su and Julianna Roth each had 10. Su recorded 28 assists and Roth had 15.

Gunn fell to Milpitas, 25-22, 25-16, 11-25, 23-25, 15-9, on Wednesday. The Titans travel to Cupertino for a 6:45 p.m. match Wednesday.

In the PAL, San Mateo beat visiting Menlo-Atherton, 25-23, 25-15, 25-19, on Thursday.

The Bears (6-14, 4-8) meet Bishop O'Dowd in the Notre Dame-Belmont tournament at noon Saturday.

Menlo rolled to a 25-23, 25-22, 25-14 win over Notre Dame-San Jose on the road Thursday night.

The Knights hold a 10-0 record, first in West Bay Athletic League, with two games remaining.

Menlo swept second-place Notre Dame-Belmont, which has an 8-2 mark after Thursday's win. It is the sixth league crown in seven years for the CIF Division IV defending state champions.

Against the Regents, senior Ashley Dreyer posted a team-high 14 kills. Junior Sianna Houghton picked up a double-double with 11 kills, 12 digs. Senior Kristin Sellers had nine kills and 38 assists for the Knights.

Seniors Caroline Bradley collected 12 digs and Grace Enright added 11. Junior Riley Holland and Enright each delivered three aces.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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