Area’s girls water polo talent, success impresses Westmont basketball coach Kirsten Moore

UCSB women's water polo coach Serela Kay, middle, is joined by seniors Jenna Solberg, left, and Sophie Trabucco.

UCSB women’s water polo coach Serela Kay, middle, is joined by seniors Jenna Solberg, left, and Sophie Trabucco.

Westmont women’s basketball coach Kirsten Moore marveled at the continued success of the local girls water polo teams during Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon.

“I feel like this is the power table here,” she said while looking to where prep coaches Mark Walsh, Chuckie Roth, Connor Levoff and UCSB’s Serela Kay were seated with their athletes.

“This is my 12th year here and every year you have the best high school player in the country; the Gauchos now are in the top 10 (in the country). It’s awesome,” she said. “I hope my daughter can stop crying every time water gets in her face. Maybe she can learn to play water polo from some of the best coaches in the country.

“I have so much respect for what you do.”

Moore’s Westmont basketball team is overwhelming opponents with tough defense In its last two wins, the 19-1, NAIA third-ranked Warriors have allowed the opposition only 25 and 26 points, respectively.

“I’m happy because we’re back playing the defense we’re capable of playing,” she said. “In our last game, our opponent had only three points in the first quarter and four points in the second. That’s seven for a half, which in college basketball is crazy.”

Moore said their next two games against Biola and Vanguard will determine if they can win the GSAC championship. They play at Biola on Tuesday. The Warriors eked out a one-point win in their meeting at Murchison Gym.

Next Tuesday, the Warriors host Vanguard, which is also unbeaten in conference.

“It’s a huge game to determine which team has the position to win the championship,” she said.

Westmont men: Coach John Moore introduced Hayden Anderson, “a player who cares a great deal. He cares in all the right ways,” Moore said. “He’s our best defender. He can guard a 6-7 guy and a quick guard. He leads us in dynamic ways.”

Moore feels the best is yet to come from his team, which is ranked fifth in the NAIA. “We’re going from better to better to best, and the reason for that is because we have guys like Hayden Anderson leading us.”

UCSB Men: The Gauchos have been struggling on offense. In its 78-56 loss at Hawaii last Saturday, assistant coach Brandon Veltri said they tried to minimize the three-pointers and attack the basket.

“As the game went on, we just couldn’t score,” he said. “That’s been our issue this last couple of weeks.”

The Gauchos (3-16, 1-6) host Cal State Fullerton on Thursday and UC Davis on Saturday night.

WATER POLO

UCSB women: Coach Serela Kay said her team is ranked eighth in the country.

“We’re excited where we’re at right now,” she said after playing eight games over past two weekends. The defending Big West champions are 5-3.

She introduced seniors Sophie Trabucco and Jenna Solberg, her “unsung heroes.” Trabucco is an alum from Santa Barbara High.

“She does so many little things that go unnoticed, Kay said. “She’s not a flashy player but her game IQ is really high. She must of had a good high school coach.”

Kay said Solberg is another player who does a lot of the little things that make a big difference in a game. Solberg is writing a blog about her and the team’s journey this season. It’s called the Weekly Scoop. You can find it here.

San Marcos: The Royals are coming off a good week, beating Santa Barbara in a Channel League game and Corona del Mar and Orange Lutheran. All three are in the top 10. Their second win over Orange Lutheran this season “was a great program win for us,” said coach Chuckie Roth. Orange Lutheran beat the Royals in the CIF Semifinals last year.

Roth said Hannah Meyer is part of a fab freshman group at San Marcos. “She’s emerged as a great defender in our program and her work ethic is second to none. She’s a focused and dedicated athlete.”

She’s also quite a singer. Roth said at a recent team-bonding activity Meyer drew a standing ovation for her singing at a karaoke night.

He also brought senior Paige Hauschild. “Arguably one of the best high school players in the country and the fastest water polo player in the country,” Roth said. “She does so much for us offensively but if you look at the little things she does defensively she is a big reason why we are as great as we are.”

Hauschild has committed to USC.

“The thing that really makes her special is how much she’s grown over the years as a leader and her tough mental edge of the game. I’m proud of that,” said Roth.

Santa Barbara: Coach Mark Walsh said freshmen Faith Tedesco and Abigail Hendrix have made an immediate impact.

“I’m lucky to have two freshmen starting and playing almost every single minute,” he said.

He said Tedesco reminds him of Maddie Trabucco, who’s been starting at Cal for four years. “I call her ‘Little Maddie.’ She’s doing a great job. She’s super solid and makes very few mistakes. She’s the backbone of our defense.”

Hendrix is the fifth member of her family to play water polo for Walsh.

