The Central Coast Section girls volleyball playoffs are scheduled to open today, and four teams from the area will advance to the quarterfinals without breaking a sweat.
Los Altos, St. Francis and Homestead highs are seeded high enough to earn first-round byes, while Pinewood School is in a playoff division with only eight teams. The Eagles, Lancers, Mustangs and Panthers are scheduled to host quarterfinal matches 7 p.m. Saturday.
Los Altos drew the No. 2 seed in Division II after posting a 30-5 record and placing second to Homestead in the challenging SCVAL De Anza Division. The Eagles await the winner of tonight’s match between No. 7 Los Gatos (20-12) and No. 10 St. Ignatius (18-15).
St. Francis is the third seed in Division II, finishing 23-12 after last week’s loss to Valley Christian in the West Catholic Athletic League semifinals. The Lancers face No. 6 Woodside (21-11) or No. 11 Branham (15-14) Saturday.
Homestead, which won the De Anza Division title outright for the first time in school history, is the No. 2 seed in Division I.
Coach Gary Carroll, whose team has four Los Altos residents, believes his Mustangs (23-7) are focused on claiming the CCS crown.
“Our goal is to win it this year,” he said. “We are mentally stronger than last year, and we (aren’t fazed) by anything – not runs by our competitors, not questionable calls, not what people think, not extraneous stuff in our lives.”
Homestead hosts No. 7 Gunn (14-14) or No. 10 Oak Grove (18-11) in the quarterfinals.
Pinewood (13-11) is the third seed in Division V following a fifth-place finish in the West Bay Athletic League Skyline Division. The Panthers entertain No. 6 Trinity Christian (14-7) Saturday.
Quarterfinal winners move on to the semifinals Nov. 20.
Mountain View is the lone local team not headed for the playoffs. The Spartans finished 1-11 in the De Anza Division and 8-22 overall after league losses to Gunn and rival Los Altos last week.
The Los Altos boys captured the SCVAL El Camino Division championship meet for the fourth straight year – and it wasn’t even close. Fifty-eight points separated the Eagles from runner-up Wilcox Nov. 5 at Crystal Springs.
Los Altos placed six runners in the top 10, each of them setting personal records on the 2.95-mile course: Ben Zaeske (second, 15:40), Andreas Godderis (third, 16:12.7), Dane Tippett (sixth, 16:18.8), Kevin Anawalt (seventh, 16:23.6), Konrad Niemiec (eighth, 16:24.3) and Kevin Glass (ninth, 16:26.6). The Eagles came three seconds shy of the team record for Crystal Springs, according to coach Dan Oren.
The Los Altos girls finished fourth, led by Lauren Jacob (second, 17:48.9) and Katie Klein (ninth, 19:58.7). Gunn, behind champion Sarah Robinson (17:04) of Los Altos Hills, placed first and Mountain View took second. Melissa Reed paced the Spartans (third, 18:53.3), followed by Amy Lynch (sixth, 19:07.7) and Carina Gwennap (seventh, 19:21.1).
All these teams have qualified for the CCS championships, slated Saturday at Crystal Springs.
The St. Francis girls and boys will join them after finishing first and second in their respective divisions at the WCAL III meet Nov. 6 at Crystal Springs.
Julia Bounds won the girls race in 18:14, the fastest freshman time in St. Francis history, according to coach Roberta Chisam. Gia Kim was third (personal-best 19:07).
Seniors Gabriel McLarnan (16:02) and Gaurav Begur (16:07) led the Lancer boys by placing seventh and ninth, respectively.
Boys water polo
Los Altos, Mountain View and St. Francis have made the CCS Division I playoffs and begin play this week.
No. 9 Los Altos (10-16) was slated to face No. 8 Leland (17-7) Tuesday night at Mountain View, after the Town Crier’s press deadline. The seventh-seeded Spartans (12-10) were scheduled to play right before them against No. 10 Salinas (19-7).
Mountain View is coming off an 11-9 loss to rival Los Altos Saturday in the third-place game at the SCVAL De Anza Division Tournament.
If the Spartans bounce back to beat Salinas in their CCS opener, they would take on idle No. 2 St. Francis (11-16) Saturday in the quarterfinals at a time and place to be announced.
If Los Altos defeats Leland, it would meet top seed Bellarmine (16-10) Saturday.
Girls water polo
WCAL champion St. Francis (23-2) is the top seed in the CCS Division I playoffs, earning a first-round bye. The Lancers Saturday are slated to face the winner of today’s 7 p.m. game between No. 8 Los Altos (11-16) and No. 9 Carlmont (12-8) at Palo Alto.
No. 10 Mountain View (17-7) – the SCVAL El Camino Division champ – is set to host No. 7 Pioneer (20-6) 7 p.m. today. The winner takes on No. 3 Los Gatos (24-3) Saturday.
Los Altos and St. Francis are set to host CCS second-round matches 2 p.m. today.
The No. 4 Eagles (15-5) will face Leland (15-5) or Castilleja (12-5). The No. 6 Lancers (13-5) meet Carmel (18-3) or Aragon (11-8) at Cuesta Park.