Last updateWed, 27 Jul 2016 10am

Eagles eye league title in girls volleyball

Thursday’s sweep of Saratoga moved the Los Altos High girls volleyball team to 9-1 in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League De Anza Division and a step closer to the title.

The only team that can catch the Eagles (25-7 overall) is Los Gatos, slated to host them 6:45 p.m. Thursday to cap the season. Los Altos edged the Wildcats (8-2 league) in five games Sept. 22.

Eagles ascend: Los Altos avenges loss to Mtn. View, climbs to top of De Anza Division

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High’s Hanadi Nassif, left, and Lauren Limbach attempt to block a shot by Mountain View High’s Emma Blockhus in Thursday’s match. Blockhus notched 14 kills in her team’s loss.

Los Altos High’s road to retribution has put the girls volleyball team in the driver’s seat to win the race for the division title.

The Eagles have been on a tear since rival Mountain View swept them Sept. 24, avenging that loss Thursday night for their fifth consecutive league win. Host Los Altos topped the scrappy Spartans 25-15, 25-21, 22-25, 26-24.

Despite rugged non-league schedule, Owls remain unbeaten in volleyball

Megan V, Winslow/Town Crier
Foothill College outside hitter Riana Brennan tops the team in kills. The sophomore earned All-America honors last season.

There’s nothing contrived about the Foothill College women’s volleyball team’s swift start to the season. The undefeated Owls haven’t ducked anybody – they’ve faced a flock of formidable foes over their first 13 matches.

“We’ve played a tough schedule and we’ve traveled a lot,” said Katy Ripp, in her 12th year as coach at the Los Altos Hills community college. “I think that’s matured us a little faster.”

Coach says Eagles aren't rebuilding - they're reloading

Shirley Pefley/Special to the Town Crier
Lulu Kishton goes for a kill as Los Altos teammate Alexis Malgesini watches intently.

The Los Altos High girls volleyball team has lost a lot of talent since last year’s rousing run to the regional final.

Three all-league players graduated – including MVP Carmen Annevelink – along with an honorable-mention selection. Oh, and a returning starter may miss the season with an injury.

Semi sweep

Town Crier file photo
St. Francis High’s Steve Dinneen, rising up for the kill, posted 15 kills in Saturday’s CCS semifinal sweep of rival Bellarmine.

There was no letup in the Lancers. Although the St. Francis High boys volleyball team had swept Bellarmine three times this season, the top-seeded Lancers didn’t look beyond the Bells when they met in Saturday’s Central Coast Section Division I semifinals.

St. Francis beat Bellarmine 25-22, 25-18, 25-17 at Independence High, advancing to the final for the second consecutive year.

Dinneen and Jimenez come up big for St. Francis boys volleyball team

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
St. Francis High senior Xander Jimenez bumps the ball in Thursday’s home match against Sacred Heart Cathedral.

The way Mike Rubin speaks of Xander Jimenez and Steve Dinneen, one might think he was coaching them in football – not volleyball.

“They are the two most physical players in CCS,” he said of the St. Francis High seniors. “It’s a bit like watching an ox and the Incredible Hulk on a daily basis.”

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