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Youth Sports

805 Santa Barbara Water Polo Strikes Gold at U.S. National Club Championships

The 805 Santa Barbara Water Polo Club 14-under girls finished first among 16 elite club teams in California. Click to view larger
The 805 Santa Barbara Water Polo Club 14-under girls finished first among 16 elite club teams in California. (Peter Neushul photo)

The 805 Santa Barbara Water Polo Club brought home two gold medals at the 2016 United States Club Championships held last weekend in Southern California.

Santa Barbara’s 14-under girls won its division title over a pool of 16 elite clubs from all over California.  The 14s broke open a close game with Rosebowl in the semifinals, winning 16-11, and then crushed perennial power Socal, 12-3, in the final.

The 2016 National Champions included Shannon Connolly, Angela Drake, Emma Engmyr, Abigail Hendrix, Claire Kronen, Hannah Meyer, Cassidy Miller, Megan Musick, Ella Prentice, and Jewel Roemer.  Faith Tedesco was in goal for Santa Barbara.  Megan Musick was named championship MVP.  The 14s were coached by Connor Levoff, Cathy Neushul, John Roemer, and Kelsie Hendrix.

The 805 SBWPC 16-under girls defeated SET of Orange County in the gold-medal game. Click to view larger
The 805 SBWPC 16-under girls defeated SET of Orange County in the gold-medal game. (Peter Neushul photo)

In the 16U semifinal Santa Barbara defeated Rosebowl, 11-7, and then outlasted a tough SET team, 10-7, for the championship.  The victory avenged an 8-7 loss to SET in the 2015 championship game.

The 16U Gold Medalists included Amelia Ayala, Angela Drake, Paige Hauschild, Abigail Hendrix, Abrielle Hill, Sophie Leggett, Cassidy Miller, Megan Musick, Ryann Neushul, Thea Neushul, Ella Prentice, Grace Raisin, Georgia Ransone, Jewel Roemer, Piper Smith, Sabina Shackelford, and Alexandra Szymczak.  Riley Christen, Faith Tedesco and Sophia Trumbull anchored the team in goal.  Georgia Ransone was named championship MVP. The 16s were coached by Cathy Neushul and Connor Levoff.

The U.S. Club Championships are a magnet for collegiate coaches who get a chance to see top players compete in one of the most challenging tournaments of the season.  Santa Barbara’s graduating senior players participating at the club championships included Kristina Garcia (Santa Barbara High/Cal), Hailey Gellert (San Marcos High/UCSB), Kate Coski (SMHS/UCSB), and Jessee Ransone (SBHS/UCSD).

Next up for 805 SBWPC is the U.S. Open of Water Polo this weekend in Irvine. That will be followed by the biggest event of the summer, the National Junior Olympics, hosted by USA Water Polo. The event will be held in Northern California across two sessions: July 23-26, and July 28-31.

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