2017 CIF-SJS Finals!

November 11, 2017

BuSacramento, California. After early morning clouds and cold overcast, the sun burst through for 6 great games in the Sacramento-Joaquin Section (SJS) California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) for the Division I, II, and III Finals for both boys and girls water polo. Here’s how the girls Finals went:

DIVISION I, nightcap, #1 Davis HS versus #2 St. Francis Prep

Davis Blue Devils took a 5-1 lead at halftime then pounded St. Francis Troubadors into submission, winning 14-2. High scorers were Junior Brooke Doten with 8 goals and Senior Scout Brown with 3 goals and 4 assists. Brown coupled with Senior Grace Gulsvig (2 goals) to win all four sprints, and Junior Avery Warhover led all teams with 6 assists. The passing skill and finesse exhibited by Davis vaults them into one of the top four seeds in the inaugural Northern Cal Regional. And let’s not forget defense. Aside from 3 steals from Brown and 2 steals from Warhover, stellar Davis Goalkeeper Emily Blackwell contributed 2 steals to go along with her 8 blocks, fairly uncontested due to tight pressure.

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Scout Brown, courtesy Tom Brown, proud Dad

Box Score
Davis          3     2     4     5  =  14
St. Francis  0     1     1     0  =  2

 

Post game interviews…

According to star player Scout Brown, “I thought we might have come out a little bit slow, but we definitely figured things out after the first quarter. We just got to work and corrected our play. Sometimes calls didn’t go our way, but we just had to kept our head on straight, make sure we just focused on the game. Focus on the result–getting the win.”

 

Head Coach Doug Wright, “We’re pleased to this point, as it was a good win tonight. As for the future, near term, I think if the seeding goes the way it might (for this first Regional), we’ll face SHP (Sacred Heart Prep, a tough CIF-CCS opponent). We’ll make it work… I think this group would like to play SHP again (we lost to them earlier in the season), get a win, and get this monkey off our back… then, this group would like to play Miramonte again (a tough CIF-NCS foe).” …Congrats on this win!

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Davis HS, all-in for the dip, wins back-to-back SJS Championships!

 

DIVISION II, mid-afternoon, #1 Rio Americano HS versus Bella Vista HS

Bella Vista Broncos, the #6 seed, arrived to the Final for the first time in school history by upsetting #3 El Capitan and #2 Tokay — and then provided a great competition in their attempt to best the top seed.

Pre-game with Bella Vista Head Coach, Thom Stanley, “It’s been a great run. You know, we beat the ‘2’ and ‘3’ seeds, wow, I couldn’t be happier right now, but we need to keep the streak going.”

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Rio Americano squares off with Bella Vista.

Most of the game was a defensive struggle, the Broncos taking the lead twice only to give it up in the 4th quarter, falling behind 3-2 — until a great sweep shot goal by Senior Co-Captain Daphne Miller on a power play with :02 left sent the game to Overtime. In the OT, the Rio Raiders took a 5-3 advantage only to allow a tie again when Soph Tori Saenz scored a 6m direct free throw goal (right after they had one taken away for ‘delay/hesitation’). Down to the wire, Rio’s Olivia Sergeant scored a power play outside shot, drilling it into the upper right corner past Bella’s Junior Goalkeeper, Makenna Beck, who had a remarkable game with 10 blocks and 3 steals.

Box Score
Rio        0     0     2     1     2     1  =  6
Bella     0     1     1     1     1     1  =  5

 

Post game interviews…

Rio Americano players, Soph Olivia Sergeant, “Our D grows stronger every game. We usually rotate Set D and collapse alot at set to confuse our opponents. Defense wins games, you know? I know I scored 2, but otherwise it was pretty balanced.”

“Yes, although we rotate, for this game I found myself at Set D more than normal. Dropping back helped out and probably won the game for us,” according to Frosh Gianna Nocette, who had 5 steals and 6 sprints won.

Rio Head Coach Rachel Ruano, “We have a young team — far exceeding my expectations for this year. I’m so pleased for these girls — underclassmen are changing the culture at Rio in a positive way.” …Congrats, Rio Americano!

