No titles were forthcoming, but local prep teams still had very successful weekends in volleyball, water polo and football.
The Sacred Heart Prep and Palo Alto girls' volleyball teams both fashioned 4-1 records and tied for third at the annual Harbor Invitational on Saturday in Santa Cruz.
While neither team came home with a title, the Gators placed senior Sonia Abuel-Saud on the all-tournament team while Paly junior Becca Raffel joined her.
Abuel-Saud produced 34 kills and 47 digs as the Gators improved to 13-2 heading into a pair of nonleague matches this week. Raffel finished with 32 kills and hit .276 in five matches in the Vikings' final tuneup before opening defense on their SCVAL De Anza Division crown against visiting Gunn on Tuesday night.
"We went 4-1 and only lost to a VERY good Harbor team," said Paly coach Dave Winn "They have their best all around lineup they've ever had (even when Karissa Cook was there). So yeah, we got a good taste of what it was like to be beat by a much better team. I liked the way we fought back in the second set, however.
"Hopefully we carry over that tenacity into our league play starting this week. This year's De Anza Division has the potential to be the most competitive it has ever been due to the parity across the top 6-7 teams."
The Vikings (11-3) also received solid play from senior co-captain Sophia Bono (82 assists), senior co-captain Shelby Knowles (29 kills) and junior Keri Gee (53 digs).
The Gators had plenty of standouts, as well, as sophomore Victoria Garrick had 28 kills and 27 digs, senior Payton Smith finished with 20 kills and 12 blocks, senior Ellie Shannon had 33 kills, senior Helen Gannon contributed 44 digs, senior Cammie Merten added 68 assists and 20 digs while sophomore Natalie Marshall had 43 assists and 20 digs.
At the Mitty Invitational, Menlo-Atherton went 2-2 with wins over St. Ignatius, 3-0, and Oak Ridge, 21-15, 25-19, 25-27, 26-16, 15-9, and losses to Presentation, 3-1, and Salinas, 3-2. The Bears moved to 2-5 overall.
The Menlo-Atherton varsity girls finished third while the M-A varsity boys took fourth at the annual Lowell Invitational on Saturday over a 2.93 layout in Golden Gate Park.
Junior Taylor Fortnam led the girls with an overall finish of 18:53. Annalisa Crowe was 21st in 19:32. Other scorers included Maddy Worden (19:42), Annika Roise (19:51) and Katie Beebe (20:13).
In the boys' varsity I race, M-A was led by John Lovegren, who clocked 15:23 for seventh. George Baier was 11th overall in 15:34 and Zach Plante took 16th in 15:58. Other M-A scorers included Alex Aguiar (16:21) and Eric Snyder (17:19).
Palo Alto finished eighth in the same race with Ben Hawthorne leading the Vikings in 36th (16:27).
At the Chieftan Invitational at Toro Park in Salinas, the Menlo School girls were sixth in the varsity race while the boys were seventh.
Sophomore Lizzy Lacy led the Knights by taking fourth in 20:00. In the boys' race, junior Matt Myers led Menlo by taking 11th in 16:48.the
With Ricky Grau rushing for 186 yards on 11 carries and scoring on runs of 12, 30 and 39 yards, Sacred Heart Prep remained unbeaten while rolling to a 70-0 nonleague victory over visiting Los Altos on Saturday.
The Gators (3-0) jumped out to a 49-0 halftime lead on the way to setting a school scoring record. Chris Lee ran 65 yards for a touchdown on the game's first play and Ryan Gaertner added TD runs of 15 and five yards for the Gators.
Sacred Heart recovered three fumbles and Nikolai de Saint Andrieu returned an interception 35 yards for a TD.
Meanwhile, Menlo-Atherton (0-2) wasn't as successful as the Bears dropped a 31-6 nonleague decision to host St. Ignatius in San Francisco on Saturday.
Zack Moore completed three of four passes for 72 yards and the Bears' lone touchdown. Evan Perkins caught four passes for 87 yards and Tasi Teu ran 13 times for 57 yards. The Bears finished with 247 yards in total offense.
