SBCC #12 Lily Carrick takes the shot. | Credit: Victor Bryant

The SBCC women’s water polo team improved to 20-0 on the season with a 15-7 victory over Ventura in its first home match of the season on Wednesday afternoon at Santa Barbara High. 

The Vaqueros are the top-ranked team in the state after capturing their seventh consecutive Western State Conference title last season and winning the state championship.

“I think our girls are confident. I am really proud of them,” said SBCC women’s water polo coach Chuckie Roth. “They are just a good group to be around. Every kid wants to be here and wants to make an impact and so I think that’s the backbone of our program right now.”

Strong defense and lethal counter attacks boosted SBCC to a fast start. Esther Sullivan scored the first goal of the match after just 22 seconds of game action and the Vaqueros extended their lead to 5-0 by the end of the first quarter.

Six SBCC players scored during the match led by Claire Daland who finished with a team-high four goals.

Claire Daland scored four goals against Ventura.

“We have a very fast team this year. I think it’s a little different than last year. We swim really hard once a week in the morning and I think that creates the biggest difference having that extra workout and not bringing that into our water polo workouts,” Deland said. “Our team is very well rounded and I am really happy to be a part of it.”

Claire Daland’s second goal of the game increased the SBCC lead to 7-0 with 5:47 remaining in the second quarter. However, Ventura responded with a 5-1 run that began with a goal by Kendal Santos with 5:22 remaining in the second quarter and concluded with an Ella Montano goal with 6:10 remaining in the third quarter that cut the SBCC lead to 8-5.

Lily Carrick found Maddie Myers with a nice pass that led to a SBCC goal ending the Ventura run and SBCC extended its lead to 12-5 on a Cate Daland goal off another assist by Carrick.

“We tried to go back to what was working for us and that was pretty simple, communication on defense and then attacking open water on the counter,” Roth said. “From there we changed up some of our lineups a little bit to get different mixes in there and it worked just fine.”

SBCC scored three goals in the fourth quarter, the last of which came from Sullivan with 1:48 remaining.

The Vaqueros will continue their undefeated season at the Long Beach tournament beginning on October 20.


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