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Saturday, March 23 , 2019, 7:06 am | Fair 50º

Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank
Water Polo

Santa Barbara’s Grace Raisin Chosen CIF-SS Division 2 Water Polo Player of the Year

Dons' sophomore goalie Faith Tedesco named to the Division 2 team

Grace Raisin becomes the eighth Santa Barbara High girls water polo player to be named CIF Player of the Year. Click to view larger
Grace Raisin becomes the eighth Santa Barbara High girls water polo player to be named CIF Player of the Year. (Noozhawk file photo)

Grace Raisin, a powerful player for the Santa Barbara High girls water polo team, was named the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 Player of the Year.

Raisin was force in the center for the Dons. Her play and leadership led Santa Barbara to the Division 2 final, where it lost a heartbreaking 4-3 decision against Newport Harbor.

Raisin becomes the eighth player for Santa Barbara coach Mark Walsh to be named CIF Player of the Year. The others are Katelyn Henry, Thalia Munro, Lauren Boreta, Molly Cahill, Miranda Nichols, Kami Craig and Kelly Easterday.

Walsh gave Raisin the ultimate compliment, calling her “the best center I have coached since Kami Craig in 2005.”

Craig went on to win two Olympic gold medals (2012, 2016) and a silver (2008) with the U.S. Women’s Senior National Team.

“It's a comforting feeling going into almost every game that you have the best player in the pool,” Walsh said of Raisin, who will continue her water polo career at Cal. “Only a few teams in (CIF) D1 had a player that could somewhat match up with her.  In D2, no one had a player that could guard her.  She was double or triple teamed, which left girls open to shoot on every possession.”

Santa Barbara sophomore goalie Faith Tedesco, who played brilliantly during the Dons' playoff run, was named to the All-CIF Division 2 Team.

Newport Harbor led the team with three players.

Newport’s Brian Melstrom was named Coach of the Year. He announced his retirement and was replaced by former UCSB star Ross Sinclair.


MVP—Grace Raisin, 12, Santa Barbara

Coach of the Year: Brian Melstrom, Newport Harbor.


Player, Grade, School

Jessica Lynch, 12, Newport Harbor

Sarah Barker, 12, Newport Harbor

Kili Skibby, 11, Newport Harbor

Sophia Noble, 12, San Clemente

Honnie Vandeweghe, 9, Santa Margarita

Christina Doherty, 12, Santa Margarita

Cynthia Rosa, 11, Schurr

Madison Stamen, 12, ML King

Faith Tedesco, 10, Santa Barbara

Carolyne Stern, 11 La Cañada

Rylee Williams, 12, Los Osos

Maddie Demattia, 10, Agoura

Sydney Hurst, 12, Royal

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