Given the suspension of athletics within the county, the Every day Journal determined to dive into our 20-year archives to carry readers a few of our favourite tales through the years.
NOV. 19, 2014 — Menlo head coach Invoice Shine stated it greatest as he accepted the Central Coast Part women’ group tennis championship.
“A number of groups have the ‘wow’ issue — now we have the ‘Yao’ issue,” Shine stated.
The ‘Yao’ issue consists of Menlo’s high two singles gamers, sisters Liz and Alice Yao, who led the Knights to their eighth all-time CCS title with a 5-2 win over St. Francis on a picturesque Tuesday afternoon at Bay Membership Courtside in Los Gatos.
After No. 5-seed Menlo took a commanding lead by successful its first three matches of the day, senior Liz Yao, the older of the sisters, clinched the upset over No. 3 St. Francis by placing away Lancers freshman Cate Liston 6-3, 6-4.
Liston really resides in Menlo Park. A lifer on the tennis court docket, she has identified Shine since she started attending his drop-in tennis clinics when she was 8. She presently receives non-public tennis instruction from Sacred Coronary heart Prep boys’ tennis coach Jeff Arons. This season, she began as St. Francis’ No. 2 single, however moved as much as No. 1 by the beginning of West Catholic Athletic League play.
The extra skilled Liz Yao — enjoying in her fourth CCS postseason and her second championship match in as a few years — took command from the outset although, working the backline together with her calm and fluid model which has turn into a cornerstone of the Menlo group.
And he or she might sense the group victory was driving on her final result, despite the fact that nobody particularly communicated the rating to her whereas she was enjoying.
“I might type of inform by the gang,” Liz Yao stated. “And I might inform by the faces of the individuals as they arrive off (their courts) how their matches went.”
A lot of her teammates, together with her youthful sister, gathered on the Bay Membership’s showcase court docket as Liz Yao was busy storming again from a 4-2 deficit within the second sport. Half ethical assist, half stone-cold willpower, she rallied to win 4 straight, together with the ultimate sport during which she shut out a visibly pissed off Liston.
“I might really feel her getting pissed off,” Liz Yao stated. “So, different than simply hit the ball solidly and never attempt to go for an excessive amount of, I simply waited till I had a chance.”
Liz Yao bought her alternative by forcing match level with a stupendous lob in direction of the sideline, which Liston was in a position to chase down. The freshman returned a volley proper to Liz Yao, who exploited the wide-open far facet to go up 40-0. On the ultimate rally of the match, Liston dedicated a hitting error to finish it.
“I made my first serve in, she hit it again and I hit it again once more very usually,” Liz Yao stated. “However I believe it was just a bit little bit of frustration and he or she tried to go for it just a little an excessive amount of and it went out.”
Previous Liz Yao’s victory have been Menlo wins on two of the opposite top-ranked courts. No. 2 single Alice Yao scored the swiftest victory of the day with a 6-1, 6-2 win over senior Amy Burke.
Alice Yao, a sophomore, has a polar reverse demeanor on the court docket as her sister. Fiery, emotional and always shouting phrases of encouragement, not simply to her teammates on neighboring courts, however to herself, the youthful Yao walks it like she talks it together with her aggressive tempo of play.
“Normally I’m the primary one off (the courts),” Alice Yao stated. “I actually like enjoying aggressively. So, the best way I play actually strikes the match alongside.”
Menlo No. 1 doubles Sadie Bronk and Mia McConnell wrapped up the group’s second win of the afternoon quickly thereafter with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Christine McCarthy and Jordan Barrett. Bronk and McConnell — Menlo’s group captains — led a clear sweep via doubles play for the Knights.
Bronk and McConnell’s first order of enterprise after their win was to dispatch to the No. 1 court docket to observe the decisive victory. And so they have been the primary ones to hurry the court docket to maul Liz Yao with celebratory hugs.
Likewise, the very first thing Liz Yao did after her win was rush to observe her teammates who have been nonetheless enjoying. The No. 4 singles match had simply concluded with St. Francis senior Illina Yang defeating freshman Elika Esnghi 6-2, 6-1. However Liz Yao caught the conclusion of the No. 3 singles match as St. Francis junior Priyanka Pabari defeated sophomore Georgia Anderson 6-4, 3-6 (10-7).
Then Liz Yao and the remainder of the Menlo squad hurried to benefit from the No. 2 and three doubles groups notch the doubles sweep.
Shine credit Liz Yao as being one of many gamers who holds the group collectively.
“She’s an aesthetic gal and he or she’s simply so good to her teammates,” Shine stated. “And so they feed off her. I inform her: ‘I’m solely pretty much as good a coach as my No. 1 participant, since you’re my proper arm. They’re going to have a look at you and so they hear the whole lot you’re saying — they’re going to consider it.’ So, she simply will get the women prepared and makes them consider in themselves.”
Menlo concluded the day with a win from sophomore No. 3 doubles Kaitlin Hao and Alex Edidin, who defeated Vrinda Vasavada and Vandana Reddy 6-1, 6-1. The ultimate victory of the day was Menlo No. 2 doubles Melissa Tran and Schuyler Tilney-Volk, who edged Andie Hamm and Jasmine Wong 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5).
“That is actually particular being the 5-seed. They have been actually decided to show all people flawed,” Shine stated. “They thought they need to have been a better seed, which they need to have been. It’s what it’s. It’s what you do about it; and so they got here out and simply needed to show all people flawed and so they did it.”
Menlo’s doubles coach, fourth-year assistant Kevin Conner, was overcome with pleasure because the Knights claimed their first title since 2005. For Conner, the match was doubly candy as he’s a graduate of St. Francis.
Subsequent up for Menlo is the California Interscholastic Federation Northern California playoffs, starting Friday at Sacramento’s Natomas Racquet Membership at 1 p.m. CCS particular person playoffs start subsequent Monday with Liz Yao slated to play singles and Alice Yao and Caitlin Wilson enjoying doubles.