Post image for Menlo Knights capture first state volleyball championship in school history

It was a year of firsts for Menlo volleyball, and on Saturday, Dec. 3., the Knights picked up the ultimate first: a state championship.

Through all the years of successful volleyball teams, this year’s team took the first CIF title in Menlo history. On the road to the state final, the Knights dropped just one set, defeating Cardinal Newman, Branson, and Monte Vista Christian. Then, they shut down Point Loma-San Diego convincingly 25-18, 25-13, 25-21 at Santiago Canyon College in Orange for the CIF Division IV title.

“They played wonderfully,” Menlo first-year coach Marco Paglialunga said. “At this age it is not easy to play right away in this type of game at this level, with the television and the (intensity) and importance of the game. But, they started and immediately were on top of every play.

“They were in the right spot on defense, they were moving correctly on the block. They really were applying everything that we practiced and talked about.”

Junior Ashley Dreyer and sophomore Selina Xu each had a team-high 12 kills. Xu posted a triple double, adding 10 digs and 19 assists.

Senior libero Jessica Houghton picked up 15 digs while junior Riley Holland and sophomore Sianna Houghton each had 11. Sianna Houghton also collected eight kills, and Junior Kristin Sellers posed 22 assists for Menlo

It was also the first year at Menlo for Paglialunga, a longtime Italian National Team coach, and though he taught many high-school age players, this was his first year coaching a high school team.

Paglialunga said the Knights’ dedication — combined they missed three practices among 14 players the entire season — and receptiveness led to their success.

Photo of volleyball team courtesy Menlo School

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Kick off to the holidays continues all day on Saturday in Menlo Park

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One could celebrate the holiday season in Menlo Park today from dawn to dusk. We chose to forego the breakfast with Santa held early Saturday morning, instead stopping by the Allied Arts Guild, which was holding its Christmas Market on Saturday afternoon. The resident artisans were there along with vendors  exhibiting there wares in the Traditional […]

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Fremont Park tree lighting kicks off the holiday season in Menlo Park

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The third annual tree lighting at Fremont Park kicked off the holiday season in Menlo Park tonight. There was caroling performed by the Encore Vocalists and a reading of “The Night Before Christmas” by Santa himself, who had held dozens of kids on his lap before taking the microphone. We feature our favorite father/baby duo […]

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“It’s a Wonderful Nutcracker” is Menlowe Ballet’s holiday offering

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It’s a Wonderful Nutcracker will be presented by Menlowe Ballet this year on two December weekends at the Menlo-Atherton Performing Arts Center (555 Middlefield Road). Inspired by Frank Capra’s classic film, the production takes place in the 1940s and boasts all the magical trimmings of a traditional Nutcracker blended with unexpected twists and a heartwarming message […]

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Menlo Park resident Alice Weil is featured artist at Portola Art Gallery in December

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Fresh Strokes, a collection of new paintings by Menlo Park resident Alice Weil, is the featured exhibit at the Portola Art Gallery this December. The exhibit includes still life, garden, and landscape paintings featuring bold, lush brushwork. The result is fun, loose, whimsical, and full of rich color. Most of the paintings are 11×14″ or […]

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West Bay Model Railroad Association holds its annual open house on Dec. 3 & 4

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We stopped by the West Bay Model Railroad Association building in Menlo Park to chat with members about progress over the past year in advance of the group’s annual open house on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 1:00 to 6:00 pm and Sunday, Dec. 4, from 1:00 to 8:30 pm. (Note: Caltrain’s Holiday Train is scheduled to […]

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Firefighters bid adieu to downtown fire station

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Retired Menlo Park Firefighter Dave Carr and Chief Ollie Brown stood across the street from Fire Station 6 in Menlo Park on Monday (11/28/16) as it was torn down to make way for a new modern and larger emergency fire facility, estimated to be completed by May of 2018. Carr was assigned to Fire Station 6 located at […]

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Downtown business community comes together to raise money for Lambadina Foundation

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The business community of downtown Menlo Park will come together on Sunday, December 4, in support of Showa Sahle (pictured), owner of La Migliore Aveda Salon on Santa Cruz Avenue, and her non-profit, Lambadina Foundation. A number of Menlo Park fashion and design stores will host the 2016 Designer Showcase featuring a holiday Fashion Show & Fair […]

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Taste of the Mountains wine walk makes a return visit to downtown Menlo Park

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The 2nd annual Taste of the Mountains wine walk will take place Saturday, December 3,  from 2:00 to 5:00 pm along Santa Cruz Avenue in downtown Menlo Park. Organized by the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association, the event showcases nearby wineries, with all ticket proceeds going to the Menlo Park Atherton Education Foundation (MPAEF.) Participating wineries include: […]

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Menlo-Atherton High School football wins Central Coast Section Open Division 1 championship

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The Menlo-Atherton High School football team beat Milipitas last night to win the Central Coast Section Open Division 1 championship, their first title since 2008 and the third in the program’s history. While the team rang up big offensive scores on its way to the title match, this win was based more on defense. They’ve shut out […]

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Menlo Park Kiwanis Club Christmas tree lot is open for business

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas as Santa’s elves, disguised as Menlo Park Kiwanis Club members, open their annual Christmas Tree lot today. Once again beautiful Noble Fir trees will be delivered fresh from Oregon weekly. Wreaths and other holiday decorations are available, too. Located on the Stanford Campus on the corner of […]

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