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Rio Americano enjoys their SJS Championship splash in the pool.

 

DIVISION III, late-morning, #1 Sonora HS versus #2 Kimball HS

In what could be described as a defensive battle, although falling behind early 1-3, Sonora was able to catch up to Kimball and take the lead 5-4, until Kimball rebounded with a goal to tie at 5-5. Senior Keiana Fountaine scored 4 of the Kimball Jaguar’s goals. The final goal at :48 by Sonora Wildcat’s Junior Audrey Simmons iced the contest, complementing Sophomore Emily Van Noord’s 3 goals.

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Coach “High-five!”

Box Score
Sonora     1     0     3     2  =  6
Kimball    1     2     0     2  =  5

 

Post game interviews…

Head Coach Matthew Personius, “Wow, what can I say? First League Team Championship! First Sectional Team Championship!… and, as for Audrey Simmons, a first year Junior, a ‘golden moment’ to score the game winning goal!”

 

Then, adding to the glee, Emily Van Noord, when questioned about her team’s momentum, said “We knew we had to step it up (our discussion at halftime)…but we felt the whole time that we’d win.” …Nice.

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Sonora players and coach enjoy a dunk in the pool after their SJS Championship!

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2017 Bodysurfing All-Americans!

September 4, 2017

El Segundo, CA. The Kai~Sports Cal-HI All-America Lists are posted for High School Age Bodysurfers. Check out the http://www.KaiSports.org website. Many new names and up & coming surfers with unique contributions to the sport! Congratulations!


2017 World Bodysurfing Championships

August 20, 2017

Oceanside, CA. The two-day multi-heat competition kicked off on a Saturday and finished on a Sunday, as is the norm. Last year featured the High School Age (17 & under) Boys, so this year’ll feature the Girls. Emerging from the early morning Preliminary Semi-Final Heats were Camryn Delaney, Madeline Giek, Kayla Rhoads, Kirra Robusto, Fiona Schmidt and Lauren Schmidt.  Camryn and Fiona were the Heat Winners, but Lauren and Kayla were close behind. Interesting to note: sisters Fiona and Lauren were Top-six Finalists the previous year, so the stage was set!

“We’re psyched and ready to go!” exclaimed the sisters during the pre-event photo session — “And we saw that we were All-America on the KAI~Sports website — and want to earn it again.” [B~note: by virtue of making Finals, they will — congratulations!]


International Surf Festival — Pier-to-Pier Competition

August 6, 2017

Hermosa Beach, CA. It was another glorious day, this time at the South Side of the Hermosa Pier for the annual ISF — Rough Water Swimming Championship! Over one thousand competitors took their marks, hit the ocean running, and swam 2-miles from the Hermosa Beach Pier to the Manhattan Beach Pier (final tally: 1,119 finishers; 30 dnf). As always, exhilarating!

 

 


International Surf Festival — Bodysurfing Competition

August 5, 2017

Manhattan Beach, CA. It was a glorious day at the North Side of the Pier for the annual ISF — Bodysurfing! As is per schedule, the Legends started the first heat of Prelims at 0645 hours. (I was in it.) But I’m not writing about myself, I’m writing about the Boys and Girls Heats of age 18u, that is the High School age competitors.


2016-2017 Girls HS All-Americans posted for KAI~California-Hawai’i

June 13, 2017

Another banner year for High School Girls once again as many prepare for college! Although there remain select schools, there still is growth for the sport of water polo that can be documented on this page. New schools with players named to the Cal-HI list:

