Greg Tebbe has kept the winning tradition going in the Santa Barbara High girls tennis program.
Tebbe’s Dons finished unbeaten in the Channel League for their 35th straight championship. The five seniors on his team never lost a league match in their careers.
Tebbe introduced two of those seniors at Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon at Harry’s Plaza Café: Kelli Martindale and Karina Thornton.
Martindale is one of the top female athletes in the area. Besides tennis, she also is a standout on the Santa Barbara track team. Her specialty is the multi-event heptathlon.
“Kelli has a great work ethic in practice and in matches,” Tebbe said. “She has the distinction of having the biggest serve on the team. If we had a radar gun, her serve would probably be right up there — in terms of velocity — with Serena Williams. It’s definitely one of the biggest weapons I’ve seen. In fact, when other coaches come to play us and they’re warming up, they watch her serve and comment on it. It’s quite an intimidation factor, so it helps the whole team.”
Martindale has a season record of 29-12 and finished with a 16-3 mark in league.
Thornton, Tebbe noted, is a three-year all-Channel League player. Her season record is 30-7 and 15-1 in league.
“She is a great competitor and one of the best doubles players I’ve come across in my career of coaching,” said Tebbe. “That’s saying something because Santa Barbara High has always had a strong tradition in doubles, and she’s definitely one of the best I’ve coached.”
The Dons play two more regular season matches before the Channel League Individual Tournament and the CIF playoffs.
SBCC coach Craig Moropoulos got a kick out of the three players he brought to the luncheon. They made the difference in an 18-16 win over Antelope Valley.
“These guys were instrumental of any guys I’ve seen in a win,” he said of kickoff man Ryan Rickel, punter Tim Gleason and place-kicker Marcus Hoerberg.
Rickel made a bone-jarring tackle on Antelope Valley’s speedy kickoff return guy to save a touchdown. With under 1:30 left in regulation time, Gleason punted the ball inside the 1-yard line and the Vaquero defense recorded a safety on Antelope Valley’s first play from scrimmage to win the game. Hoerberg kicked three field goals beyond 40 yards to give SBCC a 9-7 lead at halftime.
This week, SBCC (7-0, 3-0) travels to Woodland Hills to play L.A. Pierce in a battle of conference unbeaten.
Laguna Blanca has a big game in two weeks against Dunn.
“Our season is on the line,” coach Shane Lopes said. “The winner of this game goes to the playoffs.”
Lopes introduced lineman Angus Watters, who had an interception in Saturday’s 54-12 win over Ojai Valley .
After a bye week, Carpinteria travels to Ojai on Friday to face defending CIF Northwest Division champion Nordhoff, which is coming off a loss against Oak Park.
“They’re not used to losing,” Carpinteria coach Ben Hallock said of Nordhoff. “We’re going to go out and prepare to come out and play our best football game of the year. If we do that, we’ll be all right.”
Hallock brought weekly combatants noseguard Jose “Pancho” Sanchez and center Gabriel Zapien-Ybarra. “They’ve done a great job at making each other better,” he said.
Hallock announced that Carpinteria will be celebrating its centennial year and inducting five new members into its Hall of Fame on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 8-9.
The inductees are basketball players Kevin Purcell and Peter Ruiz, softball star DeeAndre Pilkington McGuff, track and field standout Micheline Sheaffer White and football and track star and coach Coley Candaele. The induction ceremony will take place at halftime of the Warriors’ game against Oak Park on Nov. 8. The banquet is the following night at the Carpinteria Boys and Girls Club.
Dos Pueblos football coach Nate Mendoza said wide receiver Matt Sessler (the SBART Athlete of the Week), linebacker Ryan Nuno and linebacker-punter-place kicker Daniel Buratto were key players in the Chargers’ 49-14 win over San Marcos last Friday. Nuno had a big interception in the first half, Sessler caught three touchdown passes and Buratto played solid at weakside linebacker.
The Chargers play Ventura in their homecoming on Friday. A win would clinch a tie for the league title.
“We’re taking every game like it’s our last,” Mendoza said. “A win on Friday will put us in the playoffs.”
San Marcos coach Anthony Linebaugh praised players Jacob Cobian and Jack Haley for their commitment to the football team. He said Cobian can be counted on to play anywhere there is a need.
On Haley, the coach said the senior “is a great representation of a student athlete.” Haley is the ASB president, the closer on the mock trial team and is involved in other school activities. Yet, he made the decision to commit to football.
Linebaugh is glad he did.
Westmont women’s coach Patti Cook had a numbers game for the luncheon audience.
“We’re 16-5, ranked 17th in the country and fifth in our conference. So, if you could figure that out …,” she said.
Cook, who was celebrating her birthday, noted the top four teams in the GSAC are ranked first, third, 13th and 16th in the NAIA national rankings.
The birthday coach was excited about the play of freshman Jessica McCann, who had 15 kills and hit a staggering .583 in a win over La Sierra.
She also was looking forward to a rematch against Cal State San Marcos on Tuesday.
“They gave us our first loss of the season; they kicked our butts,” Cook said. “We’re a little bitter. It’s definitely going to be a grudge match.”
The Warriors travel to Arizona Christian on Friday.
“I told the team what I want for my birthday is two wins this week.”
Bishop Diego coach Jason Donnelly said he couldn’t believe his ears when his Cardinals played Grace Brethren in a middle school gym in Simi Valley.
“We were heckled by dads. I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “They were pretty obnoxious.”
The Cardinals survived the heckling and won in five sets
Donnelly called Annelise Morando “one of the best athletes I’ve coached” and Ellie Rouse “a jack of all trades.”
San Marcos assistant Marilyn Hantgin brought “the ying and yang of our team,” referring to junior Emma Harrah and senior Katie Kim.
On Harrah: “She’s the yang, the very-enthusiastic-on-the-court, dance-to-the-music, cheer-with-the-crowd kind of girl. She gets the team pumped up,” Hantgin said.
Hantgin said Kim plays right side and the middle and is “an integral part of the team.”
Providence volleyball coach Laura Newton praised players Jenna Wilcox, Keila Mazariegos, Jackie Gonzales for their contributions to the team. “They are selfless players, practice really hard and get the starters ready to play,” she said.
After breaking down his team’s schedule, Santa Barbara coach John Gannon realized, “Take away tournaments, we’re doing pretty well this year.”
The Dons are 13-8 overall, but if you counted only best-of-five matches, they are 11-1. They are 5-1 in Channel League play.
Gannon lauded the play of his interchangeable middle-blocking committee of Katie Gallivan, Caroline Anderson and Lucie Simmons.