The Menlo school girls water polo returned to the championship match of the Central Coast Section Division II tournament with an 8-4 victory over Aptos at Homestead High on Tuesday.
The Knights (19-9) will meet Saratoga (24-3) on Saturday at Independence High at a time to be determined. Menlo is looking for its first CCS title in 12 years and its seventh overall.
The Falcons edged Aragon, 5-4, to reach the title match. Menlo beat Aragon twice en route to a runner-up finish to Open Division qualifier Castilleja in the Peninsula Athletic League. Saratoga went undefeated in winning the SCVAL El Camino title.
In the Open Division, West Catholic Athletic League champion Sacred Heart Prep, seeded third, dropped a tough, 9-7, decision to visiting No. 2 seed Soquel, which advances to meet CCS Open Division Leland in the finals, also at Independence on Saturday.
Mountain View and Los Altos meet in the Division I championship match.
Sacred Heart Prep (21-7) continues into the NorCal tournament by virtue of its first-round win over Los Gatos.
Menlo junior Sophie Golub, whose sister helped the Menlo tennis team win a CCS match Tuesday, got the Knights on the board with the first of two goals in the first period.
Freshman Rusha Bhat scored twice in the second. Junior Sydney Bianchi and senior Mia Rosenblatt each added a goal for a 5-1 halftime lead.
Golub scored again in the third period and junior Annie Bisconti added two in the fourth, one with an assist from senior goalie Natalie Hilderbrand, who made nine saves.
Bhat added an assist and a steal while Golub also finished with two steals. Bianchi had two assists and a block and senior Meri Klingelhofer added two assists. Meg Reinstra, a senior, had two steals, an assist and a block.
Ashley Penner scored early in the fourth period to give Sacred Heart Prep a 7-5 advantage but Soquel responded with four unanswered goals.
Annabel Facey scored twice for the Gators, both in the first period and both times tying the score. Isabella Bachler put SHP up, 3-2, with a goal late in the first period.
Soquel regained the lead at 4-3 with a goal at 2:31 of the second period. Ella Woodhead tied it with a goal 20 seconds later and then gave SHP the lead early in the third period. Penner padded the lead midway through the period.
No. 14 seed Menlo rallied from a two sets to one deficit to tie its Northern California Regional match with host No. 3 Campolindo but could not carry the momentum into the fifth set, dropping a 22-25, 25-17, 25-15, 17-25, 15-7 decision in the first round of the state Division I tournament Tuesday.
No. 13 Menlo-Atherton (23-6) also dropped a competitive match, 25-23, 25-22, 22-25, 26-24, to host No. 4 Amador Valley.
Grace King and Sianna Houghton each recorded a double-double for the Knights (22-12) against Campolindo. King had 14 kills and 13 digs while Houghton recorded 10 kills and 17 digs.
Riley Holland added 20 digs and five aces and Hannah Hoffman had 31 assists.