Spencer Ekola played a tight match with Bill Whitaker of Ventura on Friday in the WSC men’s tennis semifinals at Ventura College but came out on the short end of a 6-4, 6-4 decision.

Ekola, a freshman from Santa Barbara High, was the sixth seed and Whitaker was No. 7.

“Spencer played and fought hard,” said assistant coach Chris McBride. “It was 6-4, 6-4 and could have gone either way.”

Ekola is 16-6 in singles this year. He qualified for the State Championships in Ojai on April 27-30 along with Emerson Sekban and Diego Santos. The state doubles draw will include the SBCC duos of Sekban/Ekola and Santos/Stevie Acuna.

SBCC Volleyball Ends Season With Loss

L.A. Pierce won a close first set 25-23 and went on to sweep SBCC 3-0 on Friday night in a WSC North men’s volleyball match at the Sports Pavilion. The scores were 25-23, 25-18, 25-15.

The Vaqueros finished the season with a 5-13 overall record and 2-4 in the WSC North, good for third place. Pierce (13-5, 5-1) tied Moorpark for the conference title.

The Vaqueros hit .379 in the first set but just .105 for the match.

Sean Reynaert led the way with nine kills.

SBCC Men Set Several Season Bests

Alex Ramirez and Charles Perry recorded a pair of season bests on Friday and the SBCC men’s track & field team had 14 season bests in the SBCC Easter Open at La Playa Stadium.

Ramirez ran 4:05.12 to take fourth in the 1500 and came back a short time later to narrowly miss winning his heat in the 800 in a season-best time of 2:00.53.

Perry, a freshman from San Marino, Calif., improved his 1500 season-low time to 4:23.78 and his 800 by a whopping seven seconds, down to 2:09.38. Ramirez also ran the second leg on the Vaqueros’ second-place squad in the 4 x 400 relay. The other relay members were Jordan Shinn, Austin Venezia and Ramon Casillas.

Westmont, a four-year NAIA school, topped the 12-team men’s field with 145 points. Moorpark was second with 103, Hartnell was a point behind in third and SBCC placed fourth with 67.

Casillas was involved in the most exciting finish of the day with runners from Pasadena and Westmont colliding in the final straightaway and falling to the infield. Casillas narrowly missed catching a struggling Westmont runner, who reached the line just 2.7 seconds ahead of him.

Venezia, a freshman from San Marcos High, had a strong day with a season-best of 23.01 in the 200. He took fifth in the 100 in 11.71.

The Vaqueros notched three second-place finishes. Jordan Shinn was second in the 400 hurdles in 57.85 and Chris Aichinger tied for the best height in the pole vault at 4.73 meters (15-6¼) but lost to Derek Masterson of the Santa Barbara Track Club on misses.

Cameron Shinn was second in the long jump in a season-best 6.39 meters (20-11¾) and third in the triple jump (13.11m; 43-0¼).

Andrea Mueller Wins Easter Open High Jump

Andrea Mueller posted a first, third and fourth on Friday, leading the SBCC women’s track & field team to third place in the SBCC Easter Open at La Playa Stadium.

Mueller, who recently finished fifth in the Southern Cal Heptathlon Championships, equaled her season best of 1.55 meters (5-1) to win the high jump. She took third in the long jump (5.28m; 17-4) with the 7th-best leap in school history. She was fourth in the 100 hurdles (15.56).

The nine-team field featured a couple of four-year schools, including Westmont which won the team title with 179 points. Cerritos was second at 151.5, followed by SBCC (72), Hartnell (58) and Ventura (56).

The Vaqueros claimed three second-place finishes. Carolin Bothe was second in the 800 in a lifetime best of 2:22.00, losing by just 16-hundredths to Westmont’s Hope Geisinger. Tiffany Costello was second in the 1500 (4:50.31) and sixth in the 800 in a career-best 2:29.47. Yuliana Garibay was second in the 3000 steeplechase in 12:36.89.

The Vaqueros also recorded four third-place efforts. Madison Blaes ws third in the triple jump (9.09m; 29-10). Alana Ochoa was busy as usual, taking third in the shot put (11.55m) and javelin (30.74m; 100-10), fourth in the discus (40.21m; 131-11) and eighth in the hammer (36.52m). She moved from No. 9 to No. 4 on SBCC’s all-time shot-put list.