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Saturday, February 16 , 2019, 6:19 pm | Partly Cloudy 53º

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

SBCC Named Top Seed for Water Polo Regionals

SBCC has been seeded No. 1 for the Southern Cal Regional women’s water polo tournament. The WSC champion Vaqueros were also selected No. 1 in the first state poll conducted by KAP7 International.

“This year has been all about the process,” said coach Chuckie Roth. “Our goal has always been to compete and leave everything in the pool. So to be honest, whether we are the No. 1 or No. 10 seed, it does not change much for us.”

This is the third year for the Vaquero women’s water polo team and they’ve won three straight WSC titles, beating Ventura 15-8 last Saturday for the 2016 crown. SBCC has finished fifth in the So Cal Regional the last two years.

Santa Barbara has won seven straight to improve its best-ever record to 29-1. The Vaqueros are third in state scoring, averaging 13.7 goals.

There are four games on Thursday in the Regional at Golden West College in Huntington Beach. The top four seeds have byes and will open on Friday in the 12-team tourney. The Vaqueros will play the winner of No. 8 Citrus vs. No. 9 Mt. San Antonio on Friday at 9 a.m. in the quarterfinals.
 The Vaqueros beat Citrus twice this year, 11-4 on Sept. 21 and 21-7 in the WSC semifinals on Nov. 3. They also beat Mt. SAC 12-4 on Sept. 23.

“Everyone is good at the So Cal Regional,” stated Roth. “We’ve never made it past the quarterfinal on Friday and we need to win that game. That game has become the most important game of the year. Once we play that, then we will prepare for the next round. Honestly, we take it one game at a time and never look past anyone."

The top four seeds in the Regional are SBCC, Fullerton, Riverside and Golden West. The semifinals will be played at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday and the two winners earn automatic trips to the State Championships on Nov. 18-19 at Las Positas in Livermore. The final will be played on Saturday at 3 p.m.

Halie Johnson, a sophomore from San Marcos High, leads the Vaquero attack, ranking 13th in the state with 79 goals. Kendra Carr is No. 15 in both goals (78) and steals (62). Addison Seale leads the state in assists with 89. Goalie Mackenzie Richards is No. 15 in saves (171) and save percentage (57.8).

“This is one of the most special and memorable groups I have ever worked with,” concluded Roth. “We want this season to last as long as possible.”

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