Santa Barbara High’s boys tennis team has a flair for dramatic endings

Santa Barbara High tennis coach Greg Tebbe is joined by players Noah Ostovany, left, and Taylor Kleine.

Santa Barbara High tennis coach Greg Tebbe is joined by players Noah Ostovany, left, and Taylor Kleine.

It’s been a heart-stopping season for the Santa Barbara High boys tennis team.

The Dons (5-6, 1-1 Channel Leaguer) have played in several close matches, coach Greg Tebbe said at Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table Press Luncheon at Harry’s Plaza Cafe.

“Of our six losses, we’ve lost three on games (after tying 9-9 in sets) and lost two by the score of 10-8,” he said. “High school matches can be three hours long, and our matches are being decided in the last five minutes. As a coach, that can be stressful. I call these guys the cardiac kids because of the stress they put on my heart.”

Tebbe said the team has improved a lot through the season. “We’re ahead of where we thought we would be.”

Junior Noah Ostovany and sophomore Taylor Kleine have provided leadership and experience. They both started last year. Ostovany, an all-league honoree last season, is 10-7 at No. 1 singles. “His experience and leadership have been invaluable this season,” said Tebbe.

The coach called the versatile Kleine “one of the best doubles players I’ve coached. He has great hands and excellent court awareness.” He’s 19-6 and hasn’t missed a match all season.

The Dons have eight matches in the next three weeks in addition to the Ojai Invitational, the Channel League finals “and hopefully the playoffs,” said Tebbe.

Dos Pueblos: “We’ve had a tough season but we hope to do better in the future,” said coach Liz Frech of her 4-5 team. “Nonetheless, the team is in high spirits and has been pushing itself to the limits in every match.”

Frech introduced captains senior Mason “The Kong” Dochterman and sophomore Andrew “The Thunder” DelAlba. “They complement each other quite well, not just in their play but their temperament,” Frech said. “Andrew is the fiery one and Mason the quiet one.”

She said Dochterman has been accepted to Cal.

SOFTBALL

San Marcos: After going 2-1 last week in non-league games, the Royals (11-4) play all Channel League games from here on out.

“I told the girls we have six weeks to figure it out and then it all hits the fan,” coach Jeff Swann said of the pre-league schedule. “I think we figured it out.”

Sisters Lauren and Alex Pitchford have been part of the team’s success. Lauren bats ninth and sets the table for the leadoff hitters while Alex has been a clutch hitter. The girls were on the San Marcos Channel League-champion golf team in the fall.

The Royals open league play against Buena on Thursday.

“That will be one of our toughest games all season,” said Swann.

Carpinteria: The Warriors are leading the Frontier League thanks to “more consistent quality of play and team chemistry,” said athletic director Pat Cooney, reporting for coach Henry Gonzalez.

Ace pitcher Amanda Blair and third baseman Raquel Cordero have key to the team’s success.

SWIMMING

San Marcos Girls: Coach Chuckie Roth said if the Royals are going to win a fourth straight Channel League title, they’re going to do it with depth.

Sarah Owens and Piper Smith are part of San Marcos’ great depth. Both were key players on the CIF Division 1 runner-up water polo team.

“Sarah Owens came to me and said ‘I got to get faster if I want to play in college,’’’ Roth said. “Sarah puts her time in and grinds it out to become more competitive in the water. She’s a competitive athlete.”

He said Smith is “having an amazing season, swimming times faster than last year. Last year, she was an All-American, a CIF consolation finalist and was on several relays that were top eight in the state.” Smith is a sprint freestyler.

San Marcos Boys: Coach Jeff Ashton said the Royals have the depth to win their first Channel League title in 40 years.

Seniors Jesse Morrison and Koss Klobucher are part of the depth that can make the difference. Morrison has signed a letter of intent to play water polo at UCSB and Klobucher will play at Claremont.

The Royals compete against Ventura on Wednesday and are at the Mt. SAC Invitational on Friday and Saturday.

Santa Barbara High: Assistant coach Tina Hill said the Dons “are anxious and ready” ready to compete. They host Righetti on Tuesday after nearly six weeks without a meet.

She introduced freshman Erica Becerra and senior Geneva Velasquez from the girls team. Becerra swims the butterfly and the individual medley while Velasquez does the backstroke and butterfly.

Juniors Jacob Castillo and Evan Blix represented the boys team. Castillo is the team captain and a motivator. She called Blix one of the hardest workers. He’s been on CIF relay teams the last two years and looking to make it three in a row.

