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By Keith Peters/Palo Alto Online Sports
It has been quite a sophomore tennis season for Sacred Heart Prep sophomore Sara Choy, who navigated the dual-match campaign without a loss.
That perfection continued in the West Bay Athletic League Individual Tournament, where Choy went 3-0 over two days at Menlo School and won her second straight singles title.
The talented 15-year-old, who is ranked No. 13 in the nation for 16-under players, cruised to the championship with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Menlo School freshman Ashley Vielma on Tuesday. Choy reached the finals with a 6-0, 6-1 semifinal win over Lisa Egorova of Harker.
SHP coach Losaline Mafileo was impressed with how much Choy has improved since last season, when she went 33-0 and captured the Central Coast Section singles crown.
"She was always a great player," Mafileo said. "But, she found how to raise her game. She is more confident and has matured a lot. She plays smart tennis."
Choy came into the tourney with the same plan as she had last season, which was to win the title and qualify for CCS. Mission accomplished.
And for staying undefeated?
"I am conscious of it, but it's not like it's going to be the end of the world if I don't (stay unbeaten)," Choy said. "If I do lose, I just have to stand up and start again."
Choy acknowledged that she is proud of her winning streak, which hasn't been all that easy to achieve.
"High school matches aren't as easy as you think," she said. "If you're not focused on things, they can go the other way."
In the WBAL doubles final, Menlo seniors Mia McConnell and Melissa Tran fell, 6-1, 6-2, to Harker's tandem of the Eagles' No. 1 and 3 singles players. It was only the third loss of the season for McConnell and Tran and only their first setback to a CCS opponent.
At the Peninsula Athletic League Individual Tournament, Menlo-Atherton had two doubles teams advanced past the Round of 16 on Tuesday at College of San Mateo.
Sophomore Julia Marks and freshman Yvette Leung had a bye in the first round before posting a 6-0, 6-1 win in the second. Senior Sally Carlson and junior Julia Chang opened with a 6-0, 6-0 win before posting a 6-3, 6-0 triumph in the Round of 16.
Sophomore Lanie Van Linge, who was expected to compete in singles, did not play Tuesday. She's still recovering from an injury. Amanda Scandalios did play in singles and fell in the first round, 6-3, 6-2.
Menlo-Atherton girls wrapped up the PAL Bay Division volleyball title last week, but Carlmont made sure the Bears would not finish the season undefeated as the host Scots handed the division champs a 26-24, 25-16, 28-26 defeat on Tuesday night in Belmont.
The Bears fell to 12-1 in league (20-7 overall) while Carlmont improved to 10-3 (23-8 overall) with one match remaining.
Carlmont had not beaten M-A since Oct. 14, 2008 and thus ended a streak of 14 straight wins by the Bears. Carlmont also locked up an automatic CCS berth, which the Bears already had clinched.
M-A hit just 0.34 and had no one in double figures for kills as Jacqueline DiSanto and Leanna Collins finished with seven. Alexa Roumeliotis had 22 digs for the Bears with fellow junior Kiana Sales adding 15 and DiSanto 12. Junior Kirby Knapp had 21 assists for M-A, which hosts Half Moon Bay on Thursday on Senior Night at 6:15 p.m.
In Atherton, Menlo School remained in a tie for first place in the WBAL Foothill Division race after a convincing 25-16, 25-22, 25-16 win over visiting Notre Dame-San Jose.
The Knights (8-1) are locked in a tie with Harker with one match remaining. Menlo (19-6 overall) hosts Mercy-San Francisco, which it defeated earlier this season 3-0, while Harker plays Mercy-Burlingame, which the Eagles beat 3-0 earlier, in regular-season finals on Thursday.
Against NDSJ, Menlo junior Jessica Houghton and freshman sister Sianna Houhgton each picked up 21 digs. Senior outside hitter Maddie Stewart posted a team-high 14 kills. Senior middle Payton Mack added eight, and freshman Selina Xu collected 34 assists. Junior MIa Vandermeer had six kills and three blocks and senior Olivia Pellarin put up a pair of blocks, as well.
Also in the WBAL Foothill Division, Cate Desler produced 15 kills, 13 digs and served six aces to lead Sacred Heart Prep to a 25-8, 25-5, 25-13 volleyball victory over visiting Mercy-Burlingame. Lilika Teu added 32 assist and 11 digs for the Gators (4-5, 17-10) with Jorden Schreeder contributing 14 digs.
In the WBAL Skyline Division, Ashley Hu had eight kills, eight digs and three aces to help Castilleja register a 25-17, 25-7, 25-19 victory over visiting Eastside Prep. Elle Kass added 12 digs and two aces, Gwen Cusing finished with four kills and three aces, Lexi Stull had five kills with Sam Gerber adding six kills for the Gators (5-4, 9-21).
In the SCVAL De Anza Division, Palo Alto (7-4, 23-11) dropped a 25-16, 25-21, 20-25, 19-25, 16-14 decision to visiting Los Gatos and Gunn (1-10, 10-15) fell to host Los Altos, 25-22, 25-15, 25-15.
Boys water polo
Menlo School and Menlo-Atherton easily advanced to the semifinals of the Peninsula Athletic League Tournament with lopsided victories on Tuesday.
League champ Menlo (14-11) rolled to a 20-5 dunking of Burlingame and M-A (14-9) cruised past Carlmont, 26-4, both in the Bears' pool.
Seniors James Thygesen, Chris Xi and Wells Costello all tallied three goals for the Knights as 11 different players scored.
Jorge Pont tossed in five goals and Alex Hakanson added four as the Bears made quick work of Carlmont by scoring 11 goals in the opening period.
Menlo will face Half Moon Bay in one semifinal on Thursday at M-A at 2:45 p.m., with the host Bears taking on Mills -- an upset winner over Woodside -- in the other semi at 4 p.m.
At the SCVAL De Anza Division playoffs, Palo Alto dropped its opener to host Mountain View, 6-5. The Vikings (12-13) were seeded fourth while the Spartans were No. 5.
Girls water polo
League champion Castilleja and rival Menlo-Atherton both advanced in the PAL Tournament, but Menlo School saw its run end Tuesday in the quarterfinals.
Castilleja (13-6) romped to a 14-1 victory over Aragon at Menlo School as Celia Aldrete, Claire Pisani and Serena Rivera-Korver all tallied four goals.
Menlo-Atherton (8-9) grabbed a 3-1 halftime lead and held on for a 5-4 win over Carlmont as Olivia Jackson tallied two goals for the Bears.
Castilleja will face host Woodside in one semifinal on Thursday at 2:45 p.m. The Wildcats advanced with a 6-2 win over Mercy-Burlingame as Mia Montalbano scored three goals. M-A will take on Burlingame in the other semifinal at 4 p.m.
Menlo (15-11) was eliminated from title contention following a 14-8 loss to Burlingame. Jane Zafran and Sarah Donato tallied two goals each for the Knights while goalie Gillian Bressie had eight saves. Menlo will p;lay Carlmont in the consolation bracket at Woodside on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.