By MICHAEL JORGENSON
SBCC SPORTS WRITER
CHULA VISTA– The No. 1 Santa Barbara City College women’s water polo team won the SoCal Regional Championship on Saturday, beating No. 4 Long Beach 13-9 before taking down No. 2 Fullerton 10-9 in the championship game.
The Vaqueros (29-6 overall) clinched their first SoCal championship since 2017.
“I’m extremely proud of my team. We’ve overcome a multitude of obstacles to get to this position,” head coach Chuckie Roth said. “This is a team that does the little things right, and it shows. They’re incredibly gritty and tough, and that’s why we’re having the success we’ve had this season. Fullerton is an amazing team and well coached. We as a program have so much respect for them.”
SBCC 13, Long Beach 9
In its first game of the day, SBCC was able to make it a perfect 3-0 for the season against Long Beach. Sophomore Jenna Olsen went for five goals and five steals to lead the Vaqueros.
Long Beach opened the game with a 2-0 lead before Santa Barbara went on a big run. The Vaqueros took a 7-5 lead into halftime and had a 4-0 advantage in the third to cap a 10-2 spurt.
Megan Ditlof, Allison Kay, Charlize Winter and Eden Tal all tallied two goals. Ditlof and Emily Lopez paced the team with four drawn exclusions each. Goalkeeper Chloe Mckay finished with 11 saves.
SBCC 10, Fullerton 9
Santa Barbara entered the SoCal Regional Championship already having defeated Fullerton three times this season, each time by one goal. The Vaqueros made it 4-for-4 on Saturday, using a 6-1 run midway through the game to knock off the Hornets 10-9.
Olsen and Ditlof both recorded hat tricks. It was the third straight for Olsen, who went for 12 goals in three games at the SoCal Regionals.
Tal, Winter, Lopez and Ensley Letterman rounded out SBCC’s goalscorers. Mckay posted 11 saves, reaching that mark for the third time in four games.
SBCC will take a No. 1 ranking into the CCCAA State Championships, which begin on Friday, Nov. 19 at Las Positas. The Vaqueros will play NorCal’s No. 2 seed at 3 p.m.
Michael Jorgenson works in communications/media relations at Santa Barbara City College.