Prep report: Locals advance in league water polo tourneys

Castilleja's Jui Steffen (right) keeps the pressure on Tuesday night. Photo by David Lewis.

There were no surprises in that the Menlo School and Menlo-Atherton boys water polo teams won in the quarterfinals of the Peninsula Athletic League tournament at Menlo on Tuesday. Woodside, though, was quite a surprise.

The sixth-seeded Wildcats knocked off third-seeded Burlingame, 6-5, to advance into Thursday's semifinal round against the Bears (16-10), who took care of Half Moon Bay, 12-5.

Burlingame grabbed an early 2-0 lead before Woodside (9-13) put the clamps on the Panthers, holding them scoreless in the second quarter and responding with three goals of its own to take charge.

Giorgio Fatica, who has scored over 100 goals in 22 games, had three against Burlingame.

M-A goalie Noah Smith, who averages nine saves a game, again came up big in the win over the Cougars.

Ten different players scored for Menlo (16-6) in the 22-2 lopsided victory over the Scots. Nick Hernandez and Connor MacMitchell led the way, each netting four goals. Niko Bhatia added three goals while Sam Untrecht, Atreya Iver and Chris Ponterio each scored twice.

Josh Poulos and Zayd Mahmoud share goaltending duties, combining for 11 saves.

The tournament shifts sites to Menlo on Thursday. That's where M-A and Woodside will play at 2:45 p.m., followed by the host Knights and either Hillsdale or Sequoia at 4 p.m.

In the girls PAL tournament, top-seeded Castilleja got past Carlmont, 13-4, and Menlo topped Menlo-Atherton, 9-5.

Madison Lewis recorded six goals to lead the Gators (18-6) past Carlmont while Claire Pisani added three goals and Minhee Chung netted a pair. Jui Steffen also scored and added three assists, as did Chung.

Goalies Georgia Lewis and Sarah Pedley shared nine saves.

Castilleja meets Aragon in the semifinals, which will be held at Woodside on Thursday. The Dons beat Notre Dame-Belmont 14-9 to advance and clinch a spot in the CCS playoffs.

Anne Bisconti led Menlo (14-12) past the Bears (7-17) with four goals. Sarah Donato and Mia Rosenblatt each added two goals. Parker Callender scored a goal and recorded three assists.

Goalie Gillian Bressie made 11 saves and managed two assists.

In the SCVAL boys water polo tournament at Lynbrook, Gunn advanced into the semifinals with a 12-6 win over Harker. The Titans (14-11) will meet either host Lynbrook or Los Gatos on Wednesday.

Homestead edged Palo Alto (8-16), 8-7 in another contest. The Mustangs meet top-seeded Los Altos on Wednesday.

The SCVAL girls tournament opens Thursday at Gunn.

In the WCAL boys tournament, top-seeded Sacred Heart (18-4) will host No. 4 St. Francis in Thursday's semifinal at 6:30 p.m. That game will be preceded by Valley Christian and Bellarmine.

The second-seeded Sacred Heart Prep girls (17-7) host third-seeded Valley Christian at 3:30 p.m. Thursday. Top-seeded St. Francis plays Presentation at 4:30 p.m.

Girls tennis

Menlo School clinched at least a share of the WBAL Foothill Division title with a combination doubleheader sweep of visiting Castilleja, 6-1 and 5-2, and Sacred Heart Prep losing to Harker, 4-3.

The Gators (12-6, 6-2) and Knights (10-6, 8-0) tangle at Sacred Heart Prep at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Menlo won its 31st league title overall and 24th in succession. The Knights extended its on-going state record to 246 consecutive regular-season league victories.

Menlo's top two singles players Taylor Gould and Addie Ahlstrom each won a pair of matches, taking turns playing at No. 1.

Roxanna Scott won two matches for Castilleja.

Melina Stavropoulos, Isa Robinson and Katherine Salisbury each won their singles matches for Sacred Heart Prep.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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