Owls off to strong start in volleyball

In her 11 years as women’s volleyball coach at Foothill College, Katy Ripp has never had a team get off to a better start than this season’s squad.

The Owls are 14-4 – which includes a 4-0 mark in the Coast Conference South Division – and rank 13th in the state.


Pinewood lacks seniors – not talent

Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Junior outside hitter Mehra den Braven leads Pinewood in kills this season.

With reigning league MVP Mehra den Braven among his five returning players, Pinewood School volleyball coach Michael Shorts couldn’t help but be excited about this season. After a closer look at the roster, though, no one would blame him for being a bit nervous as well.

“Going into the season, I knew that the team had a lot of talent and potential,” he said. “However, it is also a very young team. We have no seniors and five freshmen on the squad.”


Eagles eye another stellar season

Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos High outside hitter Carmen Annevelink, right, goes for the kill Thursday against Palo Alto, as teammates Sarah Tritschler, left, and Lulu Kishton prepare to play defense. The Eagles won the match in straight games.

The Los Altos High girls volleyball team is out to prove it’s not a one-year wonder. The Eagles last season reached the Northern California Division II final for the first time, and they are intent on returning.

“Last year was a total surprise for everybody, and it gave us a taste of how a program like Mitty feels every year,” said coach Peter Kim, whose team fell to the mighty Monarchs in the NorCal final. “That taste is driving these kids this year – they want to get back there.”


Mtn. View shows marked improvement; Los Altos tops St. Francis in tourney final

Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High setter Cynthia Moir bumps the ball last week versus Westmont.

The volleyball season is just weeks old, and the Mountain View High girls have nearly equaled last year’s win total.

The Spartans entered Tuesday’s league opener with a 7-5 record; they went 8-22 last season and missed the Central Coast Section playoffs for the first time in 11 years.


New-look Lancers find their footing

Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Jenna Adams, left, and Carly Deale attempt to bump the ball Friday night. The juniors combined for 28 kills.

This year’s St. Francis High girls volleyball team faintly resembles last season’s squad – the Lancers have changed coaches and have new starters at almost every position. Yet that hasn’t stopped St. Francis from winning as usual.

Friday’s home sweep of previously undefeated Notre Dame-Salinas boosted the Lancers’ record to 6-2 under new head coach Mike Rubin.


Team with locals takes 13th at Jr. National

Courtesy of Missy Robinson
Vision Blue 18-2 placed 13th in the USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships earlier this month. Front, from left: Sydnie Ybarratta, Bailee Roces and Kaitlin Tavarez. Middle: Emily Del Signore, Kristi Brown, Megan Robinson, Tori Taormina and Sarah Rose. Back: Assistant coach Fletcher Anderson, Christine Dion, Shea O’Gorman, Michelle Albright, Samantha Nydam, Emily Gigantino and head coach Jeff Kim.

Vision Blue 18-2 didn’t earn a medal at the USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships, but the club team did finish higher than any other Northern California squad competing in its division.

Vision Volleyball Club’s 18-and-under team, featuring local players Megan Robinson (Mountain View High) and Michelle Albright (Los Altos High), tied for 13th place in the American Division. The next-best finisher from the region – NCVC RoShamBo 18-2 of Meadow Vista (Placer County) – took 30th out of the 48 teams competing.


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