WWP: Vaqueros split first matches

Second halves made all the difference on Friday as SBCC opened its women’s water polo season in the Central Coast Invitational at Cuesta in San Luis Obispo.

The Vaqueros used a big second half to beat Sierra 16-7, then got stung in the second half by powerhouse Diablo Valley in a 13-3 setback.

Santa Barbara took a 6-5 halftime lead vs. Sierra, then erupted for an 8-1 advantage in the third quarter. In the afternoon game, Diablo Valley, which went 26-1 last year and took third in the state, was up 5-1 at the half and outscored the Vaqueros 8-2 in the final two quarters.

Nicole Cosares, a freshman from Oakland, led SBCC with five goals in the first game while Maddie Brooks and Kendra Carr added four apiece. Brooks is the only returner from last year’s squad that won a WSC title in its first season. Rebekah Carey had a goal and three assists and Mackenzie Perez made three steals. Mackenzie Richards got the win in goal, making nine saves and four steals.

Brooks, Carr and Sarah Dolan each scored against DVC.

“We played well in our first outing but we have a lot of room for improvement,” said coach Chuckie Roth. “Richards was very good in the cage. I learned that this team wants to be good and so far, they’ve shown they’re willing to put in the work.

“I have a great feeling about this group.”

The Vaqueros will battle two more Northern California teams on Saturday. They’ll play Fresno City at 8 a.m. and Merced at 1:25 p.m.

Sierra ……………. 1 4 1 1 — 7
SBCC …………….. 3 3 8 2 — 16
Goals – SB: Cosares 5, Brooks 4, Carr 4, Carey 1, Weber 1, Dolan 1. Goalie saves – SB: Richards 9.

Diablo Valley ……. 3 2 5 3 — 13
SBCC ………….….. 1 0 1 1 — 3
Goals – SB: Brooks, Dolan, Carr. Goalie saves – SB: Richards 4.