Softball keeps rolling; strong showings at League playoffs for WSC Track, WSC Swimming, WSC Tennis, Webb Badminton

Frank Dariano
WSC Baseball: Webb Baseball is spending the last two weeks of the regular season trying to clinch a spot in the CIF-SS Division Six playoffs. The Gauls fell short in an opportunity to do just that as the team hosted two games against Southlands Christian last week. Having already beat the Eagles on the road 15-5 on Tuesday, April 25th, Webb and SCS met again at Chandler Field on the 27th.  Southlands came out swinging, tallying three runs in the top of the first inning. A second inning grand slam by Southlands catcher Michael Robles made it 7-0. Webb had the bases loaded in the bottom of the second but couldn’t put a run on the board. Webb cut into the lead in the third as a hit from Adrian Alvarez ’17 brought Wyatt Albert ’17 home. Webb scored again on an RBI from Eric Evans ’19 and a wild pitch that allowed J.J. Cunningham ’19 to sprint home from third. Both teams then brought in relievers. For Webb, Evans and Blake Pederson ’18 combined for seven strikeouts. Alvarez had an RBI and scored on a passed ball in the fourth inning to bring Webb within two. “I’m very proud of the team that they came back,” said Alvarez of the 7-0 deficit, “we didn’t fold”. But behind the arm of Adrian Albarran, Southlands Christian stopped Webb’s offense, and added three more runs in the fifth. Despite two more runs for Webb, Southlands put the game on ice in the top of the seventh and won 12-7. The loss meant that Webb would have to win on Saturday to clinch a playoff spot. “We didn’t fold…we’ve got to get on the board early,” said Alvarez when asked about the team’s focus for the pivotal game.

Saturday’s game was close, but the Gauls fell short again, losing to Southlands 4-3. Then the Gauls dropped an 18-1 decision on May 2nd at Capistrano Valley Christian. Webb broke open a scoreless tie with a run in the top of the third inning. Capo responded for three runs in the bottom of the third, and five more in the fourth inning. Then, a 10-run sixth inning for the Eagles put the game well out of reach.

Though the team has the second-best record in the league, Webb needs two wins over the final three games of the season to clinch a playoff spot. Webb currently sports a 5-4 record in San Joaquin League play. League leader Capistrano Valley Christian and the Gauls will meet at Chandler Field on May 5th at 3:15 PM, with the game being broadcast live on NFHS Network. Though both teams have lost seven games overall this season, the Eagles are a perfect 10-0 in league play. If the Gauls lose again on Friday, they must sweep Saddleback Valley Christian in two games next week to make the postseason. The Warriors won two in a row last week after losing four straight games in mid-April, and currently sits at 3-4 in league, 11-13 overall. WSC is ranked 8th in this week’s CIF-SS Division Six Poll.

VWS Softball –
Vivian Webb Softball continued its dominating run through the San Joaquin League by welcoming Avalon to campus Friday and Saturday. In two games, The Gauls outscored the Lancers by a combined 35-0, to improve to 3-0 in league play. In the first game on April 28th, Webb jumped out to a 12-0 lead after just one inning. Chloe Stewart ’20 continued a phenomenal freshman year by hitting two Grand Slams and racking up 9 RBI’s on the day. “Honestly, I’m not thinking about anything, just trying to hit the ball,” said Stewart after the game. Head Coach Ron Smith says he sees NCAA Division One softball talent in Stewart. Jessica Renfrew ’17 and Becca Whithorn ’18 had three RBI’s each as Chandler Luebbers ’17 pitched a complete game shutout, allowing just 1 hit and one walk.
When the two teams met again on April 29th, Webb scored four runs in the first inning, followed by three in the second, and went on to win 11-0. Chandler Luebbers pitched a stellar five-inning game, recording eight strikeouts and not allowing a single hit. She also had three RBI’s. Chloe Stewart hit her third home run of the week to cap a 14-RBI week.

Vivan Webb then shut out Southlands Christian 10-0 on May 2nd. Luebbers and Emily Arias ’20 led the Gauls with two RBI’s each, and Webb scored seven runs between the third and fifth innings. Luebbers finished with a three-hit shutout, striking out six. VWS is 13-4, 4-0 in league, and hosts Saddleback Valley Christian on Friday. The team is ranked 5th in this week’s CIF-SS Division Six Poll.

Webb Track and Field
: Webb’s Track and Field team sent 30 athletes to the 2017 Prep League Finals meet at Burroughs High in Burbank on April 28th.  WSC finished in second place as a team with 91 points, while VWS finished in fifth with 54 points. Pasadena Poly and Mayfield won the boys’ and girls’ team competition respectively, each by several dozen points.

