SBCC closed with a 5-2 run in the final 6½ minutes on Wednesday to knock off Ventura 14-10 in its WSC women’s water polo opener at the Ventura Aquatic Center.

Emma Fraser, a sophomore from Canada, tossed in five goals and Meagan Mckillican had three. The Vaqueros are 12-0 overall and have won 24 in a row. Ventura fell to 5-3 and 1-1.

Santa Barbara has dominated conference play since starting its water polo program in 2014. The Vaqueros have won four straight WSC crowns and compiled a 35-2 record with 25 straight wins. 

The game was tied 5-5 at halftime and the Vaqueros took an 8-7 lead on a goal by Fraser with 0:24 to go in the third quarter. Chloe Golden pulled the Pirates within one at 9-8, then the Vaqueros took control with four straight goals by Mckillican, Fraser, Kemi Dijkstra and Fraser for a 13-8 lead with 2:53 to play.

“I was really proud of the girls today,” said coach Chuckie Roth. “We showed a lot of resiliency. Hats off to Ventura’s goalie, who played a great game. We also hit the post on several shots which created a very tight game at halftime.

“Meagan Mckillican played a great offensive game along with Emma Fraser. Kemi Dijkstra showed incredible leadership. It was a great day of growth for our team.”

The Vaqueros will host the Cuesta Rabobank Invitational on Saturday and Sunday at Dos Pueblos and Santa Barbara Highs. Cuesta’s pool is undergoing renovation. SBCC will play three games on Saturday at Dos Pueblos – a WSC contest vs. Cuesta at 9 a.m.; vs. Fullerton at 12:30 p.m. and vs. Golden West at 4 p.m.

On Sunday, SBCC will face San Joaquin Delta (11:45 a.m.) and Riverside (2:30 p.m.) at Santa Barbara High.

The Vaqueros are the defending state champions and were ranked No. 1 in the final state poll. Riverside ended 2017 as the 3rd-ranked team, Golden West was No. 4, San Joaquin Delta was No. 6 and Fullerton was No. 10.