  • Aliso Niguel HS, Aliso Viejo, CA (SS): Senior Shannon Swanson.
  • Arlington HS, Riverside, CA (SS): Junior Goalkeeper Michelle Hiller.
  • Bullard HS, Fresno, CA (CS): Junior Kylee Jansen.
  • Canyon HS, Anaheim, CA (SS): Juniors Kendall Montgomery and Kylie Stablien.
  • Christian Brothers HS, Sacramento, CS (SJS): Senior Marty Kalani.
  • Claremont HS, Claremont, CA (SS): Juniors Lauren Hoyle and Makenna Moore.
  • Del Norte HS, San Diego, CA (SDS): Juniors Dagmara Czajka and Sophia Zamoyski.
  • Encinal HS, Alameda, CA (NCS): Madeline Nelson.
  • Kealakehe HS, Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i:  Seniors Skyler Hudson and Maiana Villegas.
  • Lakeside HS, Lake Elsinore, CA (SS): Senior Reagan Hart.
  • Mt Whitney, Visalia, CA (CS): Junior Hala Quinlan.
  • Oaks Christian School, Westlake Village, CA (SS): Sr Hailey Benton & Ariana Koch.
  • Paso Robles HS, Paso Robles, CA (SS): Senior Marina Smeltzer.
  • Redwood HS, Visalia, CA (CS): Senior Alyssa Ibarra and Soph Emma Peters.
  • Righetti HS, Santa Maria, CA (SS): Seniors Dominique Burciaga and Madison Villa.
  • West Hills HS, Santee, CA (SDS): Sophs Fallon Bumworth and Carly Bockstahler.
  • Yucaipa HS, Yucaipa, CA (SS): Senior Kerston Corns.
  • Xavier College Prep HS, Palm Desert, CA (SS): Jr Jillian Barbato & So Reina Rover.

…brings the Hawai’i total to 24 schools and the California total to 258 schools with over 3,000 girl student-athletes recognized as High School All-Americans in the eleven years of the KAI~Cal-HI list. As always, CONGRATULATIONS!


2017 CIF-SS Ocean League

February 12, 2017

El Segundo: The Santa Monica High School Vikings Girls Water Polo Team captured its fourth in a row Ocean League Championship this week with a win on Tuesday against Culver City and a win Thursday against El Segundo Eagles. The early win clinched a share of the title, with the latter locking an unblemished 8-0 Ocean League Season.

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Samohi captures the Ocean League “Donal Skeehan” Trophy.

The Vikings dominated the Eagles, with multi-goal scorers in Seniors Alissa Hattori (3), Audrey Hattori (2), Kalen Leyman (2), Shanna Stevenson (3), and Sophomore Lauren Guidrey (3). The Eagles could only manage one goal by Sophomore Maya Weiss, which was the only shot that fooled Samo Senior Goaltender Amalie Leung, off of a long shot deflection of a field block. Leung had a dozen saves, and leading the field blockers were the Hattori twins with two each. Assist leader was Guidry, followed by Hattori’s two each, coupled with two steals each — nice to have all the pairs working together!

Editor’s Note, post-season: Samohi also dominated their CIF-SS First Round opponent, Vista Murrieta, 15-8, only to come up against a scoring ‘wall’ in the Quarterfinals and lose against Martin Luther King, 3-6.

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ML King’s Kyndall Burrell attempts to draw a penalty (King scored two of six on 5m shots).

King field blockers deflected or forced wild shots by Samo all over the place in the first half, jumping to a 4-1 lead before Samo could scratch back to 3-4 deficit on a buzzer beating outside shot to the upper corner by Audrey Hattori — which would prove to be the last shot to get by MLK’s stellar Goalkeeper, Senior Hannah McCarley.

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ML King’s Hannah McCarley makes a save.

In the second half, Santa Monica drew countless extra player opportunities only to be blocked away by McCarley, the player of the match. Even though McCarley made one desperation major against the Viking driver, Lauren Guidry, she was still able to rise up big-time and block the penalty shot.

Yours truly was able to interview Ms McCarley following the game (and Head Coach Casey Greenawalt’s recap/pep talk for next round)… “We were excited to be here, and fired up to push back!” she exclaimed, “but I don’t feel we played up to potential in the first half.”

When asked about the pre-game hype about two opposing CIF Champions locking up in a different division from last year, “We’ve never seen (Santa Monica) before, so we came to defend and knock down shots.” I sense they hit their defensive potential in the second half. Good luck in the D2 Final Four, I said.

“We don’t know our opponent yet, but we’re super excited to be in the final round.”

Images from kemp’s iPhone.