VWS Swimming rewrites the record books at CIF, Badminton sends a player to state for the first time

Frank Dariano
WSC Baseball A long season came down to two games for Webb School of California Varsity Baseball last week. Playing Saddleback Valley Christian twice in three days, the Gauls needed wins in both games to guarantee a spot in the CIF-SS Division Six playoffs. In the Gauls’ home finale on May 9th, the Gauls opened up a 6-0 lead after the first two innings. Highlighting the rally was a strong infield RBI single by Ryan Bridges ’20, and a wild pitch which allowed Spencer Stewart ’17 to come home from second base. Saddleback clawed its way back into the game and cut Webb’s lead to one run heading into the fifth inning. The Warriors then took the lead and Webb found itself trailing 8-6. But a six-run inning in the bottom of the fifth put the Gauls on top for good. Bridges’ RBI single scored Stephen Park ’18 to bring Webb within one. Wyatt Albert ’17 loaded the bases by reaching first base with a bunt. Then a two-RBI double from Adrian Alvarez ’17 put Webb ahead again. A two RBI single from Stewart added insurance and Webb took a 12-8 lead into the sixth. They added another run in the sixth and held off an SVC rally in the seventh. J.J. Cunningham’s leaping catch in centerfield ended the game 13-10 in favor of Webb. “The biggest thing that we worked on was that we kept fighting all the way,” said Albert of the team’s effort, “that’s what got us the win”.

The Gauls then headed to San Juan Capistrano on May 11th to face Saddleback again in a rare night game to end the regular season. Earlier in the day, Southlands Christian’s upset win over league champion Capistrano Valley Christian meant that the Gauls absolutely needed to win to clinch the final playoff spot out of the San Joaquin League. But Saddleback pitcher Ellis Jensen reeled off seven innings of two-hit ball, and Webb was shutout 5-0. The Gauls end the season 13-9 and graduate three seniors in Adrian Alvarez ’17, Wyatt Albert ’17, and Spencer Stewart ’17.

VWS Softball
 Following a 24-2 victory over Southlands Christian on Wednesday, May 10th, Vivian Webb Softball capped an undefeated 6-0 run through the San Joaquin League and claimed its third straight league championship. The Gauls outscored their league opponents 124-2 over the course of their league schedule. Coach Ron Smith says the Gauls’ 16-4 overall mark came down to motivation and work ethic. “They asked to be pushed this year and we pushed real hard, they gave us everything we asked for and this is the result.”

The Gauls concluded the regular season with a 2-1 win hosting Crean Lutheran on May 11th. It was the final regular season home game for VWS’ seniors Elyse Morris, Jessica Renfrew, Sarah Renfrew, Chandler Luebbers, and Emily Chu. Morris, who will play softball at St. John’s (NY) in college said it was especially important for Webb to play a playoff caliber team like Crean Lutheran to end the regular season. “Now we’re ready for what’s to come.” The seniors also acknowledged Emily Chu, who was competing in CIF-SS Swimming finals during the game and split time between swimming and softball this season. “She brings a lot of energy to the team,” said Luebbers.

Luebbers finished the season with a 1.05 ERA, a 12-2 pitching record, and 82 strikeouts. She was also one of five players with a batting average of at least .455 on the year. Morris led the team with a .550 batting average, but Chole Stewart ’20 was right behind Morris with a .547 BA. Stewart led the team in RBI’s (43) and home runs (10).
The Gauls will host either University Prep or Boron in the first round of the CIF-SS Division Six Tournament on Thursday at 3:15 PM.

Webb Swimming and Diving 
It was a historical week for Webb Swimming at the 2017 CIF-SS Prelims and Finals at the Riverside Aquatics Complex. During the Prelims on May 10th, the team of Emily Chu ’17, Mary Davis ’19, Rylie Brick '19, and Lindsay Jung ’19 set new school records in the 200-freestyle and 400-freestlye relays. They qualified for CIF-SS Finals in both events. The team also made noise in their individual events. Brick broke both of her school records in the 200-IM and 100-breaststroke, qualifying for finals in both. Jung broke a 12-year old Webb record in the 200-freestyle and nearly broke the record she set at this year’s Prep League finals in the 500-freestyle. Chu qualified for finals as an alternate in the 50-freestyle and 100-butterfly. On the boys’ side, Euson Hui ’18 notched a personal best time in the 100-breaststroke and swam on all three relay teams. While no boys qualified for finals, Coach Ken Rosenfeld notes that this was the youngest team Webb has sent to CIF-SS in 12 years, boding well for more records to fall in the coming years.

Three more such records fell when Webb competed in CIF-SS Finals on Thursday, May 11th. The VWS relay team once again broke the school record in the 200-freestlye relay with a time of 1:44.53 and finished second in the consolation finals in that event. As for Rylie Brick, she continued to turn heads by once again breaking her own school records in the 200-IM and 100-breaststroke by nearly one full second each. During the record-setting 200-freestlye relay, Coach Rosenfeld says Brick swam what he believes to be the fastest 50-freestyle split time in school history, 24.39 seconds. Her time in the 100-breaststroke was just off the cut for being able to qualify for the CIF State meet this weekend in Clovis. Still, Coach Rosenfeld has plenty of reason to be optimistic for the future with his underclassmen rewriting the Webb Swimming record book in 2017. The Gauls finish the season 4-2 and will graduate just two girls and four boys from the 2017 varsity squad.

Webb Badminton’s Albert Zhang ’18 made history by becoming the first Webb athlete to advance to the CIF-Individuals State Tournament. Zhang finished in fourth place in last Thursday’s CIF-SS Individuals tournament in El Monte. His finish in the boys’ singles bracket marks the first time that a Webb player has won a medal at the section championship.  Albert is now preparing for the CIF State tournament, set for May 20th at the San Gabriel Valley Badminton Club in El Monte.

Webb also had Claire Jiang ’17 and Jayden Chiu ’20 competing in the mixed doubles tournament. The team was eliminated in the second round of the consolation bracket. Webb finishes the season 6-5.

Track and Field 
Three members of Webb Track and Field will be moving on to this weekend’s CIF-SS Finals at Cerritos College. Jeffrey Ran ’18 qualified in the pole vault while Dylan Wensley ’17 qualified in the pole vault and long jump, and Kelli Henry ’18 advanced as an alternate for the long jump.  They emerged from a team of 10 Webb athletes who competed last Saturday at the CIF-SS prelims at Carpinteria High School. That group also included Brendan Shue ’18, Nick Martinez ’18, Chris Halliburton ’20, Nick Johnson ’19, Spencer Easley ’18, Kelli Henry ’18, Apollo Thomas ’17, and Edison Adler ’19. The Gauls had Brendan Shue ’18, Nick Martinez ’18, Chris Halliburton ’20, and Nick Johnson ’19 running the 4x100 meter relay. Spencer Easley ’18 ran the 110-meter and 300-meter hurdles, while Jeffrey Ran ’19 was in the 400-meter dash. Halliburton, Martinez, Easley, and Ran also teamed up for the 4x400-meter relay.

In the field events, Webb School of California also had Nick Johnson in the high jump, triple jump, and long jump, Apollo Thomas ’17 in the triple jump, Jeffrey Ran in the pole vault, and Edison Adler ’19 in the discus throw.

WSC finished the season second in the Prep League while VWS finished fifth. The team graduates just five senior and will be primed for a strong season in 2018.

WSC Tennis 
Webb School of California Varsity Tennis entered the CIF-SS Division Three playoffs hosting Arlington on May 10th. What would prove to be the team’s final match at home was the kind of dominating win the Gauls experienced repeatedly this season. A 16-2 victory propelled the Gauls into the second round. The Gauls would have to make a long trip up to Carpinteria to face the Cate School in the second round. Coach Ron Martinez says the Gauls lost three games in either 6-4 or tiebreaker sets that could have tied that could have tied the overall match up. Cate went on to win 12-6, ending Webb’s season with an 18-3 overall record. Tom Liu '18 will represent WSC in singles while Kia Nalbandi '18 and J.P. Calderoni '19 will play doubles at CIF Individuals set for May 25th at University of Redlands. The team graduates seven seniors from the 2017 squad.

Webb Golf 
Webb School of California Varsity Golf competed Monday Afternoon in the CIF-Southern Regional in Fountain Valley. The Gauls will had six golfers in the tournament, including Andy Zhou ’18, Webb’s top finisher at San Joaquin League Finals, along with seniors RJ Duque and Dillon Kim, and freshman Linh Nguyen and Kellen Willmore. The team finished in 18th place out of 20 teams in the field. Coach Andrew Neyer said the team played better than their showing at the San Joaquin League Finals. The Gauls also finished ahead of league foe Avalon, whom the team bested for this year’s league title. Webb finishes the season 15-2 and graduates five seniors from its 2017 team.  

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