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Water Polo

805 Santa Barbara Water Polo Club Wins 18U Gold, 16U Bronze at U.S. Club Championships

805 Santa Barbara Water Polo 18-under team. Click to view larger
The 805 Santa Barbara 18-under girls water polo team won the gold medal at the U.S. Club Water Polo Championships. (Courtesy photo)

Abbi Hill, Olivia Kistler, and Ryann Neushul of the 805 Santa Barbara Water Polo Club equaled the record of their older sisters by winning Santa Barbara’s first 18-under girls title at the U.S. Club Water Polo Championships since 2012, when future collegiate and national team stars Kodi Hill (Dos Pueblos High/UCLA), Laurel Kistler (DPHS/UCSD), and Jamie Neushul (DPHS/Stanford) helped win the championship. 

The coaching trio of Connor Levoff, Cathy Neushul and Pam Tanase had the help from many of the nation’s best 18U players. The team of Jordan Duggan, Giselle Lewis, Hill, Chloe Pena, Grace Raisin, Piper Smith, Kayla Peacock, Georgia Ransone, Neushul, Kistler, Thea Neushul, Sarah Owens Fiona Kuesis, Sara Engmyr, Sophie Leggett and goalie Anna Cable went 6-0 in the tournament.

805 defeated Royal 559 (13-4) before knocking off strong Carlsbad (9-4) and Diablo (9-4) teams.  In Saturday's quarterfinal, the 805 18s beat Northwood, 9-5, and knocked off perennial power SoCal in the semifinals, 11-7. 

In a tight final, 805 never trailed against 680, widening a one-goal lead in the fourth quarter to win 6-3 and their first 18U title in six years.

Santa Barbara’s 16U girls came within a hair of winning another championship.  Led by Levoff, Neushul and Tanase, 805 blew out Lamorinda, 13-1, and Royal 559, 17-1, before knocking out a powerful Commerce, 11-6, in the quarterfinals.  A close 4-3 loss to Rose Bowl in the semifinals put 805 in the Bronze Medal Game, where they stifled a strong SoCal team, 6-2.

805 SB Water Polo 16U team Click to view larger
The 805 Santa Barbara 16U team took the bronze medal. (Courtesy photo)

The U.S. Club Championships are an invitation event. Entries are based on previous year's tournament results, finish in the Cal Cup, Junior Olympics and other major tournaments.

The 16U Bronze Medalists include Faith Tedesco (goalie), Catherine Ahumada, Ella Prentice, Abigail Hendrix, Sabina Shackelford, Claire Kronen, Megan Musick, Angie Drake, Mary Rhodes, Rachel Ahumada, and Anne D Kleer.  Hannah Meyer and Cassidy Miller missed the tournament due to travel with Team USA’s Youth Team at the 2018 UANA Junior Pan American Championship in Clearwater, Fla.

Many of 805’s 18U players will join 805 Santa Barbara senior national teamers Paige Hauschild, Amanda Longan, and Ryann Neushul at this weekend’s Women’s Senior National Tournament in Orange County.  Play begins on Friday.

Summer club competition culminates later this month with the USA Water Polo National Junior Olympic Championships.

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