Menlo keeps 16-year tennis win streak alive

Knights have won 173 straight league matches after downing Harker, 6-1

The Menlo School girls' tennis team has not lost a league match since the end of the 1993 season. If Tuesday's victory over Harker was any indication, the Knights' streak will remain intact for another season.

Menlo improved to 5-0 this season in West Bay Athletic League (Foothill Division) play with a 6-1 triumph over its host. The Knights (10-2 overall) now have won 173 straight league matches and have captured 16 consecutive league crowns since 1994.

Harker appeared to be the only WBAL team with a chance to end that streak this season, but Menlo showed Tuesday that it's not ready to see its remarkable string of triumphs end soon.

Sophomore Giannina Ong rallied from a 5-1 deficit in the second set to pull out a 4-6, 7-5 (default) victory at No. 1 singles to pace Menlo. Her opponent had to default when she began to get leg cramps late in the second set.

Freshman Kristy Jorgensen continued her excellent play with a 6-1, 6-3 win at No. 2 singles while freshman Christine Eliazo won at No. 3, 6-0, 7-5, and sophomore Laura Gradiska posted a 6-1, 6-3 triumph at No. 4 for the youthful Knights.

Menlo had only three seniors in the lineup against Harker and only one, Lauren Robinson at No. 3 doubles, suffered a loss.

Menlo will host Castilleja on Wednesday before heading south to Newport Beach for this weekend's National Invitational.

The Knights should have little trouble with Castilleja, which dropped a 7-0 decision to host Sacred Heart Prep in another WBAL Foothill Division match on Tuesday. SHP (3-2, 10-5) swept the singles while losing only five games.

In the PAL Bay Division, Menlo-Atherton (7-2, 8-4) took care of host Half Moon Bay, 6-1. The Bears swept the doubles and lost only at No. 2 singles where M-A's Julia Sommer fell in three sets, 1-6, 7-5, 10-4.

M-A senior Paige Keating slugged it out for more than two outs with Simone Vandroff before securing a 7-5, 7-6 (13-11) victory at No. 1 singles in the featured match.

In the SCVAL De Anza Division, Palo Alto (3-5, 8-5) followed up its victory in its own tournament with a 4-3 triumph over host Lynbrook.

The Vikings won the Palo Alto Invitational on Saturday, winning three matches in a reduced field after three teams pulled out due to SATs on Saturday morning. Paly junior Amy Ke was 9-for-9 during the tourney while playing at No. 1 doubles.

At Gunn, the Titans (2-5, 7-9) dropped a tough 4-3 decision to Los Altos in another SCVAL De Anza Division match. The Eagles wound up clinching the victory by sweeping the singles after Gunn's Allana Booth and Alice Li had won their opening games at No. 1 and 3 singles, respectively.

Girls' golf

Second-place Sacred Heart Prep (7-1, 8-1) tuned up for its showdown with WBAL Foothill Division leader Castilleja on Monday with a 250-290 victory over host Mercy-Burlingame on Tuesday at Crystal Springs in Hillsborough. Rachael Henry earned medalist honors while leading the Gators with a 5-over 41. Kennedy Shields and Shelby Soltau each shot 46.

Girls' water polo

Sacred Heart Prep effectively wrapped up the West Catholic Athletic League regular-season title with a 10-4 triumph over visiting Presentation on Tuesday.

Sarah Westcott scored four goals and goalie Catherine Donahoe had 10 saves, while Emily Parsons and Pippa Temple added two goals each for the Gators (5-0, 14-1), who have only one league match remaining -- against Mitty on Oct. 28.

SHP next will compete in the Davis Fall Classic on Friday, where the Gators may have an opportunity to avenge their only loss of the season -- to Davis in the season-opening St. Francis Autumn Invitational on Sept. 11. Since that loss, the Gators have won 12 straight.

-- Palo Alto Online Sports

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