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Webb Athletics Winter Mid-Season Report

Frank Dariano
WSC Basketball
Webb School of California basketball suffered a 60-43 loss to Holy Martyrs (Encino) on Thursday, December 15th. Prior to the start of the game, Webb head coach Rick Duque paid tribute to Adam Cave ’12, who was recently killed in a motorcycle accident. The Gauls laid a bouquet of white roses on the first seat on their bench, and dedicated the rest of the season to Adam. Cave played for the frosh/soph and JV teams during his Webb career, then became an assistant coach for the Gauls in his senior year. He was working for the Los Angeles D-Fenders, the Lakers’ developmental league team, when he died.
Like many opponents this year, Holy Martyrs had a bevy of players that stood six feet tall or more. A combination of speed and height allowed the Armens to jump out to nearly a 30-point lead by halftime. The team slowed down in the second half, and the Gauls started draining three point shots. Holy Martyrs won by a score of 60-43. After the game, team captain Stephen Chai ’17 apologized to his teammates for his lack of effort. “Personally, I wasn’t mentally prepared”, said Chai, who finished with six points. On the positive side, Chai says the Gauls are now fully aware of the mistakes they are making and know what they need to improve. “It’s tough, it’s still the beginning of the season, but we need to come together to help each other out, it’s nobody’s fault”, said Kia Nalbandi ’18. He finished with 14 points and says the team needs to stop shooting after only a few passes.

Webb finished December with a much needed 51-21 victory at Western Christian on December 20th. Coach Rick Duque’s team snapped a three-game skid with the win, and entered the holiday break at 5-5. The Gauls will have road games at Ontario, Pasadena Poly, and Marshall Fundamental their first week back, along with the annual alumni game on Friday, January 13th.

VWS Basketball
The Vivian Webb School varsity basketball team (7-1) won their non-conference home game against the Holy Martyrs Armens (6-3) by a score of 37-34 on Thursday, December 15. The game was close all the way through, with the three-point victory for Webb the largest lead at the end of a quarter for either side. The first quarter was only notable for a couple of impressive offensive plays by Juliana Base ’19, and a couple of obvious dives by the Armens. The second quarter was dominated on both offense and defense by the Gauls’ Jordan McClure ’17, who did everything from intercepting passes to hitting threes. Holy Martyrs took a 22-20 lead into the half, at which point the momentum started to turn in Webb’s favor. The offensive play of Chloe Stewart ’20 and defensive play of Emily Anabi ’17 was the big story of the third quarter. Stewart hit multiple impressive shots and drew a shooting foul, and most of Anabi’s eight defensive rebounds came in the third. The Gauls went into the final quarter with a 27-26 lead. Webb’s impressive clock killing tactics sealed the victory.
The Gauls finished the first part of their season with a 44-27 win at Western Christian on Tuesday, December 20th. Coach Veronnica Alvarado’s team is 8-1 and will host Chaffey on January 12th and play at Riverside Prep on January 17th, along with the annual alumni game on Friday, January 13th. The Gauls then head into league play with two games on Catalina Island at Avalon. The San Joaquin League looks to be ultra-competitive this year, with Vivian Webb currently at 8-1, Fairmont Prep at 10-2, Orangewood Academy at 8-3, and Avalon undefeated at 4-0. – Co-Written by Garrett Wagner ’17.
 
 
VWS Water Polo
Vivian Webb played out the remainder of a very grueling December schedule with three lopsided wins. The girls faced Workman on December 15th, a team Coach Tom Jurczak says is still establishing its program.  Webb raced out to a 4-0 lead 3:30 into the game behind two goals from Chandler Luebbers ‘17 and one each from Lindsay Jung ‘19 and Mary Davis ‘17.  At that point, everyone got involved in the action.  No player committed an exclusion foul, and the Gauls shot 66.7% for the game, scoring 14 goals on 21 shots, and led 14-3 entering the 4th quarter. Webb played man-down for the entire quarter to work on man-down defense as well as giving Workman an opportunity to work on their man-up offense.  All Webb field players played during the quarter, resulting in nine steals, 13 saves, and a 14-5 victory. Luebbers finished with a game-high four goals, while Jung and Ale Butcher ’18 had three each. Olivia Vasquez ’19 got some time in goal and made four saves.
 
