The Mountain View High boys water polo team is in uncharted waters, entering this week’s Santa Clara Valley Athletic League De Anza Tournament undefeated for the first time in program history. That may put a target on the backs of the Spartans’ swimsuits, but they’re not stressing over it.
“Although we are aware of the league-tournament stakes, we don’t have anything to lose – we just got moved up from the lower (SCVAL El Camino Division),” coach Rafael Alapont said. “We made CCS; there is no pressure on our team.”
Win or lose, Mountain View – coming in with a pristine record in league (12-0) and a 20-1 overall mark – is bound for the Central Coast Section playoffs that begin next weekend. But winning the tourney, which concludes Saturday at Mountain View, can only improve the Spartans’ seed in CCS.
Mountain View capped its regular-season slate with a 10-4 victory at Homestead Thursday. The Mustangs scored first, but the Spartans responded with three straight goals, two from Tony Nardelli, before quarter’s end. Mountain View built a 6-3 lead by halftime and pulled away in the third quarter when Nathaniel Randolph outscored Homestead 3-0.
Nardelli finished with a game-high four goals, Randolph scored three and Ahram Ham had two. Alapont added that goalie Sam Vincent was “instrumental” in winning the game.
Wins over Homestead and Monta Vista last week enabled Los Altos to remain in contention for the De Anza Division crown. The Eagles improved to 9-2 in league, keeping them a win behind Palo Alto (10-1) with one match to play.
If Los Altos defeated host Mountain View (7-4) Tuesday, after the Town Crier’s deadline, and Homestead (8-3) upset visiting Paly, the Eagles and Vikings would share the title.
Los Altos rallied from a two-set deficit to edge host Homestead in five games Oct. 16, then swept visiting Monta Vista Thursday. Naomie Cremoux recorded 24 kills against the Mustangs and Jackie Wang added 14.
In a marathon match, Mountain View outlasted last-place Monta Vista in five sets Oct. 16. The visiting Spartans triumphed 25-15, 24-26, 30-32, 25-20, 15-4.
Kyra Palmbush racked up 21 kills and four blocks for Mountain View, while Rey Turner added 18 kills, three aces and two blocks. Ashley Kane contributed 42 assists and 18 digs.
The Spartans improved to 7-4 in the De Anza Division and 24-8 overall.
For the second time this season, Presentation upset St. Francis at home.
Matched up in the first round of the West Catholic Athletic League playoffs, the third-seeded Lancers (22-12) fell in four games to the No. 6 Panthers (13-18) Oct. 16.
Mountain View is a win away from clinching its first league championship in eight years.
The lone undefeated team in the El Camino Division, the Spartans (10-0 league, 10-2 overall) need only to split their two matches this week to claim the title and make the CCS playoffs for the second year in a row.
Mountain View was slated to visit Gunn Tuesday (after the Town Crier’s deadline) and host Lynbrook 4 p.m. Thursday.
The St. Francis boys and girls teams won their respective races at the second WCAL meet of the season, held Oct. 15 at Golden Gate Park. The boys beat runner-up Bellarmine by 15 points; the girls defeated second-place Presentation by 16 points.
The Lancers didn’t have the top individual finisher among the boys, but they did have the next five: Colton Colonna (15 minutes, 19.2 seconds), Eric Eng (15:20.4), Juan Pablo Garcia (15:31.1), Daniel Skahill (15:38.7) and Aiden Maddison (15:39.1).
A trio of underclassmen led the St. Francis girls: sophomore Alexa Barton (second, 19:04.3), freshman Christel Elkins (third, 19:10.1) and sophomore Claire Callon (sixth, 19:19.9).
The Los Altos boys placed second to Palo Alto at SCVAL Meet No. 3, held Oct. 17 on the 3.1-mile course at Baylands Park in Sunnyvale. Los Altos junior Adam Sage finished second individually with a time of 16 minutes, 5.1 seconds. Four other Eagles placed in the top 20: Kevin Andrews (13th, 16:40.2), Rian Lawlor (14th, 16:41.1), Luke Sage (15th, 16:44.3) and Daniel Adams (17th, 16:59.8).
Los Altos senior Naomi Donovan won the girls race with a 19:00.5, but the Eagles came in sixth as a team. Lily Beck (11th, 20:02.6) and Anya Gupta (19th, 20:27.4) were the only other Los Altos runners in the top 50.
Los Altos took down Cupertino twice last week to finish undefeated in the El Camino Division. The Eagles (8-0) won league for the first time, qualifying for today’s SCVAL Tournament at Santa Teresa Golf Course.
Los Altos defeated Cupertino 167-186 and 230-255 behind medalists Caris Kim (30) and Sophie Thai (37), respectively.
Mountain View closed the regular season by posting its best score at Shoreline Golf Links. The Spartans waxed Wilcox 217-280 Thursday, improving to 6-2 in the El Camino Division and 9-2 overall.
Reeya Vasishta led Mountain View with a 3-under-par 33. The junior also earned medalist honors in the Spartans’ 227-251 win over Homestead the day before, shooting 39 at Shoreline.
“We ended pretty nicely today,” Mountain View coach Jim McGuirk said after Thursday’s match. “Hopefully (it’s) a good sign for next week.”
The Spartans are in the league tournament for the first time.
With a pair of wins last week, Los Altos evened its record in the De Anza Division and overall.
The Eagles followed a 2-1 win over Mitty Oct. 16 with a 1-0 victory over Cupertino Thursday.
Los Altos entered this last week of the regular season at 6-6 in league and 7-7 overall.