Baseball and VWS Swim and Dive have historic days, Softball gets Webb's highest CIF poll ranking of the year

Frank Dariano
Baseball: As March rolled into April, The Webb School of California Varsity baseball team continued a strong season. The Gauls entered Spring Break with series of one-sided wins, including two at Avalon by a combined score of 16-0, and a 7-1 home win over St. Margaret’s on March 30th.  In the first Avalon game, Wyatt Albert ’17 pitched a complete game shutout, allowing just two hits and two walks. In the second game against the Lancers, Eric Evans ’19 had three RBI’s while Spencer Stewart ’17 and Blake Pedersen combined for nine strikeouts, allowing just five hits collectively. Six Gauls batters each tallied an RBI against St. Margaret’s. The team had an incredible .946 fielding percentage against the Tartans.

Webb Baseball is the only team on campus that plays over Spring Break. Rather than playing in a tournament as in previous years, the Gauls got into the heart of the San Joaquin League schedule in the first week of April. Webb hosted league powerhouse Capistrano Valley Christian on April 1st. The Eagles, a team with multiple players already committed to NCAA Division I baseball programs, hung three runs on Webb in the top of the first. Webb answered right back with three runs in the bottom of the first, and the team traded blows over the first half of the game. But with a one run lead after five innings, Capistrano Valley Christian started racking up hits, and rolled to a 13-4 win. J.J. Cunningham ’19 had two RBI’s while Evans and Stewart each had a double for Webb. Stewart gave up eight earned runs in 3.2 innings of work. Evans finished the game, striking out three batters and allowing five more runs.

Following the tough loss to Capo, Webb won a close 1-0 win over Rio Hondo Prep on April 3rd. Wyatt Albert ’17 tossed another complete game shutout, while Adrian Alvarez ’17 had the game’s only RBI. The game had a greater glory to it, as it was Head Coach Jeff Stodgel’s 100th career win at Webb. Stodgel has been at Webb since 2010 and the program has been on a steady upswing ever since his arrival. Webb Athletic Director Steve Wishek presented Stodgel with a plaque marking the accomplishment.

Webb suffered its third loss of 2017 at Orange Vista on April 4th. The game was scoreless through four innings until the Coyotes broke through with a run in the fifth inning, and two more in the sixth. They went on to win 3-1. But the Gauls rebounded by winning a close game hosting Jurupa Valley, 4-3 on April 5th. Spencer Stewart had a triple and four strikeouts over five-plus innings of work. J.J. Cunningham had two RBI’s.

Webb (11-3) returns to action hosting Pasadena Poly on Thursday, April 20th. At 4-1, the Gauls are second in the San Joaquin League behind Capistrano Valley Christian, and will face the Eagles again on May 2nd and May 5th. The Gauls also have multiple matchups remaining against Southlands Christian and Saddleback Valley Christian. Coach Stodgel points to three games against Southlands Christian on April 25th, 27th, and 29th as being most critical to the Gauls’ playoff hopes. We will carry the April 27th and May 5th games live on the NFHS Network. Webb was ranked 4th in the CIF-SS Division Six poll that came out April 10th.

Vivian Webb Softball roared to a 9-3 start heading into Spring Break. A 30-0 demolishing of St. Pius X-St Matthias Academy on March 24th saw Webb rack up 33 hits in seven innings. Webb’s Chloe Stewart ‘20 went 5-6 with a double, a grand slam, and seven RBI’s.  Seven Gauls had multiple RBI’s in the game including a homer with four RBI’s from Sarah Renfrew ’17, and five RBI’s from Becca Whithorn ’18.

Webb hit the road a day later to play Arlington. While the Gauls grabbed an early 1-0 lead, the Lions scored four between the second, third, and fourth innings on their way to a win. Chloe Stewart had Webb’s lone hit and RBI in the game, while Thea Kirkpatrick ’18 allowed nine hits and a walk in the circle. The Gauls rebounded for a 4-2 win over Wilson on March 28th, a game in which Wilson allowed six walks. Kirkpatrick, Elyse Morris ’17, and Hannalise Davidson ’20 each had an RBI. Chandler Luebbers ’17 struck out six from the circle.

Webb’s final game before break was another blowout Gauls win, 21-0 at Westridge on March 30th. A nine run third inning by Webb broke the game open for good. Chandler Luebbers had her strongest pitching performance of the season, allowing one hit, and striking out eight.

Webb entered Spring Break at 9-3. The team recorded the highest team CIF-SS ranking for the entire school year so far, when they were ranked number two in the weekly Division six poll on April 3rd. By April 10th, Webb was ranked fourth in the poll. Webb returns to action hosting Chaffey on April 21st before diving into San Joaquin League play at Saddleback Valley Christian on April 25th.

