Starting the season with a series of lopsided losses might demoralize some water polo teams, but not the Los Altos High girls. Coach Seth Tasman believes the rough slate has only made the Eagles stronger.
“Our season is shaping up great,” he said. “We have played a lot of very tough teams, so our girls are getting great game experience.”
The Eagles – outscored by a combined 37-7 in setbacks to Davis, St. Francis and Gunn the first week of the season – more recently have looked like a team capable of contending in the SCVAL De Anza Division and the Central Coast Section playoffs.
“League-wise we are top three in our league and looking to make a deep run in CCS,” said Tasman, whose team improved to 3-2 in the division with Thursday’s 15-3 blowout of Lynbrook.
Seniors Casey Vanneman, Jenna Gavenman and Kimberlyn Tilley lead the Eagles (5-9 overall), according to the coach. Tilley and Gavenman are the team’s top scorers, and Vanneman tallied a game-high six goals in Thursday’s home win.
Goalie Romy Aboudarham “has been having an unstoppable season,” the coach said. The junior made 20 saves against Lynbrook and a career-high 27 in Los Altos’ 4-3 overtime win at Saratoga Oct. 1.
“She was league Most Valuable Goalie last season and looking to repeat that honor,” Tasman added.
Tilley tallied the game-winning goal against Saratoga – her second of the game. Gavenman scored the other two goals.
In other girls water polo action last week:
• Tied at halftime, Mountain View created separation from Wilcox with a five-goal third quarter in Thursday’s 11-8 road win.
“Senior Marian Strong scored two second-half goals to help the Spartans overcome a slow start,” said coach Drew Enlow, whose team improved to 4-1 in the SCVAL El Camino Division and 8-3 overall. “Marian used her strength and speed both in transition and in the set offense to open things up for herself and her teammates.”
Samantha Hartman totaled five goals for Mountain View – the same number she scored in her team’s 16-5 rout of Santa Clara earlier in the week.
• St. Francis walloped Valley Christian 13-3 Oct. 2 to remain atop the West Catholic Athletic League. Courtney Batcheller and McKenna Yates scored four goals each for the Lancers.
Boys water polo
Mountain View opened the week by beating rival Los Altos and ended it with a loss to Gunn in De Anza Division action.
The host Spartans topped the Eagles 14-7 Oct. 1 behind six goals from Rey Castillo and five from Matt Dunn. Goalie Charlie Niehaus “had an all-CCS performance,” according to coach Gabor Sarusi, limiting Los Altos to two goals in the first half.
Ryan Seltzer totaled four goals for the Eagles.
In Thursday’s 10-5 loss at Gunn, Mountain View trailed 4-1 at halftime. The Spartans scored the first three goals of the second half, only to watch the Titans make the next three.
Alexander Paulsen totaled three goals for Mountain View (3-2 league, 4-5 overall).
Los Altos followed its loss to Mountain View with a nonleague setback to St. Francis Friday, 11-8. Sam Lisbonne scored three times for the Eagles. Sean Elmurib had four goals for the Lancers.
Earlier in the week, St. Francis defeated Valley Christian 12-10 in overtime. Shawn Welch led the Lancers with four goals in the Oct. 2 WCAL game.
Los Altos served notice that it is a viable contender for the De Anza Division crown, sweeping Los Gatos Thursday to improve to 3-0 in league. The host Eagles prevailed 25-21, 25-22, 27-25.
Carmen Annevelink notched 17 kills for Los Altos (14-2 overall) and Meghan McDermott added 11. Hanna Koehler tallied seven kills and 21 assists.
Two days prior, the Eagles swept Gunn behind Annevelink’s 12 kills and Michelle Albright’s eight.
Mountain View slumped to 0-3 in the De Anza Division after losing four-game matches to Homestead and Palo Alto last week. Rosa Lutz led the Spartans (2-10 overall) with 10 kills against Homestead Oct. 1; Maegan Nevalsky tallied a team-high 11 kills versus Palo Alto Thursday.
St. Francis (8-4 overall) opened WCAL play with a four-game setback to visiting Valley Christian Oct. 1.
Los Altos edged above .500 in the De Anza Division by beating Gunn and Lynbrook last week. The Eagles topped Gunn 5-2 Oct. 1 and squeaked by Lynbrook 4-3 Thursday, improving to 3-2 in league and 6-4 overall.
Los Altos swept the doubles against Gunn and the singles versus Lynbrook. Kacey Incerpi, who played No. 1 doubles with Whitney Matthews the first match and No. 2 singles in the latter one, improved to 10-0 for the season. Singles player Carina Burdick also won twice last week to remain undefeated (9-0).
St. Francis won both of its matches last week, improving to 6-1 in the WCAL. The Lancers followed a 209-279 victory over Sacred Heart Cathedral Oct. 1 at the Presidio with a 203-208 win over Mitty Thursday at Spring Valley. Nancy Xu earned medalist honors in the first match, shooting a 37 for the Lancers.
St. Francis is off and running in the WCAL, as the boys and girls teams won Thursday’s first league meet of the year. The boys beat Bellarmine by 10 points for first place, while the girls clipped runner-up Mitty by two points at Sunnyvale’s Baylands Park.
Four St. Francis boys finished in the top 10: Gabe McLarnan (second, 12 minutes, 20 seconds); Xander Olivero (third, 12:33); Gaurav Begur (seventh, 12:52); and Aditya Mohan (10th, 12:56).
Freshman Julia Bounds won the girls race (13:59); fellow Lancers Melissa Seaman (15:07) and Gia Kim (15:10) finished fifth and sixth, respectively.
2013 girls water polo: Los Altos High School - Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier