SBART Luncheon: Royals lose sleep over matches

Santa Barbara Special Olympics soccer coach Jerry Siegel introduces the Athlete of the Month, Matt Meisel.

Santa Barbara Special Olympics soccer coach Jerry Siegel introduces the Athlete of the Month, Matt Meisel.

Getting a good night?s sleep was a problem for the San Marcos girls volleyball coaching staff last week.

The staff watched the team go through the lows and highs of a season in a three-day span.

?We started off with a Tuesday night game against Ventura and it was rough,? said assistant coach Marilyn Hantgin. ?Nothing was going right. We couldn?t go to sleep that night; we were just wondering what we were going to do, how we were going to pull it together.?

Two nights later, the Royals played a sparkling match and swept Santa Barbara.

?Again, we couldn?t go to sleep that night due to being excited after the match,? Hantgin said. ?It was really great to see the girls come off a two-game losing streak and play the way they did. Anyone who was there saw that everything was working.?

Senior middle Carly Yarnell has been one of the most consistent hitters for the Royals, Hantgin noted. ?We know we can go to her and score points,? she said.

She also introduced Emily Allen, who just returned to the team after recovering from a torn ACL suffered eight months ago.

?You?d never know she?d been out that long,? Hantgin said of Allen?s performance against Santa Barbara. ?We?re happy Emily is back.?

John Gannon of Santa Barbara High shared in the up-and-down theme for girls volleyball. The Dons swept Ventura then lost to San Marcos in three sets.

Despite the loss, Gannon said it was exciting to see Emily Allen come back from her injury and excel.

?There?s a bit of frustration as a head coach, but you try to find silver linings,” he said. “I think of most of the volleyball talent some times, and when you see somebody excel in town that?s special.?

Gannon took his team to the California Challenge in San Diego the day after the San Marcos match and the Dons went 2-3 over the weekend.

?We got 19 sets of volleyball last week and I was thinking, ?Gosh, that?s not enough,?? he quipped.

The Dons begin the second round of Channel League play Tuesday at home against Dos Pueblos.

Laguna Blanca girls volleyball coach Jim Alzina said his team experienced a roller-coaster week. The Owls lost at Division 3-A power Windward, beat Division 4-A No. 4 Pacifica Christian and fell at No. 2 Cate.

UCSB volleyball player Katey Thompson was named the female Athlete of the Week.

UCSB volleyball player Katey Thompson was named the female Athlete of the Week.

?Cate played the best I?ve seen them play, ? Alzina said. ?I talked to a couple of their coaches and they said the same thing.?

He added: ?One of the things we have run into is after winning league 11 straight years is we?re everybody?s big game; everybody brings their A game against us and we can?t take a night off.?

Alzina brought junior, three-year varsity player Hannah White and sophomore Dani Abrams, a two-year varsity player.

Even though she?s a first-year varsity player, Vivana Morales stepped up and accepted a leadership role on the Carpinteria girls volleyball team. Morales, who carries at 4.43 GPA, is the setter, reported Chris Gahan, speaking for head coach Marc Denitz.

Providence volleyball assistant Dale Colburn said he liked how the team competed against established volleyball programs at Laguna Blanca and Cate. He noted the team knocked off Thacher for the first time.

Colburn praised the play of Olivia Johnson and sophomore Katie Hodson. He said Hodson has made tremendous progress in her game. She led the team in kills and blocks against Dunn.

SPECIAL OLYMPICS ATHLETE OF THE MONTH

Matt Meisel was honored for his performance with the soccer team at the North Region Games in Santa Maria.

Coach Jerry Siegel noted that Matt is in his first year playing soccer in Santa Barbara, but he has a family soccer history in town. His father, Alex, was a standout goalkeeper at Santa Barbara High and his great grandfather also played soccer for the Dons.

?He?s a real joy to coach,? said Siegel of Matt.

The team Matt played on in Santa Maria earned a bronze medal. He also won individual silver and bronze medals in the passing and shooting competitions.

FOOTBALL

Santa Barbara High?s Doug Caines said a slow start and critical mistakes in the first half cost his team against Dos Pueblos. The Dons trailed 21-0 after the first quarter and 28-0 at halftime.

Caines introduced nose guard Skylar Rauch, a player who?s working his way back from a knee injury, and Freddie Jimenez, who?s played at center and guard.

The Dons have their Senior Night on Friday against Buena.

Tom Crawford introduced two key members of his top-ranked football team: running back Abel Gonzalez and two-way lineman John ?Cowboy? Samson.