Webb School of California’s 4x400 and 4x100-meter relay teams both finished in second place. For the boys’ events, the top three finishers go to the CIF-SS meet. The 4x100 team was Brendan Shue ’17, Nick Martinez ’19, Chris Halliburton ’20, and Nick Johnson ’19. The 4x400 team was Halliburton, Martinez, Spencer Easley ’18, and Jeffrey Ran ’19. Their finishes meant that several WSC athletes will compete at CIF in at least three events. Johnson won the high jump and triple jump, and came in second in the long jump. He set personal best marks in all three events and will have a team high four events at CIF. Ran won the pole vault and finished second in the 400-meters, setting a PR time in the latter. Easley also qualified for three events, winning the 300-meter hurdles, and finishing second in the 110-meters. Simon Dawson ’19 finished third in the 300 and 110-meter hurdles, and will have two CIF events. Other CIF qualifiers for WSC include Edison Adler ’19 (third place in the discus) and Apollo Thomas ’17 (third in the triple jump. Overall, WSC athletes also set 22 PR times in 11 different events

Vivian Webb’s day was led by Dylan Wensley ’17 and Kelli Henry ’18. Wensley, who was named Prep League Field MVP, won the pole vault, and came in second in the long jump and triple jump. She set PR marks in all three events. Henry won the long jump, was second in the high jump, and fourth in the 100-meter hurdles. She set personal bests in the long jump and hurdles. Other personal best marks included Juliana Base ’19 in the 400-meters, and Anne Lofgren ’19 in the 3200-meters. Overall, VWS athletes set seven PR times in five events.

Webb will now prepare for CIF-SS Prelims on May 13th, with finals set for May 20th at Cerritos College.

Webb Swimming and Diving
– Webb Swimming and Diving continued an exciting season on Saturday, April 29th as the team competed in the Prep League Championships at Pasadena Poly. Overall, WSC Varsity finished in second place as a team, while VWS Varsity finished in fourth. The WSC Junior Varsity team won its meet while VWS’ junior varsity finished in second place. For the season, the varsity boys came in second place, while the girls finished tied for fourth place.

At Saturday’s finals, WSC’s varsity team was led by Euson Hui ‘18’s win in the 100-yard breaststroke and a second-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay by Nathan Paik ’19, Robert Torrance ’19, Hui, and Marty Hild ’19. Elsewhere, the Webb boys racked up numerous third place finishes, including in the 200-yard medley relay, 200-yard IM, 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard backstroke, and 400-yard freestyle relay. Numerous swimmers took advantage of a final chance to get consideration times in for the CIF-SS Division Three meet, set for May 8th-11th at the Riverside Aquatics Complex. Those swimmers include Marty Hild (200 and 500-yard freestyle), Mitchell Fargo ’17 (200 and 100-yard freestyle), Euson Hui (50-freestyle and 100-breaststroke), and Brandon Fang ’17 (100-yard backstroke). Consideration times for the relays include the aforementioned 400-yard and 200-yard freestyle teams, as well as the 200-medley relay team of Fang, Hui, Paik, and Ian Igleheart ’20. WSC also won the consolation races in several events: Kevin Kang ’19 in the 200-IM, Nathan Paik in the 50-freestyle, Ilya Petrov ’17 in the 100-butterfly, and Robert Torrance in the 100-freestyle.

The Junior Varsity boys’ finals win included first place times in six different events. Anthony Villalobos ’18 won the 200 and 100-yard freestyle races, while Adrian Leong ’19 won the 50-yard backstroke and 100-yard IM. Both swimmers teamed with Sydney Wang ’20 and Michael Carrasco ’19 to win the 200-medley relay.

The Junior Varsity girls’ second place finish featured Katie Caldwell ‘18’s win in diving, Sonia Malik ’18’s win in the 200-yard freestyle, and Emily Li ‘20’s win in the 50-freestyle.   In the latter event, VWS had three of the top four times, with Enya Chi ’20 in second place and Debbie Anav ’19 in fourth place.

VWS Varsity’s day at Prep League Finals featured two more CIF-SS Auto Cut times for Rylie Brick ’19. She placed third in the 200-yard IM and second in the 100-yard breaststroke, and can swim both events at CIF. The Gauls set consideration times in all three relay events, with teams that included Brick, Allison Lilley ’19, Emily Chu ’17, Syney Wuu ’20, Mary Davis ’19, and Lindsay Jung ’19. In the individual events, VWS got consideration times from Lindsay Jung (200 and 500-yard freestyle), and Emily Chu (50-freestyle and 100-butterfly).
The Gauls now await this weekend’s CIF-SS D3 field announcement to find out who will compete in Riverside May 8th-11th.

WSC Volleyball –
Webb School of California Volleyball got two much-needed wins down the stretch after losing to Saddleback Valley Christian on April 25th. The 3-0 loss was Webb’s eighth straight defeat, and fifth straight by that margin. Webb lost the first two sets 25-14 and 25-13, before the Warriors pulled away in set three, 25-5.

