SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The SBCC women's water polo claimed its second CCCAA State Championship in five years, defeating West Valley 13-7 in Friday's semifinal before downing Orange Coast 10-7 on Saturday in the finals.
It's the second state championship in program history, as well as the second for head coach Chuckie Roth, who led the Vaqueros to a 31-6 record this season.
SBCC 13, West Valley 7
Goalscorers: Straley (4), Daland (3), Olson (2), Tal (2), Muehring, Turnbull
Saves: McKay (3), Donleavy (6)
On Friday, the Vaqueros (31-6) faced a familiar foe in defending state champion West Valley (27-5) with a chance to return to the championship round for the second straight season.
This was the third meeting between the two powerhouses this year. While the Vikings won the first meeting 11-9 in the season's opening weekend, Santa Barbara took a convincing 10-4 home victory in late October.
West Valley got out to a good start, scoring the first three goals of the game. However, the rest of the first half would see a huge momentum shift, as Bella Straley and Claire Daland helped power a 6-0 SBCC run to close the half.
The run continued after halftime. After the Vikings pulled within two, SBCC scored another four unanswered, with Daland and Straley combining for three more goals. They finished with four goals each.
This was just the fourth game all year that the Vikings were held to fewer than eight goals – and the second time it happened against SBCC – as Vaquero goalkeepers Ava Donleavy (6 saves) and Chloe McKay (3) defended the cage and Daland and Ella Prado tallied five steals apiece.
SBCC 10, Orange Coast 7
Goalscorers: Olson (3), Muehring (2), Straley (2), Daland, Lopez, Tal
Saves: Donleavy (11)
The Vaqueros didn't trail at any point against Orange Coast (28-5), jumping out to a 3-0 lead with goals by Jenna Olson, Claire Daland and Gabrielle Muehring.
The Pirates fought back to make it a 4-4 game midway through the second, but SBCC closed the half with a huge 3-0 run with another score from Olson followed by goals from Emily Lopez and Muehring. OCC wasn't able to close the gap the rest of the way, as Ava Donleavy racked up 11 saves to hold the Pirates to just seven goals, their second-lowest scoring total of the season.
Along with recording team-highs of three goals and three assists, Olson was a menace on the defensive end, tallying four steals. Muehring finished with two goals and two assists of her own and Bella Straley scored twice as well. Eden Tal had one goal and drew five exclusions.
(article courtesy of SBCC Athletics)