Brian Jaggers had seven tackles to lead the defense.
In Portola Valley, Priory (2-0) got three touchdowns from Malik Reid in a 54-6 victory over El Sobrante Christian in an eight-man contest. The Panthers grabbed a 46-6 halftime lead, relegating the second half to a running clock.
Reid started the scoring with a 50-yard fumble return for touchdown and later rushed for two scores. James McDaniel gained 87 yards on 11 carries, well below his average due to being in El Sobrante's side of the field most of the game.
Tom Latta had two receptions for 51 yards, made seven tackles, had one sack and one interception.
Quarterback Will Latta accounted for three TDs, hooking up with Tom Latta for 20 yards and Matt Schwab for 12, in addition to running 11 yards for a third score.
Boys' water polo
Good starts didn't quite translate into great finishes for Menlo School and Sacred Heart Prep, both of which finished fourth in their respective tournments on Saturday.
After starting 2-0 on Friday, Menlo dropped an 8-5 semifinal decision to eventual champion San Ramon Valley in the 15th annual Scott Roche Invitational. The Knights fell behind 4-0 before making a charge as sophomore keeper Spencer Witte had nine saves in the second half.
"To play this well for three quarters against the eventual champion of this tournament is a small victory for us," said Menlo coach Jack Bowen.
The Knights (3-2) came back against El Camino (San Diego) in the third-place game, dropping a 10-8 decision after being outscored in the second half, 7-3. Nick Bisconti finished with 13 goals in the four matches for Menlo.
Menlo-Atherton (5-4) went 2-2 in the Roche and finished seventh after a solid 9-8 victory over La Jolla. Palo Alto (4-2) also went 2-2 in the tourney and took 11th following an 11-8 victory over Mt. Carmel (San Diego).
Sacred Heart Prep (3-2) started off well in the Santa Barbara Tournament with a 13-7 win over Vista (San Diego) and a 9-7 victory over Santa Barbara. Michael Holloway had nine goals in the two wins and goalie Will Runkel had 19 saves.
That moved the Gators to the semifinals, where they dropped a 10-7 decision to eventual runner-up Loyola (Los Angeles). In the third-place match, SHP fell to Agoura, 8-5. Mater Dei won the tournament over Loyola, 11-6.
Girls' water polo
Menlo-Atherton had the best finish by a local team at the St. Francis Invitational as the Bears fashioned a 3-1 record following the two-day tourney.
After opening with an 11-4 loss to Sacred Heart Prep, the Bears (4-1) topped Castilleja, 9-3; edged James Logan in overtime, 5-4; and wrapped things up with a 10-7 victory over Las Lomas. Jessica Heilman led M-A with 11 goals and 11 steals while Jenna Swartz scored nine goals, Sophia Caryotakis added five and goalie Sierra Sheeper came up with 33 saves.
Sacred Heart Prep started out with its big win over M-A, but wound up 2-2 in the event after falling to Clovis (12-5) in the second round and to Mitty (7-6) in the third. The Gators (3-3) bounced back with a 4-2 victory over St. Francis (Sacramento). Morgan McCracken had six goals and Kelly Moran came up with 35 saves for the Gators over the two days.
Castilleja, with Olympic gold medalist Brenda Villa back coaching, opened with a pair of losses on Friday before bouncing back to beat Burlingame, 9-3, and Palo Alto, 7-5, to finish 2-2 in its season-opening effort. Grace Arnold led the Gators with six goals while Sydney Molano and Anna Yu each added five. Maddie Tarr was solid in the cage.
Palo Alto went 1-3 in the tourney, topping De Anza Division rival Los Altos, 7-6, in overtime in the third round. The Vikings (2-4) trailed by 6-4 before sophomore Tess van Hulsen scored twice to send the match to OT. The team's were scoreless in the first extra period before van Hulsen scored her third goal on a breakaway for the winner.