Facing Orangewood Academy at home on April 27th, the Gauls had a chance to avenge their loss to the Spartans on April 20th. WSC won a tight first set 25-22 before Orangewood bested them 25-8 in set two. A third set victory for Orangewood put the Gauls in another tough position, but the team responded with strength. They rallied to win set four 25-16, then took the deciding set five 15-9. It was arguably the team’s biggest win of the year.

Saddleback Valley Christian dealt the Gauls another 3-0 loss (25-12,25-12,25-17) on Monday, May 1st. The Gauls then celebrated seniors Max Sapozkhov, Dmitry Semenov, Jonas Gerken, and Mark Lehmann on May 2nd, hosting Capistrano Valley Christian in the season finale for both teams. The first two sets were very close, with Webb tying the game often only to have Capo take a slim lead. But in both sets the Gauls found their edge late and took both 25-22, and then 25-21. Neither team led by more than 4 points in those sets. Capo got out to a larger lead in set three, but a 7-1 run by the Gauls midway through the set was enough to send Webb out on top. An ace serve by Luke Lewis ’18 ended the game 3-0 in favor of Webb.

“Having this 3-0 victory [to end the year] really pumps us up,” said Sapozkhov, who finished the game with 8 kills and 4 digs. Mark Lehmann noted the packed crowd at Les Perry Gymnasium made the win that much better. “We peaked at the end of the season, that means our training was good, we learned from our mistakes early on, and we really put it together,” said coach Howie Kalter of the team’s final two wins.

Webb will have plenty of strong players back in 2018, including Hoyin Tsoi ’19 who led the team in kills in Tuesday’s win. Webb finishes the season 3-13, and 2-4 in San Joaquin League play.

WSC Tennis
– Webb School of California varsity tennis closed out the regular season as co-champions of the Ambassador League. A dominating 17-1 win over Linfield Christian on April 27th saw Webb’s doubles teams win every set they played by 6-0 margins. Darren Hsu ’17 won the player of the match award.

The regular season finale was a 12-6 win over Cerritos for Webb on April 28th. It also marked Coach Ron Martinez’s 100th win as coach of WSC and VWS tennis. “I was floored, I didn’t know that as possible,” said Martinez, who has coached at Webb since 2013. Athletic Director Steve Wishek presented Martinez with a plaque to mark the occasion after the win. The match itself was a tough test for Webb’s singles players. Deepak Tummala ’17 won his lone set 7-5, while Tom Liu ’18 and Andrew Shen ’19 went 5-0 as number two and three singles players.

Webb (17-2) competed in the Ambassador League Prelims on Tuesday, May 2nd in Temecula. Coach Ron Martinez said it was a dominating day for the Gauls, with Tummala and Liu advancing as the number one and two singles players respectively. Webb also had two of the top three doubles teams. Number two seed Kia Nalbandi ’18 and Juan Pablo Calderoni ’19 advanced along with third seed Darren Hsu ’17 and Rafael Huang ’17. Coach Martinez said all his players won their sets by 6-0 or 6-1 margins. The Gauls return to Linfield Christian High in Temecula for league finals on Thursday. 

Webb Badminton:
Webb hosted the second day of its freelance league playoff tournament on April 26th. The mixed doubles tournament had already been decided two days prior, with Webb’s Albert Zhang ’18 and Claire Jiang ’17 placing fourth. The team of Anam Zahidi ’18 and Jayden Chiu ’20 came in second in the consolation bracket for the event. In boys’ doubles, juniors Oren Wei and Alex Oei came in sixth place, while seniors Ben Kwon and Simon Zhang won the consolation bracket. Webb’s girls’ doubles teams did not medal on the day.

In singles play, Macy Huang ’18 placed fourth in the bracket while Anam Zahidi ’18 won the consolation bracket. Albert Zhang ’18 had the best finish of the day for Webb when he finished in second place in the boys’ singles bracket. Takim Myrhe ’18 was second in the consolation bracket.

Webb Badminton fell in the first round of the CIF-SS Tournament, falling 17-4 at Long Beach Poly. Albert Zhang ’18 qualified for the CIF-SS Individual Tournament, set for May 11th-12th at San Gabriel Valley Badminton Club in El Monte. He is expected to lead a very strong senior class for Webb Badminton in 2018, which will include current juniors Macy Huang, J.J. Pandji, Oren Wei, Alex Oei, Anam Zahidi, Takim Myhre. Webb ends the season 6-5

 WSC Golf Webb Varsity Golf wrapped up its regular season with the San Joaquin League Prelims and Finals tournament. Andy Zhou ’18 was the Gauls’ sole player to advance from the prelims on April 25th to the finals on April 27th at Tustin Ranch. Andy finished in sixth place in the league finals match. Webb ends the regular season with a 15-2 record. The team now awaits its placement in CIF. The Southern Section Individual Regional Tournament will be played on May 8th at Skylinks Golf Course in Long Beach. The CIF-Southern Region team championship is set for May 15th at Mile Square Course in Fountain Valley. The CIF Individuals championship will be May 18th in Santa Barbara, with the state finals following on May 31st in Pebble Beach.

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