SBCC Women: Roth said the team “continues to impress and amaze me.” He thanked Santa Barbara High’s Hill for helping coach the team to first place at the Pasadena Invitational.

The SBCC divers will compete in the Southern California Championships this weekend and the team will enter the Western State Conference Finals next week followed by the State Championships.

Dos Pueblos: Coach Stephanie Henderson introduced seniors Will Oakley, Brandi Melendez, Cassie Barkhorn and Dylan Elliott.

The Charger boys are 2-1 in dual meets and the girls are 1-2. The teams swim against Santa Barbara on Friday.

TENNIS

Westmont Men: Coach Mark Basham said his NAIA No. 12-ranked team is coming off a big 5-4 win over No. 13 San Diego Christian. The Warriors play one more match against NCAA Division 1 UC Riverside on Friday before going to the GSAC Championships at Indian Wells, April 18-20.

Westmont will be seeded second behind undefeated Arizona Christian.

Basham announced that Miles Hale of Santa Barbara High committed to Westmont, joining SBCC transfer and Santa Barbara High alum Ryan Chung.

Westmont Women: Coach Ellie Johnson said the improved Warriors are looking forward to next week’s GSAC Championships at Indian Wells.

“We’re excited to go into conference and see what we can do,” she said.

SBCC: The Vaquero men’s and women’s teams didn’t make the playoffs, but individual players from both squads qualified for the state tournament in Ojai.

Before going to state, Spencer Ekola will play in the Western State Conference men’s semifinals on Friday on Ventura.

Carpinteria: Jeremy Saito provides leadership, inspiration and sportsmanship for the Warriors and Solomon Nahooikaika-Anderson is one of the best athletes at Carpinteria. He also plays water polo and soccer and is a standout doubles player.

Carpinteria stands in second place in the Frontier League.

BASEBALL

Santa Barbara: The Dons have lost five one-run games this year, coach Donny Warrecker reported. “We’ve played a pretty tough schedule, but we just haven’t figured out a way to win tough ballgames. We got to figure that out the rest of the way. We have two more non-league games and eight league games that will determine if we go to the playoffs. We’re gone to the playoffs 18 straight years and we want to keep that streak going, so the challenge is laid ahead of us for sure.”

The Dons have a two-game set this week with San Marcos on Wednesday and Friday.

Warrecker said Joe Firestone and Nick Dallow are the top two hitters on the team. Firestone has been accepted to UCSB.

“I’m encouraging him strongly to walk on the team or do dual enrollment and possibly play at City College. I want him to keep playing baseball after high school.”

Firestone, the team’s center fielder, is batting .415 with 22 hits. I’d like to see him bet to 39-40 hits,” said Warrecker.

Dallow, a sophomore, was brought up from the JV team and has provided an offensive spark. He’s batting .410.

“Nick is not afraid,” Warrecker said. “He’s confident, plays with confidence and has a great work ethic. We’re looking for big things out of Nick this year and in the next two years.”

Carpinteria: The Warriors are on a four-game win streak. Two key members of the team are senior second baseman Tony Vega, who has “done everything right for four years,” said coach Pat Cooney,  and sophomore pitcher Chase Mayer, who has shown maturity and has “never missed his chance to pitch.”

Dos Pueblos: Seniors Davey Demeter and Josh Feldhaus are getting it done for the 13-5-1 Chargers. Demeter, a second baseman, has been a staple for the team, said coach George Hedricks. “He told me one of his biggest goals was to improve on offense — nobody worries about Davey on defense. This year, he got his average up to .286, and the way he’s going his average will be up to .300 in no time. I’m proud of him for reaching his goals.”

Feldhaus is second  on the team in hits and RBI while batting in the fifth spot and playing catcher.  He had a key at-bat against Foothill in the fifth inning, drawing a walk and eventually scoring the first run of a 2-0 win.

The Chargers (2-1-1 Channel League) play eight straight league games over the next three weeks. They host Ventura on Wednesday.

“I’m sure all of us Channel League coaches know it’s going to be a fun last few weeks. (The league race is) tight, it’s always that way and we’re looking forward it,” said Hedricks.

SBCC: John Jensen, a Santa Barbara High alum, leads the Vaqueros in hitting with a .349 average.

SBCC has won five of its last six and 15 of 20. The Vaqueros play at No. 6-ranked Riverside on Tuesday and play host to No. 2 Orange Coast College on Thursday and Friday.

Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at {encode=”bpunzal(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)noozhawk.com” title=”bpunzal(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)noozhawk.com”}. Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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