Volleyball closes season of firsts in NorCal Open semis
11.13.2021 – Closing the curtains on a history-making season, the Menlo School volleyball team fell to a powerful St. Francis team in the CIF-NorCals Open Division semifinals at home Saturday.
The No. 3 seeded Knights (29-7) fell 25-21, 25-21, 25-19 to the eighth-seeded Lancers (20-11), wrapping up a season of firsts. The Knights sailed through the West Bay Athletic League, finishing 10-0 to take the championship. Menlo went undefeated to win the Chris Chandler Tournament title, defeating NorCal Div. I finalist Hillsdale in the final. The Knights, who have qualified for the top-tier CCS Open every year since the division began in 2016, made it the farthest in school history, received its first NorCal Open bid, and advanced to the final before falling to. NorCal Open finalist Mitty.
“This is the most successful season I’ve experienced in my time at Menlo,” said third-year head coach Tony Holland, who has been with the program since 2013. “Seeing the team come together the way it did in the face of so many uncertainties was very rewarding. These girls impressed me with their ability to keep moving forward, regardless of the situation.
Sophomore Cleo Hardin posted a team-high 11 kills with a 44.0 kill percentage for the Knights. Senior co-captain Hanna Hoffman tallied nine kills and had a 52.9 kill percentage for the night, with 17 assists and five digs. Zoe Gregory, also one of nine seniors, tallied 13 assists and four digs, while senior outside Simone Adam added 11 digs and five kills and Hallie MacDonald had 12 digs. Senior Jazlin Chen put up three blocks and freshman Lily Kautai had two blocks and three kills.
“They were a pleasure to coach,” Holland said. “I will miss being in the gym with them everyday and will look back on this historic season with many fond memories.”