SH Prep's Choy returns to lineup; helps Gators beat Pinewood


Sara Choy returned to the Sacred Heart Prep girls tennis lineup for the first time in nearly three weeks, helping the host Gators beat Pinewood, 7-0.

Choy, who improved to 70-0 against high school competition, last took part in the first day of the Battle of the Bay Invitational on Sept. 30.

The following day, the junior reached the finals of the girls' 18 sectional tournament in Dorado Hills but had to retire due to a shoulder injury.

Her return will give the Gators (7-1, 13-3) a boost heading into next Tuesday's WBAL showdown at Menlo School (8-0, 11-6), which beat Crystal Springs Uplands, 6-1, to extend its record winning streak in regular-season league games to 236.

The Knights edged SH Prep, 4-3, earlier in the season, but had been playing without their No. 1 player, Taylor Gould. Menlo started the season without an eligible pair of former No. 1 players.

Gould returned against the Gryphons, sweeping her opponent at the top of the lineup without dropping a game.

At No. 2, Georgia Anderson also went 6-0, 6-0 and No. 3 Kathryn Wilson won, 6-1, 6-1. No. 4 Kaitlyn Hao had a tougher match, winning in a third set tie-breaker.

Against Pinewood (1-7, 4-14), Choy defeated Haley Mathews, 6-2, 6-0, while No. 2 player Melina Stravropoulos beat Julia Owens, 6-2, 6-1. Stravropoulos went 6-0 as the No. 1 player in Choy's absence.

Isa Robinson and Sarah McGrath, who have both played doubles, made it a singles sweep for the Gators.

Elsewhere, Castilleja edged Harker, 4-3, getting singles from No. 1 Wallis Hess, No. 3 Becca Row and No. 4 Simran Sandhu.

The No. 3 doubles team of Taylor DeGroff and Soline Boussard made it official for Castilleja (4-4, 12-7).

In the PAL Bay Division, host Menlo-Atherton took care of Hillsdale, 7-0, to remain a game ahead of San Mateo with three matches remaining.

The Bearcats visit M-A on Wednesday for a 4 p.m. match. The Bears can clinch the title with a victory.

Against the Knights, Sarah Marks was pushed a bit at No. 3 singles, needing a first set tie-breaker to help her win in straight sets.

Sofia Longo played at the top of the ladder, while Elise Kratzer and Nia Zisman also won in straight sets for the Bears (11-0, 14-5).

Girls' golf

Menlo School rebounded from its first loss of the season with a commanding, 210-254, victory over Mercy-Burlingame in West Bay Athletic League play Tuesday at Poplar Creek. The victory assured at least a share of the league title with one match remaining.

Knights freshman Sulwen Ma was the medalist with a 37. Her round included several "very solid shots and a wonderful birdie-3 on No. 6," Menlo coach Jim Miller said. "Sulwen played well in the gusty wind and her short game was as good as ever."

Menlo junior Sophie Siminoff played a strong round, just missing a few birdies. She shot a 40 while gaining more experience in the tricky winds at Poplar.

Freshman Gianna Inguagiato added a round of 42.

"Gianna is a very good ball striker and that will help her moving forward in these windy conditions," Miller said.

Vikki Xu shot a 44, and senior Lauren Yang was next with a 47. She made a birdie on the par-3 7th hole into a very stiff wind.

"This bodes well for her play as we move towards our 18 hole rounds," Miller said. "Kendall played very well she shot a 55 which included several very good shots."

The Knights (10-1, 11-1) play Notre Dame-Belmont on Wednesday at Palo Alto Hills CC.

Sacred Heart Prep (5-6, 6-7) dropped a 218-233 decision to Harker as Lauren von Thaden shot a team-best 43, followed by Cami Steppe at 46, Caroline Park at 47, Sinead Haley at 48, Danielle Sarkisian at 49 and Maia Granoski at 51.

Harker (9-2 in league play) was led by Katherine Zhu's round of 37.

Cross country

The top five Palo Alto boys runners all finished among the top 15 at the SCVAL Cluster meet along the 3.1-mile course at Baylands Park.

Kent Slaney raced 15:42.2 to beat teammate Henry Saul by 24 seconds. Gunn's Jonas Enders ran 16:12.4 to finish third.

Spencer Morgenfeld (16:38.1) placed ninth, followed by Ben Beaudry (11th, 16:53.4) and Donald Taggart (15th, 16:58.4).

Paly's Nos. 6 and 7 runners were among the top 25: Aashai Avadhani (20th, 17:13.2) and Kai Oda (25th, 17:29.1).

Gunn, which finished seventh, also got top 30 finishes from Thomas Burton (18th, 17:10.1) and Colin Huang (27th, 17:36.2).

The Titans placed second, with 73 points, to Los Gatos' 61 points in the girls race. Palo Alto was third with 101.

Paly freshman Miranda Jimenez was fourth in a time of 19:48.5 and teammate Julia Doubson ran 20:09.4 to finish sixth.

All of Gunn's runners placed among the top 30, led by Joyce Shea (7th, 20:11.4). Natalie Hill placed 10th with a time of 20:20.2.

Other Gunn runners included Priya Thomas (13th, 20:39.2) and Amy Cheng (19th, 20:56.7).

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