“Abigail is one of the best,” he said. “She does everything for us. It’s nice to be to able have freshmen come into your program that you can lean on so much this early. I know she’s going to get better and better. I couldn’t be more fortunate to coach these two.”

The Dons host Dos Pueblos on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.

Dos Pueblos: Connor Levoff was pleased how his team bounced back from a one-goal loss to Orange Lutheran  (8-7) on Friday night and routed Huntington Beach, 16-4, on Saturday morning.

“We had 11 goal scorers, which is a unique reflection of the balance our team has,” said Levoff.

He introduced seniors Britni Tisdale and Grace Heck. Tisdale “plays a huge role coming off the bench. She’s probably the fastest line to line swimmer in the pool.”

Tisdale plans to play at the next level at Azusa Pacific University.

Heck was voted team captain by her teammates.

“It’s a reflection of the infectious personality she has,” Levoff said. “She has a really great smile, where she’s genuinely happy to be at training. She works hard and that inspires her teammates.”

Heck leads the team in goal-scoring percentage. “When she goes well, we go really, really well,” said Levoff.

BOYS BASKETBALL

San Marcos: Landon Boucher said his Royals have played before big crowds, but last Friday’s game at Dos Pueblos “was a little bit more electric and you could feel it. The crowd was crazy. I had multiple people email and text me to say it was the best high school basketball game they had seen all year.”

Ryan Godges knocked down six three-pointers in the game. This season, he had a game where he made five three-pointers in the first quarter and another where he buried eight for the game.

“He’s a great kid and a good all-around player,” said Boucher.

The coach said the Royals will move on after the loss to DP. We’re 17-7 and we have a lot of good players. We’re still improving and going into February that’s a good thing.”

Dos Pueblos: Joe Zamora said Friday’s home win against San Marcos was “the first time in my 12 years where they actually had to turn people away, and we have a big gym.”

He introduced Keaton Krutenat and Joseph Zamora, his son.

He called Krutenat “one of the hardest working players I’ve ever had.” Krutenat has battled back from a concussion

“He fought through that and comes to practice ready to work. The kids love him, coaches love him. He makes our team that much better. He’s like that cohesive agent. He’s the definition of a team player,” Zamora said.

Joseph Zamora’s work in the weight room as made him “one of the strongest kids in our program,” said Joe Zamora. “He’s the coach’s son and has handled the pressure very well. I’m proud of him.”

The Chargers play Ventura in a Channel League game on Thursday before heading to the Nike Extravaganza on Friday at Mater Dei to play JSerra of the Trinity League.

Bishop Diego: Assistant coach Antonio Bautista said Nick Martel “is a great example of next man up.” Martel stepped in for the point guard that was lost for the season. “He leads the defense with his aggressiveness,” said Bautista.

Bautista also brought Mitch Cota, the Athlete of the Week, and Will Goodwin. Cota had games of 23 points, 16 and 30 in a three-game sweep by the Cardinals last week.

Bautista said Goodwin’s tough defensive play helps the Cardinals make the quick transition to offense. “His size and strength allows him to guard a big man and the guards.”

Carpinteria: Sophomore Brady Sturdivan brings a good attitude and strong work ethic to the Warriors, reported coach Henry Gonzalez.

SOCCER

San Marcos girls: Forward Lucia Lynn and defender Sydney Hess have helped the Royals to a 5-0 record in Channel League.

Speaking for coach Edwin Portillo, Daniel Torres said Lynn’s confidence is getting better with each game and Hess has done a good job filling in gaps at the defensive end.

The Royals play Ventura on Tuesday and Santa Barbara on Saturday.

San Marcos boys: Torres said the play of sophomore goalkeeper Bryce Tomlinson has been key in the last four games. He’s allowed only two goals.

“He’s been a big part of our success in league,” said Torres.

Rosalio Manzo also has stepped up for the Royals.

“He’s taking on a bigger role,” Torres said. “He’s definitely an example. I’m glad he’s getting rewarded, not just in goals but in playing time.”

Carpinteria boys: Gabriel Barajas and McLain Clayton have made big contributions for coach Leo Quintero. Both players scored a pair of goals last week.

The Warriors are 3-3-1 and fighting for a playoff spot in the Tri-Valley League

Bishop Diego girls: First-year coach RJ Wilson said juniors Anna Coronado and Claire Velez have played big roles for the Cardinals. Coronado is a tough defender and Velez a talented center-midfield.

Velez is also a talented singer and Coronado works at Teen Sports radio.

Carpinteria girls: Juniors Yovanna Ahedo and Abril Jimenez moved up from the JV team and earned starting positions for the Warriors, said assistant coach Lucy Carelton.

Because of the recent rains, the Warriors will be playing their final seven league games in 11 days. They have five games in the next seven days.

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