Roach takes care of kids, business on the court

There’s a perk that comes with coaching a high school girls volleyball.

For a coach with young children, you have a roster of babysitters.

Santa Barbara High’s John Gannon has a good one in Bailey Roach. The outstanding libero is his No. 1 choice when he needs someone to watch is 4- and 2-year old kids.

“As a volleyball coach with young children, I have my go-to babysitters,” Gannon said at Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon at Harry’s Plaza Cafe. “And, Bailey has been my go-to babysitter the last two years. With 15 girls to choose from, Bailey is No. 1 in my Rolodex.”

Roach also has been Gannon’s No. 1 defensive player for the last three years.

“She’s a leader on the court,” he said. “She has great communication with the girls is great on defense and service receive.”

Gannon also has another Rottman on his team. Alexis Rottman is the third sister to play for the Dons, following Emily and Dani.

“She sets the tone for us,” Gannon said. “She’s smiling and enjoying the game, and the team has taken on the characteristic of being focused but also realizing that you play sports for the enjoyment and the camaraderie of the team and playing together. That’s what she brings.

“She also brings a lot of experience, and she’s one of the best setters in town.”

Providence assistant volleyball coach Dale Colburn noted that this year’s team “is the most talented team we’ve ever had in school history.”  He added that of the 30 girls at the school, 20 are playing volleyball.

The leader on the varsity is senior libero Olivia Barroca, who was on the team as an eighth grader, before Providence became eligible for CIF competition.

The girls look to her because she’s been around a long time,” said Colburn.

Marilyn Hantgin, filling in for San Marcos varsity coach Erica Downing, said junior Anika Wilson moved from libero to outside hitter to utilize her all-around skills. “She’s pretty much the backbone of the team,” Hantgin said.

Sophomore Chloe Allen is a hammer on the outside for the Royals. “You don’t want to be on the other side of the court if you don’t have to be,” said Hantgin.

Bishop Diego split a couple of crosstown matches, losing against Laguna Blanca two weeks ago and beating Carpinteria last week.

“It’s always fun to be part of a small-school rivalry, and our girls tend to step up their level whenever Carp comes to town,” he said.

Over the weekend, Colleen Duley and Hanna Brand led the Cardinals to the title at the Santa Paula Tournament. Donnelly was pleased with the team’s improved play.

“It was a tribute to our kids trying to figure things out,” he said.

Laguna Blanca coach Jim Alzina pumped up his team’s Tuesday home match against Nordhoff, a battle of Division 4-A top-10 — Laguna is No. 3 and Nordhoff is No. 7.

“The first 1,000 people are free at the Owls Nest,” he quipped.

The Owls have an experienced team, led by All-CIF player Grace Woolf and senior captain Chloe Richman.

Westmont volleyball coach Patti Cook reported that her team’s 12-0 start is the best in school history.

“If you learn from your losses, than we’re not very smart,” she joked. “We’re winning too much,  but I wouldn’t change that for the world.”

She cited DP alum Ciena Colburn and Madison Serrano has two keys to the team’s success.

Cook also gave props to her assistant, retired UCSB men’s coach Ken Preston. Preston had a stint coaching the Westmont women’s program a few years ago.

“I find it kind of funny he is my assistant coach,” said Cook.


Carpinteria football coach Ben Hallock said there were 185 snaps in last Friday night’s 45-31 win over Nipomo. The first quarter had a game-full of plays. There were five scores in 12 minutes.

“My granddaughter was there and was over with the cheerleader,” Hallock said. “I turned around to get a peak to see what she was doing and all the cheerleaders were bent over, huffing and puffing because they were running back and forth from the end zone to the sidelines (after Carpinteria touchdowns).”

The coach, who brought 6-3, 315-pound lineman Oscar Mejia and running backs Peter Ramos and Jonathan Esqueda, noted a key to the win was the “hidden yardage” that comes from the kicking game. “We beat them by 470 yards, which is a tremendous amount,” he said.

The Warriors play host to Santa Ynez on Friday in one of the oldest rivalries in the county. The series goes back to the 1930s.

San Marcos coach Anthony Linebaugh pointed to the leadership of receiver Austin “Coop” Pugh and quarterback Wes Ghan-Gibson as a key to the Royals’ success. He also recognized assistant coaches Bob Brown, Moe Claydon and Brian Gibson

“It’s nice to be on the winning side,” DP coach Nate Mendoza told the luncheon crowd of the feeling after the Chargers’ 31-21 win over Cabrillo last Thursday. “Friday going to school was much better.”

Mendoza praised Richard Reyes and Barrett Burnes, who came through when called on to take the place of a starter.

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