Los Altos High girls tennis coach Hung Nguyen estimates his team’s chances of making the playoffs at “70 to 75 percent” after Thursday’s 4-3 win over first-place Saratoga.
Two Eagles who have won 100 percent of their matches – senior Kacey Incerpi and sophomore Carina Burdick – played critical roles in Thursday’s regular-season finale.
Soon after Incerpi prevailed at No. 2 singles, No. 3 player Burdick “took us over the top,” Nguyen said. She clinched the home match with a 6-2, 6-1 victory.
“The undefeated girls came through for us,” said Nguyen, whose team locked up third place in the SCVAL De Anza Division with an 8-4 record and improved to 12-7 overall. “They’ve had incredible years.”
While the coach expected a stellar season from Incerpi – who played No. 1 singles last year – he didn’t expect Burdick to “be so dominant as a sophomore.”
Nguyen added that the entire singles ladder has excelled. Sophomore Juliette Martin has held her own at the top spot with an 11-5 record and No. 4 player Whitney Mathews, a junior, is 16-2.
Then there’s the No. 1 doubles team – seniors Haley Jones and Elizabeth Fuchs – who “have played really well,” the coach said.
Nguyen and his players must wait until Saturday’s Central Coast Section seeding meeting to find out if they’ve made the playoffs, scheduled to start next week.
“You never know, but I’m hopeful,” he said. “I’m keeping my fingers crossed.”
Los Altos bounced back from a five-game loss to Homestead early in the week by sweeping Palo Alto Thursday to remain in contention for the SCVAL De Anza Division title.
The Eagles went to 8-2 in league, putting them behind only the Mustangs (10-1) and just ahead of the Vikings (7-3) in the standings. Los Altos entered this last week of the regular season scheduled to face teams at the bottom of the league: rival Mountain View at home Tuesday (after the Town Crier’s press deadline) and Monta Vista on the road 6:45 p.m. Thursday.
Carmen Annevelink notched 22 kills for the Eagles (22-5 overall) in the win at Paly and Hanna Koehler recorded 20 assists.
Los Altos played in the Spikefest II tournament Saturday and lost to Homestead in the semifinals. The Mustangs won the Gold Division with a 6-0 record, beating Sacred Heart Cathedral in the final at Independence.
Mountain View won the tourney’s Blue Division to place 13th.
Behind Alex Espinosa’s eight kills, St. Francis (22-11 overall) edged Harker in five games Friday in non-league play.
Boys water polo
Behind a big day from Matt Dunn, Mountain View capped the regular season with an 18-13 win over Lynbrook Thursday. The junior scored six goals, made three steals and drew two ejections.
Rey Castillo added five goals for the Spartans (8-4 De Anza Division, 11-10 overall).
Charlie Niehaus posted 13 saves for Mountain View, up 7-2 lead after one quarter. He made 10 saves and four steals in an 8-7 loss to Gunn two days earlier.
Castillo, Randy Kenyon and Alex Paulsen each scored twice.
Girls water polo
Los Altos edged Palo Alto 6-5 Thursday to conclude the regular season.
Casey Vanneman scored three goals and goalie Romy Aboudarham collected 18 saves for the Eagles (7-5 De Anza Division).
Earlier in the week, Los Altos routed Lynbrook 14-7 behind three goals each from Vanneman and Kimberlyn Tilley.
Mountain View’s Senior Night belonged to the seniors, six of whom scored goals in a 15-4 blowout of Monta Vista Thursday.
Samantha Hartman “dominated both ends of the pool,” coach Drew Enlow said, tallying six goals, five assists and five steals. Fellow seniors Sophie Brotzel and Audrey Gerughty had two goals each for the Spartans (11-1 SCVAL El Camino Division, 16-6 overall).
After a 21-0 start to the season, St. Francis suffered back-to-back defeats Saturday in the NorCal Water Polo Championships. The Lancers fell 9-4 to Campolindo in the semifinals of the tournament, then lost 6-5 to Sacred Heart Prep in the third-place game.
Los Altos earned its first win of the year on Senior Day, 1-0 over Homestead Thursday.
Nicole Atkins scored for the Eagles (1-8-2 SCVAL, 1-10-3 overall).