The next day, Webb played what coach Jurczak called his team’s “most complete game” of the year against Colony. Right out of the gates, Lindsay Jung scored. But when Emily Chu ’17 was ejected, Colony was able to tie 1-1. Webb played strong offense starting with Chandler Luebbers stealing the ball from Colony and passing it Jung who drew the goalie out of the cage to make a shot. This happened once more for Jung bringing the score to 3-1.  Mary Davis ’19 scored three times and the Gauls led 5-1 by the end of the first quarter. During the second quarter, following a Chandler Luebbbers goal to get to 6-1, Webb had a coaching error that led to three exclusions on their goalie.  With no goalie, Webb’s field players blocked numerous shots over a one-minute period.  Colony gained one point but Olivia Vazquez replaced Rylie Brick ’19 in goal. Later Emily Chu went on to score twice, and Luebbers, Ale Butcher, and Sonia Malik ‘18 left the score at 11-3 at the half.  The final two periods Webb scored eight more points after stealing the ball from Colony several times; Webb only conceded two goals in these two quarters. The final score was 19-5. Jung led the Gauls with five goals
On Tuesday, December 20th, Webb played West Covina to a 20-3 finish to close 2016. The Gauls took advantage of a Bulldogs team that never properly set up their offense, took many quick shots, and couldn’t take advantage of six-on-five opportunities. Lindsay Jung once again led the Gauls with six goals, while Maya Fassler ’17 had five, Davis had four, and Sonia Malik ’18 had three. “We were working together, in the last two quarters we were setting up offense and defense and they couldn’t score a goal on us,” said Jung. She added that the team really learned “how to work together” in the game. “We’ve been playing really well and we’ve had a lot more teamwork than we’ve had in the past year,” agreed Malik. Coach Jurczak noted that his players have been “helping where we need to but we’ve also been doing much better individually”. The team played without usual starters Emily Chu and Ale Butcher, giving players like Caitlin Pender ‘20 and Caitlyn Ossa ’19 a chance to shine. “You have to be ready to play when called upon, and the girls did that today,” said Jurczak. He stressed the need for his girls to stay physically and mentally focused, as the Gauls open 2017 with five games at the Diamond Bar Tournament January 13th and 14th. If they don’t stay conditioned “those five games will turn into swim meets.” - Co-Written By Haaris Jamal ’17, Adapted from Report by Tom Jurczak

Wrestling
               Webb School of California wrestling suffered its second close loss in four nights Friday, December 16th. Hosting Big Bear, the Gauls fell behind 24-6 early on thanks to two forfeits and a pin loss for Nick Battistelli ’18. Robbie Reimer II ’20 scored the Gauls lone pinfall in the lower weight classes. Spencer Easley ’18 continued an undefeated year with a win at 152 pounds. But after losses at 160 pounds (Simon Dawson ’19) and 170 pounds (forfeit), Webb was in a 36-18 hole. Coach Leif Williams’ team staged a comeback, beginning with Andy Christiansen’s win on points at 182 pounds. The senior scored seven points in the final 35 seconds of his match to get a 3-0 win. “My guy was really aggressive so I was trying to match that aggressiveness,” said Christiansen after the match. Ben Martinez ’19 and Dmitry Semenov ’17 then scored pinfalls, and the Gauls trailed by only three entering the final, heavyweight match. However, a loss by Ben Chai ’19 sealed the match, and Big Bear won 42-33.
After the match, Josh Logan ’17 said it was especially important going forward that the team gets in the habit of “making sure we finish and get as many pins as possible, and on the reverse of that making sure we don’t give up any pins or six point losses.” He says he needs to “do a better job of finishing my matches early on.”
Coach Leif Williams remains enthused about the season: “with the way we are dominating on the mat, there’s only one way to go and that’s up.” He says improvement will only come with more “mat time”. Webb (2-3) opens 2017 at Lucerne Valley on January 12th.

