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News

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Gregory Helfrich

Santa Clara Sheriff’s detectives have arrested a Los Altos Hills man they suspect repeatedly molested a child decades ago.

Detectives arrested Gregory Helfrich, 54, on a warrant at his Old Page Mill Road home April 27 and...

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Schools

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students


Courtesy of Jessica Harell
Blach Intermediate School seventh-grader Paris Harrell, who loves science and animals, recently received a scholarship from the local branch of the AAUW to attend Tech Trek camp.

It’s not every day that a junior hig...

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Community

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner


Federici

Longtime Los Altos resident Mario Federici, who turned 98 Feb. 24, is a man of many languages. He shared his knowledge with thousands of students during his long career as a teacher.

Federici was born and raised in Italy, where he stud...

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Comment

Attend an event, get involved, have fun: Editorial

You don’t have to run for city council to get involved in the community. Sometimes it can be as simple as attending a Los Altos event. You’ll have plenty of opportunities, as the May and June calendars are bustling with activity.

The Dow...

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Special Sections

Racing around Monterey

Racing around Monterey


Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
The easy handling of the VW Golf R, above, makes for an ideal ride along the Big Sur coast.

 

When automotive journalists are asked to list their favorite places in the world to drive, Monterey alway...

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Business

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations


Courtesy of Eureka
Eureka, a new restaurant in downtown Mountain View, highlights local craft beer and whiskeys on a menu of food spanning from sea to farm.

Craft beer and fancy whiskeys headline the menu at Eureka, the new restaurant that opene...

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People

Stepping Out

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'


Courtesy of Palo Alto Players
The Baker’s Wife, left, and Cinderella’s erstwhile Prince stand out in the Palo Alto Players production of “Into the Woods.”

Little Red Riding Hood sets forth at the outset of “Into the...

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Spiritual Life

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International


Courtesy of Los ALtos United Methodist Church
Hidden Villa will bring some of its farm animals to Los Altos United Methodist Church Sunday to support the nonprofit Heifer International.

Los Altos United Methodist Church is scheduled to salute th...

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LA's historic season comes to a close: Eagles fall to Mitty in regional final


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos High’s Meghan McDermott bumps the ball in last week’s NorCal final.

When the Los Altos High girls volleyball team looks back at this season, the players and coaches probably won’t dwell on their lopsided loss to Mitty in last week’s Northern California Division II final.

After all, few people expected them to hang with the Monarchs – ranked No. 1 in the nation – for a second time this year.

The Eagles are more likely to reflect fondly on the journey that took them farther than any team in school history.

“I think every single one of us, especially me as a senior, is going to look back at this and just be amazed at all we’ve accomplished this whole season and be proud of the team and the program we’re going to be building for the future,” co-captain Meghan McDermott said after the Dec. 3 match Mitty won 25-20, 25-12, 25-14.

While outside hitter McDermott, setter Hanna Koehler, opposite hitter Michelle Albright and libero Katie Tritschler won’t be part of that future – all four starters graduate in the spring – coach Peter Kim intends to return. He guided Los Altos to a 34-7 record this season, his third at the helm.

“This team has accomplished so much this year,” Kim said. “I’ll look back on it fondly and with a smile. It’s a great group of players, great admin, great parents. It’s been like a total family thing. Everyone’s going to remember this forever.”

Although the Eagles’ stellar season didn’t produce any championships – they finished second in their league, section and region – the squad achieved a new level of success. This is the first Los Altos team in any sport to advance to a NorCal final.

“I’m just super proud of these girls for getting to this point,” said Kim, whose team won two road matches to reach the final.

Stunning the defending state champs in their gym proved too tall a task for a Los Altos team not as tall – or as seasoned – as the Monarchs (40-4), especially with their kill leader back at full strength.

When the squads met in the CCS Division II final 10 days earlier, 6-foot-3 outside hitter Clare Powers played sparingly due to an ankle injury and the Eagles nearly pulled off the biggest upset of the playoffs. They took the top seed to five sets, twice serving for match point before Mitty eked out the victory.

Powers looked like a different player in the NorCal final, notching 12 kills and 14 digs.

“I think she’s a huge leader on the court and definitely a phenomenal hitter and passer,” McDermott said. “I think having her back on the court made the team jell a little bit better. That was a huge key for them tonight.”

Powers notched five kills in the first set, including the game-winner on a shot up the middle.

Teammate Alexa Dryer – who at 6-4 was the most imposing figure on the court – also tallied 12 kills, along with four solo blocks. The junior middle blocker scored three points in the Monarchs’ 8-2 run to start the match.

Los Altos fought back, however, tying the game at 17 on a crushing kill by outside hitter Carmen Annevelink. The junior recorded five of her team-high 11 kills in the first set.

The Eagles weren’t able to take the lead, though. Mitty scored the next three points – two courtesy of kills by Powers – prompting a Los Altos timeout. The Eagles responded with back-to-back points, the second on Tritschler’s ace.

With their lead narrowed to 20-19, the Monarchs called timeout. They regrouped and quickly regained control by scoring four straight points – the last on a far-corner kill by Powers. Los Altos mustered one more point, thanks to a Mitty service error, before Powers put the set away.

The Eagles scored the initial point of the second set on a Koehler ace for their first lead of the night. The teams traded points before the Monarchs went on a major run after Albright’s cross-court kill tied the score at 3. Los Altos used both its timeouts during the 12-2 spurt and didn’t get closer than nine points of Mitty the rest of the set.

The Eagles scored first in the third set on an Annevelink kill and notched another one on a perfect set from Koehler that gave them a 4-3 lead. The Monarchs answered with a six-point run and never trailed again. Los Altos got as close as 10-8 on McDermott’s kill down the left sideline. Mitty scored the next three points and soon pulled away.

“Like the great team they are, they really came out to play,” Kim said of Mitty. “They played super defense over on their side. If you don’t have the big guns like they do, it’s hard to compete with them.”

McDermott – who recorded three kills, two solo blocks and 12 digs in the match – agreed.

“Mitty has phenomenal players all around. They’re definitely a very strong team,” she said. “The only way we knew we could win was if we played together as a team and played loose. I think we didn’t have our best match of the whole season, but this match is not going to define our season. We had so many other incredible matches that we won and played really well, so I’m proud of us.”


2013 girls volleyball: Los Altos High School vs. Mitty in CIF Final - Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

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