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Beach Volleyball

Vaqueros Start Season 2-0 with Wins over Fresno, Sierra

Ashley Rossi with Olivia Medina (Ken Sciallo/Sevilla Photography)
Ashley Rossi with Olivia Medina (Ken Sciallo/Sevilla Photography)

By Jimmy Friery

SANTA BARBARA, CA – The Santa Barbara City College Women's Beach Volleyball team began their season Friday at East Beach, finishing with a 2-0 start after wins over visiting Fresno and Sierra.

"Today was a great start to the beginning of our 2024 season," head coach Ariana Garner said. "We have a lot of new players and partnerships and it was great to see everyone compete today."

Olivia Medina—last year's WSC Pairs champion with graduate Emma Crabbe—was naturally in the 1s spot with a new partner, Ashley Rossi. The duo worked great together, evidenced by their 21-9, 21-12 victory over Fresno. Equally as dominate in match two against Sierra, they won 21-6, 21-14.

"Our 1s pair Olivia and Ashley played really well for their first matches as a pair. They looked sharp offensively and communicated great," Garner said.

Charlotte Wilson and Santa Barbara High graduate Carolina Koceman earned two crucial wins as the 3s pair, giving the Vaqueros a 2-1 lead after beating Fresno 21-17, 21-13, and sealing the team's victory with a gritty 21-17, 20-22, 15-10 score over Sierra.

"Our 3s pair—two new players to the program—Charlotte and Carolina earned our team two big wins," Garner added. "Their serving was lights out."

2s pair Alexis Zevenbergen and Gabby Russell lost to Fresno in 2 but beat Sierra handedly, 21-14 in both sets.

In the 4s, Vanessa Cabeza and Nevaeh Tillet lost two hard fought matches, forcing Fresno and Sierra to play 3 sets.

5s pair Celia Espinoza and Carly Hanna sealed the Vaqueros' 3-2 victory over Fresno, 21-14, 21-15. Against Sierra, they won a close 3-setter, 21-19, 15-21, 15-13, to round out a 4-1 team win.

"We look forward to continuing to develop our skills over the next week before we head to Long Beach for two tough matches against Long Beach and Orange Coast College," Garner concluded.

Like Garner said, the Vaqueros are next at Long Beach, playing Long Beach and Orange Coast back-to-back next Friday beginning at 11:00 AM. The Vaqueros will be back at home the following Friday, the 16th, against Westcliff and Riverside.

Match 1 vs. Fresno (3-2 W):

1s: Olivia Medina/Ashley Rossi (SBCC) def. Constable/Lake (FCC), 21-9, 21-12
2s: Edwardson/Van Gronigen (FCC) def. Alexis Zevenbergen/Gabby Russell (SBCC), 21-10, 21-18
3s: Carolina Koceman/Charlotte Wilson (SBCC) def. Doyle/Mendrin (FCC), 21-17, 21-13
4s: Cuttone/Nicolet (FCC) def. Vanessa Cabeza/Nevaeh Tillet (SBCC), 10-21, 21-16, 15-6
5s: Celia Espinoza/Carly Hanna (SBCC) def. Allen/Bryant (FCC), 21-14, 21-15

Match 2 vs. Sierra (4-1 W):

1s: Olivia Medina/Ashley Rossi (SBCC) def. Skinner/Adebodun (Sierra), 21-6, 21-14
2s: Alexis Zevenbergen/Gabby Russell (SBCC) def. Shilling/Rodriguez (Sierra), 21-14, 21-14
3s: Carolina Koceman/Charlotte Wilson (SBCC) def. Boccia/Guerrera (Sierra), 21-17, 20-22, 15-10
4s: Deter/Stolz (Sierra) def. Vanessa Cabeza/Nevaeh Tillet (SBCC), 21-9, 16-21, 15-10
5s: Celia Espinoza/Carly Hanna (SBCC) def. Fowler/Binda (Sierra), 21-19, 15-21, 15-13