UCSB has added a pair of high school stars to the backcourt of next year’s women’s basketball team.
Camarillo High’s Alyssa Marin and Anya Choice of Santa Rosa’s Cardinal Newman High signed national letters of intent with the Gauchos on Wednesday, coach Bonnie Henrickson announced.
Marin, a 5-foot-9 guard, averaged 18.3 points, 3.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 2.3 steals per game as a junior. She set a record at Camarillo last year for most three-pointers in a season while leading the Scorpions to their eighth-straight league championship.
“Alyssa brings the ability to make plays off the dribble at the next level,” Henrickson said. “She scores from the three-point line while also being able to get to the rim.
“Her court vision is impressive. She delivers a ball where most don’t see an opening. This skill set will be valuable for us in both our transition and half court offensive game.”
Marin was selected as the Ventura County Player of the Year and was also chosen to the All-CIF Southern Section’s Division I First Team.
Choice, a 5-8 combo guard, averaged 22.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 2.3 steals per game during her junior season.
She earned North Bay League MVP and San Francisco Chronicle North Bay Player of the Year honors at Cardinal Newman. She’s also a two-time All-State selection.
“Anya brings a scorer’s mentality to our perimeter game,” Henrickson said. “Her ability to attack the basket and stretch the defense is exactly what we need.
“We are looking to improve our perimeter defense on the ball and we believe Anya can bring that as well.”
UCSB will return to action on Friday at the Thunderdome with a 7 p.m. game against San Jose State.
BLANKENHORN NAMED MVP
Cate School’s Grace Blankenhorn was voted as the most valuable player in Tri-Valley League girls volleyball after leading the Rams to the championship.
“It was Grace Blankenhorn’s passing that allowed us to have a successful season and a balanced offensive team,” coach Greg Novak said. “Grace also played phenomenal defense and made critical saves that led to victories.”
She was joined on the All-TVL first team by Grace Johnson and Maya Blattberg. Chidera Chukwumerije and Riley Borchardt were picked to the second team while Elise Hermes and Kenzie Davidson received honorable mention.
GUILLIN RANKED NO. 8
UCSB senior Joseph Guillin has soared into the Top 10 of college tennis, earning the No. 8 spot in the post-fall singles rankings released on Wednesday by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. He started the fall season at No. 28.
Guillin, who transferred to UCSB from the University of Florida after his freshman season, has gone undefeated in Big West Conference singles play during his first two seasons. He also defeated the nation’s No. 22 player in the first round of last year’s NCAA Singles Tournament.
Nicolas de Alboran was ranked as high as No. 6 last year before graduating from UCSB.
Coach Marty Davis noted that while Guillin has an uncanny ability to change heights and manufacture spins on the ball, he’s since added more power to his game.
“When Joe got here, we already saw how his defense was one of a kind … His understanding of every angle on the court and the smoothness to his game was evident,” Davis said. “The main thing I want people to know is that you really have to come see him play in person.
“The energy and flow on the court, it’s unreal… It is something special.”
UCSB will play its home opener on Jan. 25 against Santa Clara.
UCSB swimmer Emily Boggess was named as the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation’s Athlete of the Week on Wednesday.
She led the Gaucho women to a dual meet victory over UC San Diego, winning the 1650 freestyle (16:48.59), the 200 free (1:49.87), and the 500 free (4:55.08). Boggess was also part of the winning 200 free relay team, swimming a 23.54 anchor split.
Two of her teammates have previously won the MPSF’s weekly award: Doug Nogueira (both on Oct. 16 and 23) and Zoe Cosgrove (Oct. 30).