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Menlo School girls sweep WBAL tennis titles

 

Menlo School swept the West Bay Athletic League girls' singles and doubles tennis titles on Wednesday behind the play of junior Giannina Ong and the team of sophomore Christine Eliazo and junior Laura Gradiska.

"We're excited to be having Menlo representing the WBAL in the CCS in a couple weeks," said Menlo coach Bill Shine, whose team finished with a perfect league record and won its 18th consecutive league title last week.

Menlo will find out its Central Coast Section seed this weekend -- likely a No. 3 or 4 -- and will learn its opponent for Wednesday's opening match at home.

In the WBAL finals, Ong defeated Harker's Jenny Chen, 6-0, 6-4, in the finals. It was Ong's third straight league crown.

"It was a great match," Shine said of Ong. "It was a pretty good battle in the second set. G was down 3-4, but came back."

Sacred Heart Prep freshman Caroline Nordman fell to Chen in the semifinals, 6-3, 6-4.

Eliazo and Gradiska finished the sweep with an easy 6-2, 6-0 decision over Kristen Chui and Alexandra Loh of Crystal Springs-Uplands.

"They played really well," Shine said. "Christine is playing great and Laura has improved a lot."

At the SCVAL Individual Tournament at Monta Vista, Palo Alto's doubles tandem of sophomores Aashli Budhiraja and Felicia Wang finished third with a 6-4, 6-0 win over Saratoga's Sarah Lum and Cori Posadas. The Paly duo was toppled in the semifinals by the eventual champions, Ruri Kobayakawa and Kelsey Chong of Monta Vista, 4-6, 6-0, 6-4.

At the PAL Individual Tournament at Burlingame High, Menlo-Atherton had two doubles teams eliminated in the quarterfinals -- Chloe Rehaender and Jordan Capelle plus Siena Roat-Shumway and Keiko Aebi. The Bears' Erin LaPorte was knocked out of the singles in the quarterfinals, as well, 6-2, 6-0.

Boys' water polo

Menlo School wrapped up its 17th consecutive PAL Bay Division title with a 13-2 romp over host Burlingame on Wednesday. The Knights (5-0, 16-7) earned the title as they have in the past, with a team-oriented defense led by excellent goalkeeping and a balanced counter-attack.

Menlo had goals from eight different players, including two from freshman standout Nick Bisconti and a team-high three goals from captain Brad Haaland.

Menlo next will begin defense of its CCS Division II championship, which will be seeded this weekend and then begin next week.

In PAL Ocean Division action, Priory (3-9, 5-17) concluded its season with a 15-7 loss to visiting Aragon. Eric Turnquist scored three goals for the Panthers.

Girls' water polo

Menlo-Atherton won its fifth straight PAL Bay Division title on Tuesday with a 14-1 blasting of host Aragon. The Bears finished 5-0 in league (13-10) overall and will head into CCS next week looking to defend their Division I crown.

Seniors Emily Gran and Marie Popp each tallied three goals while six others also scored. Sophomore Jessica Heilman had five steals, senior Danielle Flanagan had four assists and senior goalie Emma Canny returned to action after missing two weeks with an injury.

Elsewhere in the PAL Bay Division, Castilleja wrapped up third place with a 6-2 victory over visiting Sequoia. Maddie Tarr had 10 saves in goal while Sara Holston and Camille Zubizaretta each scored twice for the Gators (3-2, 8-12), who earned an automatic berth into the CCS playoffs.

Menlo School, meanwhile, dropped a 17-6 decision to host Burlingame. The Knights (1-4, 3-15), the No. 5 team from the Bay Division, will host Ocean Division champ Mercy-Burlingame on Thursday with the winner earning a CCS berth.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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