Prep Notes: AAA competition intensifies with late-season clashes

Girls’ volleyball has tightest battle with six teams vying for four spots

With the Academic Athletic Association playoffs already underway in girls’ golf and girls’ tennis and just around the corner in boys’ soccer and girls’ volleyball, here is a quick guide to the top teams and players to watch during the stretch run and postseason.

Boys’ soccer

The four playoff spots are all but sewn up as the season enters its final two weeks. Both defendingchampion Mission (9-0-2) and O’Connell (8-0-3) remain unbeaten and comfortably atop the X Division, while Lowell (9-2-1) and Galileo (7-5-0) are cruising in the Y Division. Mission and O’Connell have tied the two times they have played and both beat Galileo soundly. Lowell tied O’Connell 2-2 and lost 2-1 to Mission and 1-0 to the Lions.

Players to watch: Alvaro Calle (Galileo, midfield), Anthony Clay (Lowell, forward), Jairo Majano (Mission, midfield), Jesus Ochoa (O’Connell, forward).

Girls’ golf

The playoffs started Tuesday, with top-seeded Lowell (7-0) facing No. 4 Washington (2-5) — however, the result was unavailable. The winner advances to Monday’s final at Lincoln Park Golf Course.

Today’s match between No. 2 Galileo (5-1) and No. 3 Lincoln (4-2) should be close, as the Lions won the regular-season match in a tiebreaker. Whichever team wins will have a realistic chance to beat the four-time defending champion Cardinals in the final. Lowell beat Galileo by four strokes in the regular-season finale and edged Lincoln by two strokes on Oct. 10.

The All-City individual tournament will also be played Monday at Lincoln Park.

Players to watch: Alex Choy (Galileo), Katrina Delen-Briones (Lowell), Andrea Fung (Lincoln), Ananda Rochita (Lowell).

Girls’ tennis

Lowell defeated Wallenberg last week to win its 10th consecutive AAA team title and many of its players enter this week’s All-City individual tournament looking for more.

In singles, Wallenberg’s Jennifer Salomon added some major intrigue into the draw during Friday’s team final, defeating Lowell’s Michelle Lam 7-6, 4-6, 6-2 and handing the Cardinals’ ace her first loss of the league season. Lam still enters the singles bracket as the No. 1 seed, but could run into third-seeded Salomon in Friday’s final, tobe played at Golden Gate Park at 3 p.m.

Lowell looks to be in control of the doubles bracket, with the top three seeds all coming from the Cardinals’ ladder.

Players to watch: Michelle Lam (Lowell), Lana Tsodikova (Lowell), Jennifer Salomon (Wallenberg), Chao Truong (Galileo).

Girls’ volleyball

With just three matches remaining in the regular season, it has become clear that two very good teams will be on the outside looking in when the four-team playoffs begin Nov. 7. Lowell (7-0) is atop the AAA standings, followed closely by Balboa (6-1), Lincoln (6-1) and Galileo (6-2). Washington (5-2) and Burton (4-3) are still definitely in the mix and will have a chance to play their way into the playoffs. Washington faces Lowell and Balboa in the final week, while Burton will get a shot at Balboa and Galileo.

Players to watch: Aliyyah Abdullah (Balboa), Stephanie Drumright (Lowell).

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