WSC Volleyball:
A rough season continued in the last week of March for Coach Howie Kalter and the WSC Varsity Volleyball team. The Gauls lost 3-0 on Friday, March 24th at Capistrano Valley Christian in the team’s San Joaquin League opener. Four days later Webb hosted Whittier Christian, a team that challenged Webb with both incredible speed and height. WC took the three sets 25-14,25-12,25-13. A 3-0 road loss to Flintridge on March 30th dropped Webb to 1-10 on the year.

Webb will have Dan Kumok ’18 and Bill King ’19 back for the remainder of the season, after both had to sit out the first 11 games due to eligibility issues. They will be needed for the team’s final stretch of San Joaquin League games, which starts on April 20th at Orangewood.

Webb Swimming and Diving
: The Webb Swimming and Diving teams faced Flintridge on March 28th. It was a competitive meet for both the boys’ and girls’ team, but one the Flintridge ultimately won. WSC lost 97-73 while VWS fell 90-84. Emily Chu ’17 set a new record for the McCarthy Aquatics Center by finishing the Varsity 50-yard freestyle race in 25.76 seconds. She also won the 100-yard butterfly with a time that puts her in consideration for CIF in that event. Lindsay Jung ’19 also got a CIF consideration time in the 500-yard freestyle, Rylie Brick ’19 qualified for CIF in the 200-yard IM and the 100-breaststroke. VWS’ “A” relay teams got consideration times in the 200 and 400-yard freestyle relay races. WSC’s day was highlighted by several finishes that put the Varsity boys in consideration for CIF. That includes the 200-yard medley team of Brandon Fang ’17, Euson Hui ’18, Ilya Petrov ’17, and Robert Torrance ’19, Fang in the 200-yard IM and 100-backstroke, Hui in the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard breaststroke, Will Donahue ’18 in the 500-yard freestyle, the “A” 200-yard freestyle relay team of Mitchell Fargo ’17, Nathan Paik ’19, Donahue, and Hui, and the “A” 400-yard freestyle relay team of Fargo, Donahue, Fang, and Gabriel Hong ’20.

On Thursday, March 30th, Vivian Webb had a chance to end a long drought. Ken Rosenfeld said prior to the match that he couldn’t recall Webb beating Westridge in his 12 years as Head Coach. That all ended as VWS defeated Westridge 90-89 in a meet that was neck-and-neck from the beginning. Starting with the diving portion of the event, VWS’ Katie Caldwell ’18 qualified and got the Gauls a crucial four points to start. Because the team’s meets have been close all season long, those points were very important to get Webb started. “I’m getting used to diving during competition, it’s just been about practice,” said Caldwell after the meet. Westridge led 6-4 heading into swimming. The 200-yard varsity medley relay saw two records broken to start the swim portion of the meet.  Westridge set a new pool record for the event with a time of 1:58:50, while Vivian Webb set a new school record at 2:02:45, thanks to Allison Lilley ’19, Rylie Brick ’19, Emily Chu, and Lindsay Jung ’19. “We really build each other up before races with our energy,” said Lilley when asked how the team has set so many new records this year.  

Webb and Westridge stayed very close throughout the races, and the teams were tied through the first half of swimming. Though Westridge was still up by two, the Gauls stayed close and once again, the relays at the end of the meet gave each team one last chance to move ahead. Swimming third on Webb’s 400-yard varsity freestyle “A” team, Berne Malekow ’17 turned a slight lead into a half-pool advantage and the Gauls never looked back. Asked about her mindset entering the water, the senior captain wanted “to have fun and to swim my best.”  The relay team featured newer and younger swimmers like Nichole Huh ’19 and Amanda Wang ’20. Looking on from the pool deck, Rylie Brick ’19 was excited at the change: “It’s important to keep the [other] teams guessing as to who’s gonna be in the pool.” Wang stepped up as the anchor to maintain a first-place swim time of 4:30:65. That was enough to give Webb the 90-89 victory. “Everyone showed up,” said Coach Ken Rosenfeld, “We had a few girls stepping significantly out of their comfort zone, once the meet got going they put their nerves away, stepped up to the blocks, and did what they need to do.” He noted Kate Guernsey ’20, who swam the 200 and 500-yard freestyle races in her first varsity meet. She moved up from a JV team that is undefeated on the season. “It’s really nice to see everyone improving as time goes on,” said Debbie Anav ’19 of the JV.
Webb has its last regular season meet of the year before League Prelims and Finals on Thursday, April 20th. The Gauls host Walnut and the match will air live on the NFHS Network. Prelims will be held April 27th with Finals following on April 29th. Both will be held at Pasadena Poly.

