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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Inaugural women’s water polo team wins conference title

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The women’s water polo team has accomplished what no other City College team has ever done.

The first year program headed by UCSB alum Chuckie Roth claimed the Western State Conference title Thursday, Nov. 8, in its inaugural season.

Getting a regional bid was an accomplishment in its own. Seeded 10th going into Southern California Regionals, the Vaqueros upset 7th seeded Long Beach City College 9-5 Thursday evening.

“It was a true testament to our improvement this season,” said Roth in an interview with Dave Loveton, sports information officer for City College.

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Starting out 0-5, Roth and his team found themselves hardly keeping their head above water. But once the conference games started, the team saw a big switch in momentum. The team quickly regrouped and put its school’s name on the map.

The win was fueled by solid defense holding Long Beach to only three goals in the first three quarters of play. The conference leader in goals with 96, Rocio Fesembeck added six more for City College in its rout of the Vikings.

“It’s a lot to take on for a first year team,” said Fesembeck. “Since we are the first girls out here, I feel like the school has a high expectation of us. And for us to fulfill that is the most amazing feeling ever.”

After contacting over 150 recruits, Roth said that he has a team of 11 girls who fit the criteria to be successful individually and as a team.

“I’m so proud of these girls,” he said. “This would have been the farthest thing from my mind at the beginning of the season. As the season progressed, we realized we were improving and this might be possible.”

But Roth couldn’t do it alone.

“I would like to give a lot of credit to our assistant coach Sierra Peltcher, who is an amazing person, coach and role model,” he said.

Only the fourth athletic team in conference history (second water polo team) to win conference in its first season, City College has proved that heart beats history.

“We have grown up so much as people, players and as a team. Winning the WSC (is) just icing on the cake,” Roth said.

City College was out of compliance with Title IX in previous years and was forced to add another women’s sport. And now the trophy case will be forced to welcome a WSC conference title trophy.

But the Vaqueros don’t play for that.

“We play for each other,” said Fesembeck. “Each one of us has high expectations of each other, and that we can fulfill those expectations is a really good accomplishment for the team.”

Fesembeck acknowledges what the group has done and what it means for the future of the program. When asked what she’s most excited about, she is precise.

“Setting the bar high for next year. But for right now I just kind of want to live the moment and enjoy this win,” she said.

City College takes on No. 2 Riverside City College (24-4) in a quarterfinal game at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 14, at Citrus College.

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