Westmont men’s basketball coach John Moore said that “it’s a great time of the year” at Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table Luncheon.
Moore’s a positive man, so he probably thinks every time of year is great, but he meant that it’s a great time at the luncheons. That’s not just because basketball season has started and he gets to have his say at the podium every week.
It’s also because, as he put it, “the best of the best are still here.”
The fall season’s best are still chugging along through the postseason and are still coming to Harry’s to give their updates. On Monday, Dos Pueblos, SBCC and Laguna Blanca’s volleyball teams as well as UCSB’s soccer team represented “the best of the best.”
DOS PUEBLOS: The Chargers breezed to the CIF-SS Division I-A title on Saturday at Cypress College, sweeping Huntington Beach in less than an hour.
“We’ve been working to peak at the end of the season and I think we have,” said coach Todd Garrett.
Sammie Brown was at her peak in the match, and it earned her Female Athlete of the Week honors. Brown, a Notre Dame-bound senior setter, was a smooth operator while running DP’s vaunted offense. She made some spectacular sets, particularly to Carly Wopat in the middle, and even threw in a one-handed jaw-dropper early in the third set.
Brown was also a force attacking the ball, putting away 10 kills with no errors.
Garrett also introduced junior Jordan Roberts, who has come off the bench this season and contributed with key passing in match-ending situations, and Karina Evans, who has earned a full scholarship to the University of Delaware despite not playing volleyball until her sophomore year.
The Chargers are the top seed in the CIF Division I State Tournament, and will host Division I-AA runner-up Los Alamitos at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
LAGUNA BLANCA: The Owls were also in Cypress on Saturday, playing in their sixth CIF championship match in nine years. Laguna was swept by top-seeded Whittier Christian.
“I wouldn’t have changed a thing we did all season and I wouldn’t change a thing we did in the finals,” said coach Jim Alzina.
The Heralds were simply too much. They had not allowed a team to score more than 20 points in a set all season, but Laguna did it twice in the sweep. The Owls also qualified for the state tourney in Division IV, and will play at Central Valley Christian in Visalia on Tuesday.
Alzina brought along three luncheon veterans — seniors Jackie Harvey, Heidi van den Oever and Jessie Ditmore.
SBCC: At 20-2 overall the Vaqueros are one win away from tying the school record, set in 1980. They tied Moorpark for the WSC North title with a final mark of 9-1. San Marcos High graduate Maria Mayer was an all-State selection, while Kelsey Soos and fellow Royal Jenn Waddill joined her on the all-WSC first team. Coach Ed Gover was named the WSC North Coach of the Year.
The Vaqs host Fullerton at the Sports Pavilion at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
UCSB: The choice for Male Athlete of the Week was made Sunday night after David Walker scored his second game-winning goal of the NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament. His header in the 43rd minute at the University of San Diego led to a 1-0 victory, and he also scored the only goal in a 1-0 home win over Wofford.
It’ll be a rematch of the 2006 title game, which the Gauchos won, on Sunday when UCSB heads down to Westwood to play UCLA.
“We don’t like those guys and they really don’t like us,” said straight-shooting assistant coach Leo Chappel. “I think we match up very well with them.”
Chappel also called Walker, a senior captain, “the heart and soul” of the team.
WESTMONT MEN: The Warriors are undefeated at 3-0, including a decisive 60-47 win over defending NCAA Division II runner-up Cal Poly Pomona on Saturday. Senior guard Chris jackson had 19 points, nine assists and six steals in the game.
The Warriors head to Utah for the Westminster Tournament on Friday, before opening Golden State Athletic Conference play against Concordia at home on December 3rd. Concordia recently lost to UCLA by just one point.
WESTMONT WOMEN: The Warrior women are also unbeaten at 4-0, and have passed some milestones already. Senior Jessica Case surpassed the 1,000-point mark in a 21-point performance against Occidental last week, and Dos Pueblos graduate Amber Stevens set the school steals record. Alisha Heglund, meanwhile, is one block away from the school record.
The Warriors, who have made three consecutive NAIA National Tournament appearances, are currently ranked 18th in the country.
“We’re looking to get much higher than that,” said assistant coach Tony Newnan.
UCSB MEN: Youth, energy and size are three things that this year’s Gauchos exude, according to assistant coach Jono Metzger-Jones. UCSB is 2-0, including a win over a Weber State squad that is favored to win the Big Sky Conference.