Webb Track and Field:
Webb track and Field hosted Sherman Indian, Whittier Christian, Pacifica Christian Orange County, and Milken Community on Tuesday, March 28th in its final regular season meet. Unlike the previous week’s meet, mother nature was shining on the Webb campus, as the athletes had a sun-soaked track at Faculty Field. Vivian Webb finished in second place as a team with 138 points, just 11 points behind Whittier Christian. It was a marquee day for VWS, as Sarah Hebb ’18 won the 800 and 1600-meter dashes. Anne Lofgren ’19 won the 3200-meters, and came in third in the 1600. Kelli Henry ’18 won the 100-meter hurdles. Brigid Corbin ’19’s sixth place finish was VWS top performance in the 400-meters. Bella Biane ’19 finished second in the 200 meters. VWS’ 4x400-meter “A” relay team finished second. The Gauls were very dominant in the field events, with Kelli Henri winning the high jump. Dylan Wensley ’17 continued a remarkable senior year by winning the pole vault, triple jump, and long jump. Brigid Corbin finished fourth in the discus and seventh in the shot put.

The day was a very successful one for Webb School of California Track and Field. The boys finished with 122.5 points as a team, winning the meet by more than 40 points. Six of the top ten times in the 100-meter dash came from WSC runners, led by event winner Brendan Shue ’17. Chris Haliburton ’20 won the 200-meters, and Spencer Easley ’18 won the 110-meter and 300-meter hurdles. WSC’s “A” relay teams won both the 4x100 and 4x400-meter races. Elsewhere on the track, Jeffrey Ran ’18 finished second in the 400 meters, Luke Raus ’20 finished second in the 800 meters, and Teja Reddy ’20 was third in the 1600 meters. Like the girls, Webb’s boys were very strong in the field events. Nick Johnson ’19 won the triple jump and long jump, and tied for second place in the high jump. Webb was especially strong in the high jump, registering seven of the top ten distances. That included a 1-2-3-4 finish by Johnson, Apollo Thomas ’17, Jeffrey Ran, and Ryan Place ’18. Ran won the pole vault, while Edison Adler ’19 won the shot put and discus throw. Matt Martinez ’19 was second in the discus and sixth in the shot put.

Webb will compete in league prelims on Friday, April 21st at South Pasadena High School. The Prep League finals meet will be April 28th at Burroughs High School in Burbank.  
 WSC Tennis: Webb Varsity Boys’ Tennis had a busy week leading into Spring Break. The Gauls played five matches in the eight days before break. Sophomore Jun Kim won all three of his sets at the number three singles spot, including a 7-6 match, as Webb beat Montclair 14-4 on March 23rd. The following day, and again playing at home, Webb beat Bonita 14-4. The three doubles teams went 8-1 combined on the day in their sets.

Webb began a new week with an 18-0 win at Western Christian. It was the Gauls’ fifth win by that score of the season, and included nine 6-0 set wins for the doubles teams. Deepak Tummula ’17 won both his singles sets 6-3,6-0. The team then beat San Juan Hills 13-5 on Tuesday with number three doubles team Darren Hsu ’17 and Raphael Huang ’17 going undefeated. Webb wrapped up March with a 17-1 league win hosting Aquinas. At 14-1 on the year, Webb is on its way to one of the best seasons in team history. The Gauls host Arrowhead Christian, the team that gave Webb its toughest league match so far this year, on April 21st.

Webb Golf:
Webb School of California Varsity Golf Started the week before Spring Break with a season best score of 197 as a team. That score, recorded March 28th at Marshall Canyon, got the Gauls wins over Capistrano Valley Christian (211) and Samueli Academy (216). The Gauls then made a pivotal trip to Catalina Island on March 30th. Webb shot 205 as a team, its second-best score of the year. The team defeated Fairmont Prep (285) easily, but host school Avalon won with an overall score of 182.

Webb (14-2) Hosts Chaffey on Thursday, April 20th. The Gauls then prepare for League Prelims on April 25th in Long Beach. League Finals will be held the following day in Tustin.

Webb Badminton:
Webb Badminton played through the toughest stretch of its schedule before Spring Break. The Gauls won 17-4 hosting Chino Hills on March 23rd, but suffered a close 11-10 loss at Wilson on March 28th. Defending CIF Champions Diamond Bar came to campus on March 30th. The Brahmas defeated Webb 19-2. That was the same final score when the two teams met at Diamond Bar nine days earlier.

Webb will have a chance to avenge its loss to Wilson at home on April 20th. League Prelims and Finals follow on April 25th and 26th.   

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