The volleyball team defeated Menlo-Atherton for a second time and avenged a prior defeat to Palo Alto by claiming the Chandler Invitational title. Photo courtesy Cynthia Yock.
By David Quezada
The Menlo girls volleyball team took first place at this year’s Chandler Invitational Tournament, which was hosted at Menlo. The Knights did so without dropping a set, defeating rivals Menlo-Atherton and Palo Alto in the process.
The Knights kicked off the tournament with a hard-fought 27-25, 25-17 victory against University-SF. Following their first round victory, Menlo breezed by Wallenberg with a straight set victory of 25-10, 25-13, giving the Knights the top spot in pool play. In the quarterfinals, Menlo kept it rolling, handily defeating Santa Cruz with a score of 25-16, 25-15 to put them in the semifinals.
The semifinal matchup pitted the Knights against Menlo-Atherton for the second time this year. Menlo picked up right where they left off from the previous victory, easily defeating the Bears in straight sets (25-14, 25-13).
Menlo then advanced to face off against Palo Alto for the title. It was clear that this would be the toughest match for the Knights, having suffered a straight set defeat against the Vikings only four days prior. Rather than shrinking from the obstacle they faced, the Knights took it head on.“Going into the match, everyone was fired up and just wanted to prove to ourselves that we could beat them,” senior volleyball player Ryan Hodge said. Menlo came out of the gates strong, taking the first set fairly easily with a score of 25-11. In the second set, Menlo pulled out the victory after saving multiple set points for Palo Alto and capitalizing on their own with a final second set score of 26-24.
This is an exciting victory for the Knights, finally returning the Chandler invitational title to Menlo after four years.