SBWPC’s 14s win gold at Mark Rauchwarger Cup

The Santa Barbara Water Polo Club's 14s

The Santa Barbara Water Polo Club’s 14s


Santa Barbara Water Polo Club’s 14U Girls A team won Gold at the 2015 edition of the Mark Rauchwarger Memorial Cup held in Santa Barbara over the weekend. Led by Cathy Neushul, Connor Levoff, and Pam Tanase, the 14’s powered through some of the more distinguished club teams in California, including Bruin, Back Bay, Stanford, and Corona del Mar before meeting Northwood of Irvine in the championship.

Tied through three quarters Santa Barbara broke the championship game open in the fourth behind goals from Abbi Hill and Jewel Roemer to build a three goal lead and seal a hard fought 12-9 victory. Santa Barbara adjusted defensively in the final quarter, limiting fouls and preventing Northwood’s shots from outside five meters. Santa Barbara’s gold medalists included Ella Prentice, Abbi Hill, Abigail Hendrix, Sabina Shackelford, Kayla Peacock, Cassidy Miller, Sara Engmyr, Jewel Roemer, and Fiona Kuesis. Anna Cable anchored the team in goal.

While Santa Barbara Water Polo’s teams battled at the three high school pools, sixteen club alumni, some of them older sisters, returned home to compete in UCSB’s annual Winter Cup. UCLA featured Sami Hill in goal along with sister Kodi Hill and Kelsey O’Brien in the field. Hill made history over the weekend when she broke Nicolle Payne’s 1995-98 UCLA record for number of blocks and is now the most successful goalie in Bruin history with 747 career saves.

Santa Barbara Alumni competing in the Winter Cup included Tiera Schroeder and Madeline Trabuco of Cal; Jade Wentz Fitzgerald, Betsy Hendrix, Amanda Schrader, Sophie Trabuco, and Tess Wardle of UCSB; Jade Arner and Makenzy Fowler of Cal State Northridge; Brittny Hummel of Sonoma State; Laurel Kistler of UCSD; Rose Koper of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, and Ari St. Oegger of Loyola Marymount.

Santa Barbara’s golden weekend is an indication that the tradition of excellence continues at a club that regularly places players with NCAA Division I collegiate programs.