Prep report: Taking a few swings at CCS, NorCal titles

Melina Stavropoulos (left) and Sara Choy open the CCS doubles tournament at noon Tuesday.

Over the past few years, seniors Sara Choy and Melina Stavropoulos have helped the Sacred Heart Prep girls tennis team become competitive in the West Bay Athletic League, home to Menlo School and its on-going state record 248-match league winning streak.

The Gators have given Menlo its toughest league battles the past two years, taking the Knights to third set tiebreakers in a pair of 4-3 decisions.

Choy, who will continue her career at Stanford next fall, finished her high school singles career with a remarkable 79-1 record, losing only to Los Gatos' Ashley Yeah in last year's Central Coast Section finals.

In the latest USTA junior girls 18 singles rankings, Yeah is third in Northern California and 27th in the nation. Choy is fifth in NorCals, 36th in the nation, ninth among high school seniors.

Menlo-Atherton senior Elena Van Linge, who will continue her career at Michigan, is ranked 13th in Northern California and doubles partner Julia Marks is ranked 59th.

Both the fourth-seeded Choy and Stavropoulos and the second-seeded Van Linge and Marks open play in the CCS doubles tournament at Bay Club Courtside in Los Gatos on Tuesday at noon. A victory sends them into the quarterfinal round later Tuesday.

Both the semifinal and final rounds will be held Wednesday beginning at noon. The unseeded M-A doubles team of Erin Cole and Kate Perri, who lost in the PAL finals to Van Linge and Marks, will also be playing.

Yeah returns to defend her singles title as the top seed. Sacred Heart Prep's Katherine Salisbury and M-A's Sophie Longo are also entered. The unseeded Salisbury meets No. 5 Alisha Chulani of St. Francis in the first round and Longo plays Harker's Sachi Bajaj in a match of unseeded players.

Choy is 9-0 as a doubles player, 5-0 with Stavropoulos. She has a chance to reach the CCS championship match a fourth consecutive time and a chance to earn a third CCS title before moving on to Stanford.

Nor Cal water polo

Sacred Heart Prep won the inaugural CCS Open Division boys title on Saturday, beating rival Menlo School, 8-5, at Independence High on Saturday.

Both schools get the opportunity to continue their seasons at the NorCal championships, another first-time event.

The Gators (24-4) earned the No. 2 seed in the tournament and hosts Jesuit (20-9) in the first round Tuesday at 6 p.m.

The Sacred Heart Prep girls (21-8) are seeded fourth in their bracket and host No. 5 Davis (25-6) at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

The Menlo boys (20-7) are also the fourth seed and will play Buchanan (24-4) on Tuesday at Palo Alto at 6 p.m. That game will be preceded by the Leland-Clovis girls game at 5 p.m.

Girls volleyball

Palo Alto (23-4) returns to game action for the first time in 11 days, opening the state Division I championships at home against Oak Ridge (21-8) at 7 p.m. Wednesday night.

The Vikings are the NorCal's fourth seed and face a similar team in the Trojans. Both have eight seniors listed on their respective rosters and both teams beat Los Altos and Los Gatos and lost to St. Ignatius during the season.

Oak Ridge is 121-28 in four years under coach Patrick Sanders. Palo Alto has an 89-40 mark under two coaches the past four years, 42-16 with current coach Daniele Desiderio, who also coach at Paly when Chelsea Fan and Isabella Marcus were the only freshmen on the team.

Oak Ridge has won six of its last seven matches. Palo Alto won 16 straight before losing, in five sets, to St. Francis in the opening round of the Open Division.

Sacred Heart Prep (25-8) also opens at home Wednesday. Del Oro (18-14) visits for a 7 p.m. contest in Division II. The third-seeded Gators lost to Notre Dame-Belmont in the CCS Division II finals on Saturday.

The Tigers are the No. 2 seed and the WBAL rivals could meet again in the regional semifinals. Top-seeded Carlmont won the CCS Division I title. It's possible that two CCS champions could meet for the NorCal title.

Sixth-seeded Menlo (29-5) remains in the Open Division and opens the state championships at No. 3 Turlock (33-8) on Thursday. First serve at 7 p.m.

The Bulldogs have an impressive resume entering the game, with a win over St. Ignatius along with wins over Harker, Oaks Christian and Aragon. Turlock lost to Eastlake at the SouCal Invitational.

The Knights, defending state Division IV champion, have also beaten Harker, Oaks Christian and Aragon and also beat Eastlake. Menlo has split with Sacred Heart Cathedral and owns a victory over CCS Division II champion Presentation.

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