WWP: Vaqueros triumph in home debut

SBCC Women's Water Polo

SBCC’s Rocio Fesembeck lets go of a shot in Wednesday’s home debut for SBCC’s women’s water polo team. Fesembeck recorded a team-high six goals. (Presidio Sports Photos)


SBCC made its home debut at San Marcos High School on Wednesday, marking the first time the Vaqueros have hosted a women’s water polo match in school history.

The newly formed team, led by head coach Chuckie Roth, didn’t disappoint its fans with a 12-10 victory over L.A. Valley.

“A lot of people here today were supporting the team and I thought that made a difference. The girls really wanted to win at home and that’s a big deal for them,” Roth said.

San Marcos alum Autumn Lovett played a big role in the victory. The field player stepped in to defend the cage – a position she played in high school – and stopped six shots.

“I have to say after swimming (season) and us only having one home meet, this was the probably the funnest thing ever to be able to show the community – and especially get a win – and just show them how much this program has to offer,” Lovett said.

The addition of water polo at SBCC has given Lovett the opportunity to play water polo again after graduating high school in 2009.

“I think that this town was lacking at this level. I wish when I graduated (high school) in 2009 that Chuckie was here coaching at SBCC,” Lovett said.

Santa Barbara High alum Rocio Fesembeck led all players with six goals — just one shy of her career high — and complemented her scoring with two steals and an assist. She found the net for City College’s first five goals of the contest and currently leads the conference in scoring.

The Vaqueros (4-6 overall, 2-0 WSC) controlled the pace for the majority of the first half and took a 5-3 lead at intermission. But a six-goal third quarter by LAVC (4-2, 0-2) gave the Monarchs a 9-8 lead heading into the final period.

Double- and triple-teamed for most of the second half, Fesembeck was virtually eliminated as a scoring threat. But Kaitlyn Wentz Fitzgerald picked up where Fesembeck left off, scoring four goals in the final 16 minutes and providing the much-need 1-2 punch for SBCC’s comeback effort. She added three assists.

Autumn Lovett manned the cage for the Vaqueros on Wednesday.

Autumn Lovett manned the cage for the Vaqueros on Wednesday.

Jessica Leathers and Paula Tkach contributed one goal apiece.

Abdiel “AJ” Gravatt led the red and black with five steals while Maddie Brooks tallied a pair of assists.

Filling in for the injured Alex Brown, Autumn Lovett took a break from playing in the field and posted a phenomenal performance in the cage. She finished with six saves and two steals to anchor the Vaquero defense.

Santa Barbara has a quick turnaround, traveling to the 18th annual Mountie Classic at Mt. SAC on Friday and Saturday. The Vaqueros will take on Cypress on Friday at 9:10 a.m. and then play another game in the afternoon.

The squad returns home to SMHS on Oct. 15 for a match against defending WSC champion L.A. Pierce at 5 p.m. Ryan Graff and Kaytee Krivulka will be on the call on the Vaquero Broadcasting Network.