No. 1 sports story of ’22: Lompoc, Cabrillo, Santa Ynez flourish upon move to Central Section | Local Sports

No. 1 sports story of ’22: Lompoc, Cabrillo, Santa Ynez flourish upon move to Central Section | Local Sports

The sports programs of Lompoc, Cabrillo and Santa Ynez often didn’t have much to show for four tough years in the Channel League in the Southern Section of the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF).

Then, the three schools joined the central section of the CIF starting this school year. The result: The Lompoc women’s tennis team won the Division 3 championship, the Cabrillo men’s water polo team won the Division 2 title and the Santa Ynez women’s volleyball team was runners-up of Division 4.

The ascendancy of all three schools since joining the Central Section is The Times’ No. 1 Sports Story of the Year for 2022.

The Lompoc, Cabrillo and Santa Ynez teams made a steady march to the playoffs and won numerous league championships during their time in the Los Padres League. Then the LPL disbanded when most schools in the area moved to the Central Chapter of the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) beginning with the 2018-19 school year. Lompoc, Cabrillo and Santa Ynez remained in the southern section.

After going 0–40 in Channel League matches, the Lompoc women’s tennis team won a sectional division championship in their first year in their new section.

Goaltender Ethan Stocker anchored a Cabrillo men’s water polo team that won the Division 2 title, and Santa Ynez senior Jayda Henrey broke the school’s single-season winning record in the Men’s Race. Pirates in 2022.

The Pirates won two games in the state divisional volleyball tournament before dropping to the regional semifinals.

Lompoc women’s tennis coach Mike Montross said during his team’s undefeated run to an Ocean League championship that Lompoc athletic director Claudia Terrones made the right call when she decided to place his school’s athletic teams in the Central Section, and the Braves then responded by winning four seeds higher to win the Division 3 title.

The 10th-seeded Braves won 6-0 at No. 7 Paso Robles in the first round. The Bearcats beat the Braves 5-4 in the season opener, one of only two Lompoc losses this year.

The Braves followed up their first-round playoff win with a 6-3 win over No. 2 Fresno Christian in the quarterfinals, a 5-2 win over No. 3 Dinuba in the semis and a 5-4 win over No. 3.1 Kerman in the league game on November 10.

Since the Braves picked up their early wins in Paso Robles and Dinuba, all scheduled doubles matches have not been played in both games. The Lompoc-Paso Robles match ended after the end of singles play.

In Kerman, Lompoc’s doubles team of Ava Velasco and Sofia Larios broke what was a 3-3 tie after the singles matches with victory in the doubles match No. 2 which put the Braves leading 4-3. Vera Ortiz and Rianna Stouppe gave the Braves their decisive point with a win in Game 1 of doubles.

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Both pairs of doubles won in consecutive sets. Stouppe, Lompoc’s No. 2 in singles, hasn’t lost a singles or doubles match all season. Velasco and Larios have consistently earned a double point for the Braves throughout the year.

Ortiz, at No. 1, Stouppe, at No. 2, and Emma White, at No. 4, gave the Braves their singles points in the title match at Kerman. White rallied to win after losing the opening set in the best-of-three singles match.

The entire Lompoc team won the Northern Santa Barbara County Athletic Round Table (NSBCART) Athlete of the Week award for the week ending November 12.

Lompoc varsity players Larios, White, Velasco, Stouppe, Vera and Esme Ortiz, Gabi Arias and Lola Soukup, as well as Mia Jansen, the Braves’ No. 1 junior varsity player, were honored at the Nov. 14 NSBCART luncheon.

“Each girl has been instrumental in the team’s success,” Terrones said.

Stocker had been a mainstay all year for Cabrillo’s men’s water polo team, and he delivered again in the playoffs.

Stocker helped the Conquistadores lead a 4-0 playoff run. The No. 3 Cabrillo beat Bakersfield Liberty 14-5 and Visalia Golden West 10-6 at the Lompoc Aquatic Center in the first two rounds of the playoffs.

Cabrillo won 12-9 over No. 2 Hanford Sierra Pacific in the semifinals, then pulled off a second straight loss on the road to winning the title. Stocker helped anchor the Conquistadores in a low-scoring game at No. 1 Madera, and Cabrillo won 5-4.

The Conquistadores led 2-1 after the first quarter and did enough afterwards to prevail in the Division 2 title match.

Cabrillo finished 16-9. The Conquistadores lost 18-6 to Palo Alto Gunn in the first round of the Northern Regional in the state playoffs.

As the Santa Ynez women’s volleyball team navigated the Division 4 playoffs, Pirates coach Amelia Brown said her team had been through a lot, from dealing with injuries, the COVID-19 pandemic and playing in the difficult Channel League after the Los Padres League disbanded.

Through it all, Brown said, his team persevered. Santa Ynez qualified for the playoffs, then the No. 7 Pirates won three games at home, 3-1 against Reedley and Bakersfield Garces, then 3-0 against Mountain League rivals Mission Prep in semis. -Division 4 Final. No. 1 Kingsburg beat the Pirates 3-0 in the Division 4 title match at Kingsburg.

Santa Ynez swept Lake Balboa Birmingham 3-0 then did the same to Ojai Nordhoff 3-0 in the first two rounds of the divisional playoffs before falling 3-0 to Visalia Central Valley Christian in the regional semi-final of the south. CVC won the regional final and then lost 3-0 at home to Ripon Christian in the state division title championship game.

Kenny Cress is a sports reporter for the Santa Maria Times, covering local sports in northern Santa Barbara County. You can send her information or story ideas by emailing her at [email protected]

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