The SBCC women’s water polo team closed out its opening weekend of play with a 3-1 record at Cuesta’s Central Coast Invitational, falling to West Valley 15-7 on day two before closing things out with a 15-7 win over Diablo Valley.
SBCC 15, Diablo Valley 7
Santa Barbara (3-1) bounced back quickly from its loss earlier in the day by taking a commanding 5-0 lead through one quarter against Diablo Valley (2-2). Natalie Mancinelli capped the dominant opening period with her third early goal at the 1:16 mark.
SBCC added another five goals in the second quarter, three coming from Ella Prado, to take a 10-2 lead into halftime. The Vaqueros would go up by as many as nine goals in the second half, including when Kara Hughes scored her third of the day to put them up 14-5 on the opening possession of the fourth quarter.
Gabrielle Muehring and Gabi Turnbull both put away two goals, while Aaliyah Gavia and Annie Georgian rounded out SBCC’s goalscorers with one apiece.
Goalkeepers Chloe McKay (6 saves) and Ava Donleavy (4) saw two quarters of action each once again.
West Valley 11, SBCC 9
Santa Barbara was handed its first defeat against a West Valley team that has started the year 4-0.
Jenna Olson was phenomenal as SBCC’s offensive focal point, converting five goals on 13 shot attempts to lead the way. Bella Straley backed Olson up with two goals of her own.
The Vaqueros went on a 3-1 run, with an early second quarter goal giving them their largest lead of the day, 5-3. However, West Valley scored three straight from there, and would take a 10-7 lead with just under three minutes left in the third quarter.
Goals by Gressi and Olson brought SBCC back within a goal, 10-9 midway through the fourth, but the Vaqueros would be shut out the rest of the way.
Next weekend, SBCC travels to the RCC Tournament for games on Friday and Saturday.
Michael Jorgenson works in communications/media relations at Santa Barbara City College.