Orlando Johnson, a versatile 6-5 transfer from LMU, went off for 19 points and 10 rebounds in the game. Metzger-Jones also reported that James Nunnally came back for his sophomore campaign an inch taller at 6-6, and the team is looking forward to the return of starting guard Justin Joyner from injury. Depth will be the biggest strength of this year’s team, according to the coach.
“We’ll run 11, 12, 13 guys at teams and we’re just gonna wear you out,” he said.
SBCC WOMEN: Frannie DeAngelis scored 25 and 18 points for the 20th-ranked Vaqueros, who used a 17-0 game-ending run to beat Bakersfield 70-64 on the road and then played top-ranked Mt. San Antonio tough before falling 77-65 on Saturday.
SBCC (2-3) was missing two starters against Mt. SAC and still managed to trim a 14-point second-half deficit to 66-61 with five minutes to play. DeAngelis, who’s averaging 23 points, tallied all 18 of her points in the second half. In the win over Bakersfield, Jake Kelly had 13 points, 11 rebounds and six assists, one night after helping the women’s volleyball squad clinch a share of the WSC title.
SBCC MEN: It was a tough weekend in San Diego County as the Vaqueros gave up 102 and 104 points in a pair of losses to Southwestern and Palomar. David Lane had 24 points on Friday while freshman guard Steven Saenz and Lucky Teeguarden had season-highs against Palomar with 26 and 25 points, respectively.
DOS PUEBLOS: Coach Joe Zamora has put together a brutal non-league schedule for his Chargers which includes three top-flight tournaments and a date with perennial powerhouse Mater Dei. He’ll need the two players whom he introduced to step up and lead DP through the gauntlet.
Six-foot-8 Malik “The Beast” Heptot will anchor the post, even though Zamora jokingly introduced him as the team’s point guard. Junior Jay “Dinner Time” Larinan is a versatile guard whom Zamora said is one of the team’s best defenders.
SAN MARCOS: Jarrod Bradley has a nice mix of young and old in his fourth year as the Royals’ head coach with five returners and five first-year players. The team will scrimmage Santa Ynez at the Thunderhut on Tuesday afternoon at 3 p.m.
Bradley introduced athletic 6-6 forward Josh Guild and Bryant Koopmans, the only third-year varsity player on the roster.
“Hopefully we’re looking for him to dunk nearly every ball he gets inside,” Bradley said of Guild.
SAN MARCOS: Brian Roth is looking for his Royals to build upon their playoff berth from last year.
“This is probably the most experienced team I’ve ever had,” said Roth.
Flo Chardon left to live in France for six months after last year’s season, but made sure to join a swim team there. When she came back, she opted out of volleyball to play club water polo and is now a captain for San Marcos. She also has a 4.89 GPA.
Zoe Kirker is also a captain, earning her the nickname “Captain Kirk.” Roth said that she’s the first one at practice every day, showing up at 5:48 a.m. Monday for a 6:10 practice.
SANTA BARBARA: The Dons had no seniors and one junior with a tough schedule last year, leading them to their first losing season ever. That should change this year, as the young players have gained some much-needed experience.
Coach Mark Walsh introduced Mackenzie Fowler, who led the team in scoring as a sophomore last year, and Leah Gonzales — the lone senior on the team.
CARPINTERIA: First-year coach Brian Swarm has nine returners coming back but only two seniors. He brought along Annik Marcel, who is starting her fourth year on varsity. Also at Harry’s was junior Carter Grant, who also stars on the swim team.
UCSB: Assistant coach Cathy Neushul said that the Gauchos are still “heavily into the re-building process” with a whopping 19 freshmen and just two seniors. UCSB will likely be starting four freshmen on a squad which finished 15th nationally last year. Neushul called the finish a “huge overachievement.”
The Gauchos don’t start the season for over a month.
UCSB: The UCSB swimmers have absolutely dominated the Big West, with the men winning their 26th title last year and the women taking their 13th straight title. Assistant coach Eric Fehr brought some of the swimmers who have helped make that happen.
All-American Naomi Javanifard participated in the Olympic Trials and also won a couple of silver medals at the Maccabi Games in Israel over the summer. Katie Ur also made it to the Olympic Trials. On the men’s side, he introduced senior co-captain Brett Chamberlain and Travis Jensen.
The women are 4-1 after a loss to UCLA, and have set a goal to finish at 8-1. Ranked opponents USC and UNLV will stand in their way. The men’s team is 3-0 and is striving to beat the Trojans and Runnin’ Rebels en route to a perfect season. They are also hoping to qualify all of their relay teams for nationals.