Successful fall for Falcons, and Follmar's still running
By Dick Sparrer
It was quite a fall season for Saratoga High School athletics with four teams advancing to the Central Coast Section playoffs and one individual—cross country standout Alicia Follmar—still in the running for further honors.

The Saratoga football, field hockey, girls volleyball and girls tennis teams all advanced to the CCS playoffs, and Follmar finished high enough in the CCS Division III championships to earn a place in the state meet.

Follmar, who finished second to Melissa Grelli of Presentation at CCS, will be running again this weekend when she competes in the state meet on Nov. 29 at Woodward Park in Fresno.

The junior standout was second at CCS in 18:13 on the 2.95-mile Crystal Springs course in Belmont, finishing 18 seconds behind Grelli. Follmar's time was the second best girls time recorded at the CCS meet.

Another local runner—Prospect's Becky Palm—will join Follmar for the trip to the state meet. Palm finished ninth in the CCS Division IV finals, running 19:44 to get into the top 10 and qualify for state.

In other fall action, the Saratoga football team earned a place in the CCS Division IV playoffs but lost a 28-25 heartbreaker to Santa Cruz in the first round.

The girls volleyball team wrapped up an impressive 30-2 season, losing a cliffhanger in the CCS quarterfinals to Santa Cruz 25-23, 27-29, 9-25, 25-22, 16-14.

Saratoga won the championship in the El Camino Division of the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League with a 12-0 record to earn its place in the playoffs. Right side hitter Bryte Nielson, middle blockers Nina Sevastopoulos and Jordan Henry, outside hitter Hannah Gladwell and setter Sarah Nguyen starred for the Falcons.

Lea Anthony, Bari Li, Amanda Anthony, Sarah Inman, Page Henry, Sarah Svoboda, Michelle Vetrone and Kacy Bonnet were other members of the team coached by Billy Fowler.

The girls tennis team opened the playoffs with a 7-0 win over Wilcox, but the Falcons lost 4-3 to Pinewood in the quarterfinals. Saratoga finished the year 18-6 overall.

The field hockey team dropped a tight 1-0 nod to Monta Vista in the CCS quarterfinals. The Falcons ended up 14-3-1 for the year.

Members of the Saratoga hockey squad included Lindsay Walker, Lauren Belomy, Marissa Byrne, Alli Dunn, Caroline Charles, Shweta Balakrishnan, Kate Dennis, Suzanne Lessack, Alyssa Johnson, Kellie York, Gwen Belomy, Natalie Usher, Tiffany Kim, Aimee Bragonier, Alex Block, Annie Batanides, Melissa Mandell, Michelle Saxby and Katie Barco. The team was coached by Amber Olsen.