Playoff losses for Softball, WSC Tennis bring the year to a close

Frank Dariano
Softball: Vivian Webb Varsity softball joined VWS Soccer and VWS Water Polo in becoming the only two Webb teams in the 2016-17 school year to make it to the quarterfinal round of the CIF-SS playoffs. On May 23rd, the Gauls traveled to Carpinteria for a second-round matchup in the Division Six tournament. They were the third Webb team to play in Carpinteria during the current postseason (joining Track and Field and WSC Tennis). Webb’s Elyse Morris ’17 provided the early spark, driving in two runs in the second inning and two more in the third. She finished with five RBI’s on the day and VWS led the game 5-0 headed into the bottom of the third. But the Warriors started chipping away at the deficit, scoring once in the bottom of the third and twice more in the fourth. However, Chandler Luebbers ’17 caught a line drive with one out and flipped to third base to end the inning with a double play. The Gauls put the game on ice with four more runs in the top of the seventh, winning the game 9-3. Luebbers, who had two RBI’s, pitched a complete game five-hitter with three strikeouts.

On May 25th, Vivian Webb faced top seed Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) in the Quarterfinals, the same team that knocked Webb out of the CIF playoffs in 2015. Having already advanced further in CIF than any Webb Softball team in at least 15 years, the Gauls would not give up without a fight. The game was scoreless through three innings, with Webb’s infield defense matching the pitching prowess of Sierra Canyon’s Caitlyn Rivera (11 strikeouts). But a two-out RBI double by Emily “Mei Mei” Chu ’17 sent Luebbers home for the 1-0 lead in the fourth. Sierra Canyon would answer back with five runs in the fifth inning, and another in the sixth. But Webb would mount one last rally starting with an RBI single from Emily Arias ’20. Then with two outs and the bases loaded, Morris drilled a pitch to deep right-centerfield. She was tagged out sliding into third, but not before two runs made it safely home, and the Gauls entered the final inning trailing 6-4. Sierra Canyon would scrape together an insurance run in the seventh. Webb was unable to answer the score, and fell 7-4, ending their season. “Each year, freshman through junior year, we made it to first round or second round [of CIF] and I always thought we should have beat those teams and we came up short,” said Morris, “I was so proud of us [for winning against Carpinteria] and I’m still proud of us now even though we came up short.” Morris finished the season with a team-high .551 batting average and will play softball for Division I St. John’s University (NY). “Playoffs are the best part of the season…you have to play with your whole heart every single game,” said Chu, who was Webb’s only 13-season athlete from the class of 2017. She went 3-3 with an RBI against Sierra Canyon, and plans to swim for Middlebury College (VT) in college. Luebbers, who will play water polo at Occidental College, finished the season with a 16-3 pitching record and a 1.45 ERA. She also hit .467 with 19 RBI’s. Vivian Webb ends the season 18-5 with its third straight San Joaquin League Championship.

WSC Tennis
: Tom Liu ’18, Kia Nalbandi ’18, and J.P. Calderoni ’19 became the final three athletes to represent Webb School of California in the 2016-17 school year when the traveled to the University of Redlands on May 25th for the CIF-SS Individuals tournament. It was a tough day against “next level competition” as head coach Ron Martinez put it. Liu lost in the first round of singles’ play to an opponent from Rim of The World High (Lake Arrowhead), while Nalbandi and Calderoni scored a first round win. Shortly after Liu finished his match, the doubles pair was eliminated following a tough match with a duo from Etiwanda (Rancho Cucamonga). Webb finished the season 18-3 as co-champions of the Ambassador League.   

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