Uploaded: Wednesday, October 31, 2012, 11:03 AM
Three M-A teams wrap up league titles
|It was a historic day for Menlo-Atherton High on Tuesday as three teams won league titles, capping a fall season unsurpassed in school history.
The Bears won PAL Bay Division crowns in girls' water polo, volleyball and boys' water polo -- combining with the girls' league title in cross country on Saturday and the girls' tennis team crown last week.
The five league titles in the fall is the best for the Bears in the school's 61-year history.
The M-A boys' water polo team started the title-winning day with an easy 23-4 swamping of host Woodside. The Bears finished 5-0 in the PAL (12-12 overall), capturing their first league title since 1992.
Junior Dimitri Herr scored six goals while senior Connor Arrington and junior Jake Bassin added five for M-A, which rested most of its starters.
Next up was the M-A girls' water polo team, which grabbed an early lead before holding on for a tight 8-7 win at second-place Castilleja. Junior Sophia Caryotakis tallied five goals for the Bears (5-0, 14-10), who are 39-0 in league matches since losing to Menlo School on Oct. 25, 2006.
Finishing off the day was the M-A volleyball team, which welcomed back four-year veteran Ali Spindt on Senior Night and the oft-injured standout had a solid performance to help the Bears sweep Mills and wrap up the regular-season title.
Spindt, who has missed much of the league season due to injury, made her return a good one with 26 assists, 17 digs and eight kills as M-A registered a 25-13, 25-7, 25-11 victory and improved to 13-0 in league (23-7). Pauli King added 13 kills and nine digs, Mele Moimoi contributed 13 digs, Ally Ostrow had six aces and nine digs and Katelyn Doherty added 18 digs and nine kills.
Menlo-Atherton is 31-0 in league matches since last losing in October of 2010.
In other games Tuesday:
The Palo Alto and Gunn girls both qualfied teams for the CCS Championships in two weeks after the Vikings took second and the Titans fourth at the SCVAL El Camino Division Championships on Tuesday at Crystal Springs in Belmont.
Paly (55) trailed five-time defending champ Mountain View (49) with Gunn finishing with 81 points, just missing a tie for third with Los Altos by a point.
Palo Alto sophomore Katie Foug was fourth overall in 19:16 (14 seconds faster than last year) over the 2.95-mile course while Gunn was led by freshman Gillian Meeks, fifth in 19:27. Paly senior Chika Kasahara was sixth in 19:43 and Gunn's Eliana Ribbe was 10th in 19:51.
In the boys' race, Paly sophomore Nate Cook finished 15th in 16:56 and Gunn sophomore David Lee-Heidenreich took 20th in 17:08 to qualify for CCS as individuals.
Sacred Heart Prep remained unbeaten in league play and moved to within a victory of winning the West Bay Athletic League (Foothill Division) title with a 25-14, 25-23, 25-17 win over visiting Mercy-San Francisco on Tuesday.
The Gators (9-0, 27-4) were led by Haley Cropper (14 kills and 10 digs), Sonia Abuel-Saud (8 kills, 15 digs), Payton Smith (7 kills and 7 blocks), Ellie Shannon (8 kills and 3 blocks), Helen Gannon (22 digs), Cammie Merten (34 assists and 16 digs.
SHP will visit second-place Menlo School on Thursday (5:45 p.m.) to decide the regular-regular season title.
Also in Atherton, Menlo School tuned up for its showdown for first place with a 25-21, 25-13, 25-19 win over visiting Castilleja.
Melissa Cairo had a team-high eight aces and added 17 digs for the Knights (8-1, 21-10) while Elisa Merten added 30 assists, three aces and eight digs. Maddie Huber and Sarah Bruml each had nine kills while Morgan Dressel finished with eight.
Lucy Tashman had 15 kills for Castilleja (2-7, 15-15) while Jessica Norum added 17 digs.
In Portola Valley, Priory had a nice come-from-behind win while defeating visiting Notre Dame-San Jose, 17-25, 25-15, 25-23, 25-22, in WBAL (Foothill Division) action. After splitting the first two sets, Priory rallied back in sets three and four after trailing 14-7 in both to pull out the victory.
Marine Hall-Poirier led the Panthers with 22 kills. Junior setter Riley Gallivan came off the bench and was instrumental in the victory by racking up 16 assists. Senior middle blocker Stephanie Brugger had three huge blocks in the fourth set to rally the Panthers to the victory. Priory (4-5, 17-8) wraps up the regular season Thursday night at home on Senior night against Mercy-San Francisco at 5:45 p.m.
In the SCVAL De Anza Division, Palo Alto lost sole possession of first place following a 21-25, 25-22, 25-17, 23-25, 15-11 loss to visiting Los Gatos on Tuesday night. The loss dropped the Vikings (11-2, 26-6) into a tie with Homestead heading into Thursday's regular-season finale at Gunn. The setback also came on Senior Night for Paly, which has lost only three times in league play since 2010 -- all three to Los Gatos.
Paly senior Shelby Knowles had 19 kills plus 19 digs and junior Becca Raffel added 17 kills with nine digs. Senior Sophia Bono finished with 46 assists and 13 digs while junior Keri Gee contributed 31 digs and Anna Dukovic had 11.
In Cupertino, Gunn tuned up for its final regular-season match by downing host Monta Vista, 26-24, 20-25, 25-22, 21-25, 15-11. The Titans (4-9, 16-15) were led by Lena Latour's 15 kills. Gunn will host rival Palo Alto on Thursday at 6:45 p.m.
Girls' water polo
Menlo School missed an opportunity to tie for the PAL Ocean Division title following a 13-7 loss to first-place Woodside on Tuesday. The Knights (11-3, 12-6) needed a victory to deadlock the Wildcats (13-1), but fell behind by 6-3 at halftime and never could make up the difference. Kaelen Dunn and Audrey Flower each had a pair of goals for Menlo.
— Keith Peters/Palo Alto Online Sports
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