SHP moves on in CCS tennis; Castilleja drops 4-3 decision | News | Palo Alto Online |

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SHP moves on in CCS tennis; Castilleja drops 4-3 decision

 
Katherine Salisbury serves a winner for Sacred Heart Prep.

The Sacred Heart Prep girls tennis team didn't have too much trouble getting past visiting Mitty, 7-0, in the first round of the Central Coast Section team tournament Monday.

It might be a little different Tuesday, when sixth-seeded Menlo-Atherton (16-6) comes for a visit at 2 p.m.

Castilleja rallied from a 3-0 deficit to tie its match with host Aptos before falling, 4-3, to the undefeated Mariners.

Menlo School (15-6) enters the fray Tuesday with a match against visiting Carlmont, also at 2 p.m. The Scots (15-3) beat Monterey, 5-2, to advance.

Sacred Heart Prep (14-5) beat the Monarchs for the second time this season and improved to 6-5 against teams in the tournament. The Bears are 3-3 and Menlo is 8-4.

"We're off to a good start," SHP No. 3 singles Katherine Salisbury said. "But we know M-A is a tough team. They beat us last year."

Last year as the sixth seed, Sacred Heart Prep lost to the Bears, 4-3, in the same part of the bracket.

"We're looking to to go as far as we can into the tournament," she said.

Salisbury learned she was added to the CCS singles tournament as an at-large selection and will be playing St. Francis' No. 5 seed Alisha Chulani.

"I wasn't expecting it but it's great news," Salisbury said. "I've never played there before. I'm not worried about winning, I'd like to go as far as I can. As long as I play well, honestly, the results don't matter."

She may get a CCS preview. Her likely opponent at No. 3 Tuesday is M-A's Sophie Longo, who won the PAL singles title. Salisbury lost to Harker's Sachi Bajaj in the league finals.

Longo and Bajaj are first-round opponents in the CCS singles tournament.

Salisbury has already had some good practice against teammates Melina Stavropoulos and Isa Robinson, the top two players on the Gators' ladder.

Stavropoulos will probably meet M-A's top player Lanie Van Linge, a Michigan commit. Linge will be playing doubles with Julia Marks in the CCS tournament just as Stavropoulos will be playing with Sara Choy, who is expected to continue playing doubles with Sarah Quinlan against M-A.

Sacred Heart Prep's four singles players combined to win 48 of 56 sets against Mitty, with Emmy McGrath recording a 6-0, 6-0 victory.

In No. 2 doubles, Nathalie Rotenberg and Emma Tung won, 6-1, 6-2, and at No. 3 doubles, Lindsey Marcus and Sarah McGrath pulled out a 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 victory.

Castilleja (9-12) nearly came back from the brink after losing at the top three singles spots. Soline Broussard and Jordan Yau worked a 7-5, 6-1 victory at No. 2 doubles, Eliza Goler and Jackie Hillman grinded out a 7-5, 7-5 victory at No. 3 doubles and No. 4 singles Sophia Nesamoney took a 6-4, 6-4 win to square things.

Lexi Bundy and Simran Sundhu won their first set at No. 1 doubles but Aptos rallied to win in three sets.

"Aptos came out on top this time, but Castilleja left feeling great about the battle," Gators coach Cassie Shaw said. "This is the strongest showing we've had at CCS in many years. It was a long, hard season, but we stuck together through it all, and as a coach, you can't ask for much more than that."

Aptos goes on to play at second-seeded Saratoga.

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