WSC Soccer
               On Thursday December 15, The Webb School of California varsity soccer competed against Capistrano Valley Christian and won 7-0. All of the team’s keepers, RJ Duque ’17, Ramos Wu ’17, and JJ Cunningham ’19, were either injured or sick. This setback did not trouble the team as Takim Myhre ’18 stepped in to play keeper.  Many players scored including Luke Gonzalez ’19, Lawrence Tsutsumi ’18, Nick Jung ’17, Cody Murray- Bruce ’19, and Liam Gerken ’20. Wyatt Albert ’17 has returned to the team and scored two goals. The team continues to regroup after several injuries as their coach Greg Gerken pushes them to play smarter and harder.

Then on Saturday, December 17th, The Gauls defeated Saddleback Valley Christian 4-1. The first half remained scoreless despite Webb’s many shots on goal, including five from Wyatt Albert. Head Coach Greg Gerken gave his players a strong halftime speech in which he says he “talked about framing yourself if you were the second player [shooting] so you could get the rebounds in…the kids did a great job of making those adjustments that allowed us to get some goals.” Webb came out firing in the second half with back to back goals by Lawrence Tsutsumi and Liam Gerken breaking things open.  Albert broke through with goals in the 60th and 67th minutes and says the team needs to communicate more in games: “when we talk everything works good.” Liam Gerken said his team “moved the ball really well and found gaps.”

On Tuesday December 20, The Webb School of California varsity soccer competed against Saumeil Academy and won 4-0. Samueli Academy is a new team that Webb had never played against before. Coach Greg Gerken didn't want the team to overthink their plays but rather to give the game the best the team can. First goal of the game came from a corner kick and Webb sent the ball to the back post allowing Takim Myhre ‘18 to score a header. The second goal came quickly after the first one as Webb pressured Samueli's backline, crossed the ball, forcing the opposing team to score a goal for Webb. In the second half, Luke Gonzalez ‘19 was in the front of the goal line and he easily tapped the ball into the net. 20 minutes into the second half, Luke Gonzales collided with the goalkeeper and a Samueli player tackled Gonzalez when he was on the ground. Both teams argued. Cole Sego ‘19 and Takim Myrhe received a yellow card. In the final 10 minutes of the game, Samueli attempted to play more physically and tantalized the Webb team. However, the team didn't react and Liam Gerken scored the last goal of the game. The Gauls (8-1-2) return January 12 at home against Tarbut V’ Torah. – Co-Written by Jules Romeo ’17.

VWS Soccer
Vivian Webb Varsity soccer took a three-game winning streak into winter break. The Gauls defeated Capistrano Valley Christian 2-0 on December 15th. Dylan Wensley ‘17’s goal in the 18th minute gave VWS the lead. Wensley, Payton Williams ’18, and Emily Stepanian ’19 each got multiple shots on goal during the game, with Stepanian finally breaking through in the 48th minute. “We left last season on a high note, and it feels like we’ve just picked up from that this year,” says Eliie Canty ’18 of her team’s performance. Assistant coach Dino Babieri says he’s been impressed by his team’s organization over the last four games: “they’re playing as a unit, already.” He adds that the team needs to work on getting forward faster, but the defense has been spectacular.

Webb’s defense continued to shine on Saturday, December 17th, a 3-1 win in the team’s league debut over Saddleback Valley Christian. Emily Stepanian added two more goals to her stat sheet, and Payton Williams scored as well. SVC proved to be a challenge for the Gauls despite only having eight players on the field. In particular, Meje Carpentier gave the Gauls fits and had several shots on goal before breaking through on a penalty kick in the 70th minute. Minutes later, with the scored 2-1 Vivian Webb, Carpentier was just feet away from tying the game at two. But Gauls keeper Bridgette Lee ’20 made a spectacular save that preserved the win. Stepanian’s second goal of the game gave the Gauls the lead for good. Still Lee said the Gauls should have scored more given SVC’s undermanned roster. “We need to work on our offense but we held down the defense pretty well,” she said. She added that the defense needed to improve on “the little things, man marking, shifting, and moving up.”
Vivian Webb went into winter break unbeaten at 5-0-1, as a game at Samueli Academy on December 20th was postponed. The Gauls re-open the season on the road against Southlands Christian on January 13th
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