Sacred Heart Prep senior Robert Dunlevie has verbally committed to play water polo for the Stanford University men's team next fall. Dunlevie, a two-time All-Central Coast Section and All-West Catholic Athletic League selection, helped lead the Gators to WCAL and CCS championships in both 2008 and 2009.
"Robert has a great blend of size and speed and I expect him to have an exceptional senior season at Sacred Heart Prep," said SHP head coach Brian Kreutzkamp. "I am extremely proud that he has taken the time to work hard in the pool and in the classroom to make his dream of attending Stanford University a reality."
Added Dunlevie: "It has always been my goal to attend Stanford and play water polo for coach John Vargas. Stanford offers the very best academic and athletic environment in the nation and I am looking forward to being a part of it."
Dunlevie's sister, Yvonne (Vee), currently plays for the Stanford women's water polo team. She'll be a sophomore this season.
Sacred Heart Prep will open its season on Sept. 15 by hosting Acalanes, a power in the East Bay, at 5 p.m.
The 2010 season gets under way on Thursday when Castilleja and Sacred Heart Prep open at home while Gunn hits the road.
Castilleja will play host to San Mateo at 6:15 p.m. while Sacred Heart welcomes King's Academy at 6:30 p.m. Gunn will travel to Saratoga for a nonleague match at 6:45 p.m.
Castilleja is coming off an 18-14 season that saw the Gators go 5-5 in the Foothill Division of the West Bay Athletic League. Coach Tracie Meskell, however, got her team to the CCS Division V finals before losing to Sacred Heart Prep. Castilleja also reached the NorCal semifinals before having its season end.
Meskell lost only two seniors and has a solid core of returning players led by 6-foot-1 middle hitter Laura Rose, 6-1 junior middle blocker Hannah Boland and 6-foot sophomore Lucy Tashman. Junior libero Lindsey Wang also is back along with senior defensive specialist Clare Dreyfuss, senior outside hitter Abby Thornburg and senior setter Sophie Koontz. Sophomore Hannah Hsieh also saw considerable time last season along with juniors Sarah Shore and Camile Stroe.
Sacred Heart Prep went 24-11 last season, which included a 7-3 mark in the WBAL Foothill Division. After winning CCS, the Gators reached the NorCal semifinals before falling.
Coach Damian Hardy lost seven key players to graduation, half his team, and will have to rally the troops this season in an attempt to duplicating the 2009 campaign. Hardy, in his third season, will have to build around junior hitters Jesse Ebner and Sara Daschbach, plus setters Amelia Alvarez (a junior) and Hanna Elmore (a senior).
Hardy will need the incoming JV grads to contribute while his team concentrates on serving and ball control to be successful.
Gunn coach Kevin Hwang returns for a second season following an 0-12 campaign in the SCVAL De Anza Division a year ago. The Titans did finish 16-23 overall and will compete in the El Camino Division this season.
Gunn lost four seniors, including three starters, but will return outside hitters like senior Kiana Choroski and junior Julia Maggioncalda. Junior setter Monica Cai will be instrumental along with junior libero Julia Li while sophomore middle blocker Molly McAdam will be counted upon for playing a key role.