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Saturday, March 23 , 2019, 2:52 pm | Mostly Cloudy 62º

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

SBCC Captures 3rd Straight WSC Water Polo Title

SBCC jumped ahead 8-4 at the half and went on to defeat Ventura 15-8 on Saturday to claim its third straight WSC women’s water polo championship at Cuesta College.

The top-seeded Vaqueros (29-1) completed a perfect 10-0 season in the Western State Conference. No. 2 Ventura fell to 23-8 and 8-2.

It was the seventh straight win for Santa Barbara, which entered as the No. 4 scoring team in the state at 13.6 per game. The Pirates, the No. 5 scoring team at 13.5, were making their 12th appearance in the WSC Finals in the last 15 years.

Addison Seale led SBCC with four goals, six assists and three steals apiece. Kendra Carr had four goals and three steals while Ivanna Bilaver added two goals, five steals and two blocks. Gabi Ritter and Nicole Cosares scored two goals each.

Goalie Mackenzie Richards made seven saves for the Vaqueros, who stretched a tight 6-4 lead into a 10-4 advantage halfway through the third quarter.

“I’m really proud of our girls,” said coach Chuckie Roth. “Today’s win was a collective team effort. It required us to be mentally tough and work together as a team. We had several players foul out of the game and we played through foul trouble the entire game.

“On offense, we struggled to find the net at first, then we were able to generate some counter-attacks that resulted in goals. Mackenzie Richards did a great job in goal and Nicole Cosares came off the bench to score two key goals.”

The Vaqueros started their water polo program in 2014 and won WSC titles in their first three years with a 26-2 cumulative record.

“This is a special group of girls and we’re fortunate to extend our season to the Southern Cal Regional.”

The Vaqueros could be seeded No. 1 for next weekend’s So Cal Regional at Golden West in Huntington Beach. Riverside (26-2), which handed the Vaqueros their only loss, suffered its second loss of the year to Fullerton in the Orange Empire Conference tournament final, 9-8.

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