Of Gonzalez, the coach said he?s averaged 100 yards a game and ?is so consistent in the way he runs. He?s deceptive and hard nosed.?

Crawford said Samson is an ironman on the line, playing 90 percent of the downs.

?He?s a guy with a great motor. I hope colleges take a chance on him.?

Crawford noted ?it was nice to win the rivalry game with Carpinteria, but in the big picture it?s nice to get a league win, which is probably the most important thing in a
competitive league.?

Carpinteria coach Ben Hallock gave props to Bishop Diego for its 24-6 win over his previously undefeated team.

?Bishop Diego is a very good football team,? he said. ?Bishop is very experienced and very confident, and that experience and confidence shows through in how they play.?

He cited experience as one of the key differences in the game, noting that the Bishop players had the resilience and ability to adapt because of their extensive big-game experience.

Hallock introduced junior inside linebacker Jorge Arroyo and middle linebacker Greg Elizarraraz as a couple of players who love to train. ?We have to chase them out of the weight room. They?re the pied pipers of getting guys in the weight room,? he said.

The Warriors have a bye week before taking on defending CIF Northwest Division champion Nordhoff.

?We got off to a tough start,? San Marcos coach Anthony Linebaugh said of his team?s 30-25 loss to Ventura in the Channel League opener. ?It was a close game but there?s no time to feel sorry for yourself in the Channel League.?

The Royals face Goleta Valley rival Dos Pueblos on Friday.

Running back Abel Gonzalez of Bishop Diego was named the male Athlete of the Week

Running back Abel Gonzalez of Bishop Diego was named the male Athlete of the Week

Linebaugh brought seniors Javier Gil and Josh Estrada, two players who do whatever it takes to make the team better.

?These young men are not going to have overwhelming stats on MaxPreps, but they truly do whatever the team needs,? said Linebaugh. ?They embody what high school football is all about.?

Dos Pueblos goes from one crosstown game to another this week as it plays host to San Marcos.

?We understand that the game on Friday was a big one for us, but we?re not going to get too high on that one,? DP coach Nate Mendoza said. ?We know the Channel League is like a playoff game every single week, you really have no room for error. We?re really excited about this upcoming Friday night.?

Mendoza brought two sophomores who have bright futures in the program: defensive ends Austin Pearce and Eric Botello. He said Pearce reminds him of former DP standout Nico Bornand and Botello plays like he?s a returning varsity player.

SOCCER

UCSB assistant and former standout Waid Ibrahim reported the Gauchos are listed No. 3 in the latest RPI national power rankings, a tool the NCAA relies on when picking the post-season tournament field.

UCSB is coming off two overtime wins on the road at Cal State Northridge and UC Irvine.

Ibrahim said the team is getting goals from unlikely sources. Right fullback Kevin Garcia-Lopez scored a memorable goal to beat Irvine. He made a 70-yard run and beat the goalkeeper at the near post.

?It was one of the best goals in history,? said Ibrahim.

The UCSB women?s soccer team stands fourth (2-2) in the Big West, which is rated one of the top soccer conferences in the country.

Assistant coach Austin Risenhoover noted this weekend?s opponent, UC Riverside, was picked to finish last in the conference and is currently tied for first at 3-1.

Risenhoover introduced two key players for the Gauchos: Savannah Francis and Angelisa Cortez.

Westmont women?s coach Kristi Kiely said her team?s defense has been solid. She introduced two members of that defensive unit: goalkeeper Lindsey Smith and left back Amanda Diesen.

GOLF

Dos Pueblos coach Dan Choi said the Chargers won their 16th straight Channel League title, but his girls have never taken success for granted.

?They know every match is an important one and every stroke is an important one,? he said.

Choi introduced senior Leah Dunn and junior Macy Broesamle as two players who?ve overcome struggles that come with playing the sport by continually working on their games.

?It?s a credit to them that their scores are coming down and they?re peaking at the right time,? he said.

Carpinteria girls golf coach Chris Gahan said the heart and commitment of the girls on the team kept her from retiring.

?I changed my mind based on this team,? she said. Gahan introduced Marcela Gonzalez, Yarela Aviles and Elizabeth Esquivel. ?These girls are the future of the Carpinteria golf team. They?ve made a difference in Carpinteria.?

San Marcos coach Sarah Ashton introduced four-year player Emily Peterson and freshman Lauren Pitchford. She said Pitchford is a fierce competitor who?s not shy to ask Ashton her score during practice. On Peterson, the coach said she is a leader who plays with a calm demeanor.

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