Sports shorts

Carissa Chan

An eight-sport recap of the fall season

Some were undefeated and others were only defeated. Some barely made it and others barely missed it. El Estoque looks back and ranks the eight fall sports teams, based on record, CCS qualification and comparison to previous years, from best to worst performances of the season.

 

The girls tennis team celebrates their last game at home on their Oct. 23 senior night. They won against Mountain View with a score of 6-1 and went on to win CCS in another undefeated season. Photo by Ashley Ding.

No. 1: Girls tennis

The girls tennis team maintained their league championship title and undefeated streak this year. With a record of 17-0, they headed into the California Classics tournament as the No. 1 seed. While they struggled with injuries, losing several key players including No. 2 singles sophomore Aiswarya Sankar and No. 1 doubles juniors Shwetha Bharadwaj and Claudia Kesala, the team managed to pull through this season. The Matadors remained undefeated, and on Nov. 14, they defeated Saint Francis High School — one of the highest-ranking teams in the NorCal League — to win the title of CCS champions for the second year in a row.

 

No. 2: Cross country

Captain senior Ajay Rajamani runs along the track at Miller Middle School in the Lynbrook Invitational meet. Individuals from both the boys and girls cross country teams, including Rajamani, qualified for CCS this year. Photo by Christopher Song.

The cross country team exceeded expectations this year when both the varsity boys and girls qualified for CCS. The boys team barely made it by performing just well enough in the last league race of the season at Crystal Springs. The girls on the other hand, had a strong season, finishing first at the Lynbrook Invitational and the Baylands meet and second at the league finals due to injury. The Matadors were led by standout sophomore Jenny Xu, who finished in the top 10 in all the league meets the team attended. The fourteen runners who represented MVHS in the Nov. 10 CCS meet — teams are allowed to put seven runners and two alternates on the CCS roster for each gender team that qualifies — did not qualify for States.

 

The varsity football team faces off against Sequoia High School on Sept. 7, preparing to start the second quarter of the game. Though the Matadors had a strong league season, they were edged out in the league by Fremont and Gunn High Schools and did not qualify for CCS. Photo by Margaret Lin.

No. 3: Football

Playing for the first year on the newly constructed field, the varsity football team went 7-3-0 overall in the season. With strong play by seniors Nathan Facciolla and Peter Stern and junior Justin Cena, the Matadors won five of their six league games; they also kept the helmet trophy for the 10th year in the row after a 27-13 Helmet Game victory against Cupertino High School on Nov. 9. However, the Matadors barely lost a critical game against Gunn High School on Nov. 2 and did not qualify for CCS.

Senior Serena Chew dives for the ball in front of senior Allison Yu. Even with a 3-11-0 league record, the Matadors still qualified for CCS but lost in the second round against Salinas High School. Photo by Margaret Lin.

No. 4: Girls volleyball

With strong play by senior Serena Chew, junior Beverly Yu and sophomore Maria Balus, the varsity volleyball team placed third out of 60 teams in a Reno, Nev. tournament to start the season; Yu was selected to the All-Tournament team. They struggled throughout the regular season, however, and lost their senior night in a tight 2-3 match against Gunn High School. Even with a record under .500, the Matadors qualified for Division I CCS and rallied past No. 7 seed Santa Teresa High School for a 3-1 win in the first round of CCS. They moved on to the second round but lost to No. 2 seed Salinas High School 0-3, ending their season with an overall record of 15-16-0 and a 3-11-0 league record.

Senior Brendan Duffy, who led the team in goals scored, looks to pass the ball to a teammate. After going 6-6-0 in league, the Matadors qualified for CCS but lost against Lynbrook High School 14-15 in overtime. Photo by Margaret Lin.

No. 5: Boys water polo

After qualifying for CCS as a wild card last year, the varsity boys water polo team played this season under new coach Ben Vierra. Seniors Brendan Duffy and Omer Yosef had especially strong performances this season with Duffy as the team’s leading scorer and Yosef consistently contributing goals in games as well. With a league record of 6-6-0, the Matadors managed to qualify for CCS but lost in a close 14-15 overtime first round game against Lynbrook High School, ending the season with an overall 6-8-0 record.

 

Senior Katie Byrne attempts to block the ball as it rolls past her stick in a game against St. Ignatius High School. The Matadors pulled a 2-0 win, beginning a win streak at home, though it was not enough to qualify for CCS. Photo by Margaret Lin.

No. 6: Field hockey

Field hockey had a slow start to their season, losing home games to Lynbrook, Cupertino and Leigh High Schools. The Matadors showed improvement during the second half of the season with wins at home against St. Ignatius, Live Oak and Del Mar High Schools; they also pulled a 2-1 victory against Prospect High School in a thrilling senior night game. However, this final push towards the end of the season did not give the Matadors enough points to qualify for CCS, ending their season 9-10-1.

The Matadors fight for the ball against Cupertino High School while on CHS’ side. This season, the Matadors focused on going back to the basics of fundamental water polo, refining their passing, scoring and defense techniques. Photo by Shriya Bhindwale.

No. 7: Girls water polo

The varsity girls water polo team struggled in league and regular season play, failing to qualify for CCS. The highlight of the season was a game against Cupertino High School, which they won 16-1. However, the Matadors lost a close away playoff game against Mountain View High School on Nov. 2. The score was tied for the majority of the game; the Spartans scored an overtime goal to defeat the Matadors 9-10 in the last game of the season. MVHS ended the season with a 5-4-0 record, with 4-4-0 in league play.

No. 8: Girls golf

Senior Prianka Singh putts into Hole 9 at Cupertino’s Deep Cliff Golf Course on the final home game on Oct. 12. Though Singh had the best score of 37 strokes, the team lost to Lynbrook High School 219-220. Photo by Karen Feng.

After a strong season last year, the girls golf team entered the upper Mount Hamilton division. With only one previous year of experience and eight members, the girls golf team struggled to gain its footing as the members worked to become more consistent under head coach Brian Sullivan in an 0-12 season. Despite closer losses late in the season including a one-stroke defeat to Lynbrook, the team could not break a 12-game losing streak in their league games. Three players continued to the BVAL finals: Senior Prianka Singh, junior Natalie Ng and freshman Anika Singh. None qualified for CCS.

Check back on El Estoque at the end of the winter season for a ranking of boys soccer, girls soccer, boys basketball, girls basketball and wrestling.

Contributors to this story were: Shriya Bhindwale, Carissa Chan, Karen Feng, Atharva Fulay, Steven Lim, Alaina Lui, Christopher Song and Varsha Venkat