FALL SPORTS NOTEBOOK : Westlake Ties It All Together
When the Westlake High girls volleyball team beat Royal on Tuesday, it did more than end Royal’s Marmonte League 29-game win streak.
The Westlake also created a first-place tie (both teams are 10-1) and marked the first time in four years that the Warriors have beaten Royal.
“It was nice to see everything come together,” Westlake Coach David Rubio said. “I guess we’re finally going to make the top 10.”
Rubio was referring to the Southern Section 2-A Division Coaches Poll that ranked Royal second behind Nordhoff. Westlake (13-3 overall) has not been mentioned all season. Royal is 11-2 overall.
“Individually, we have some great talent,” said Rubio, whose team was 3-9 two years ago, but 7-5 last year. “Our one problem is that sometimes we don’t play real well as a team. I pointed that out during game two against Royal.”
Westlake had lost the first game, 15-11, and was down, 9-1, in the second game before Rubio’s observations were passed on to his team.
What he said apparently sunk in as the Warriors battled back to win, 15-11, then fought back from a 10-4 deficit to win the third game, 15-10.
The final game was a blitz as Westlake won, 15-3.
“Our girls were getting a little cocky,” said Royal Coach Bob Ferguson. “We won the first game and they kind of thought they had it easy.
“This should help us down the road. We haven’t been having very good practices the last two weeks.”
“Every team has a period like that,” he said. “Thank God we’re coming out of it right now.”
When the wins come so often, it’s the losses that are surprising.
That’s the case for Saugus High’s Daren Stonerock, who finished third in the Boys Team Sweepstakes race Saturday behind Sacramento Jesuit’s Eric and Mark Mastalir at the Mt. SAC Invitational at Mt. San Antonio College.
“Those guys are bulls,” said Stonerock of the Mastalir twins, who are six feet tall. “They have the strength to get up the hills pretty fast.”
And down them too.
Stonerock, at 5-6, 114 pounds, led the first mile, then slowed on the downhill portion of the course with a sore left knee. Stonerock was passed by Eric Mastalir, who was on his way to a 14:38 first-place finish and the second-fastest performance in meet history.
Stonerock finished in 15:04, 33 seconds faster than he ran in last year’s meet when he finished fifth.
“I was hoping to break 15:00,” Stonerock said. “I think it will be a better race next time I run against the Mastalirs.”
The Stonerock twins, Daren and Kirk, will have their next chance at the Mastalirs on Dec. 7 at the Kinney Invitational in Fresno.
The La Reina girls tennis team Wednesday ran its Tri-Valley League win streak to 36 matches and clinched its fourth consecutive league championship with a forfeit over Bishop Diego.
La Reina, ranked fourth in the Southern Section’s 1-A Division, is looking forward to avenging last year’s loss to Diamond Bar in the Southern Section final.
The team is led by senior Xandra Constan and junior Corrine Heinzman, who did not lose a match in league singles play this season.
Best-Named Coach Dept.: Hart tennis Coach Steve Love.
Add Hart Tennis: Although it is 3-6 in the Foothill League and in for another tough match today against Schurr, sophomore Christine Schmeidel is enjoying a fine season for the Indians.
Schmeidel, ranked 19th in the United States Tennis Assn.'s 16-and-under division, is undefeated in league. She has lost just four games in 24 sets.
The Marmonte League girls tennis race looks like it will end in a tie between Thousand Oaks and Westlake, the two top-ranked teams in the Southern Section 3-A Division.
Both teams have 10-1 records. Their only league losses have been to each other.
Thousand Oaks plays Royal this afternoon and Westlake, the defending 3-A champ, takes on Simi Valley in final league matches.
Royal’s water polo team clinched its fifth consecutive Marmonte League title Monday with a 15-5 win over Thousand Oaks.
The Highlanders, who finished league undefeated, have only lost one league match in the last five years.
“Last season, I think we peaked to early,” said Royal Coach Steve Snyder, whose team lost to Crespi in the first round of the Southern Section playoffs last year. “We were overconfident and took them lightly. That won’t happen this time.”
To help keep his team at a high level of competition, the Highlanders will play 2-A power Cabrillo on Friday and Buena on Saturday.