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Coast To Coast

Coast To Coast

Pirate Sports Shorts
Thursday, December 17, 2009

By Tony Altobelli
OCC Sports Information Director
COSTA MESA -- As the holiday season quickly approaches, it's a good time to reflect on the first semester of Orange Coast College athletics. It's been a semester of success for individual athletes as well as the teams they played for in 2009, so here's a team-by-team breakdown of the fall semester.

players celebrate winWomen's Volleyball: In a season that pushed the limit of just about everyone involved with the program, the Orange Coast College women's volleyball team made it all worth while when it counted most, winning the 2009 California Community College Athletic Association State Women's Volleyball Championship. After earning a share of the Orange Empire Conference title, the Pirates (26-3) swept past Palomar and pulled out a five-game road victory over Moorpark to earn a berth into the CCCAA State Championships. The road wasn't easy as Coast dropped the opener to Sierra, forcing the Pirates into the loser's bracket. From there, OCC beat San Joaquin Delta in four, swept past Sacramento City, Sierra and Irvine Valley to reach the title match with Cypress. After defeating the Chargers in four games, Coast and Cypress played a one-game tiebreaker to 25, which the Pirates won, 25-16, giving them their sixth state title in the sport (1978, 1980, 1982, 2005, 2006, 2009). Two Pirate players All-Orange Empire Conference: Briana Fields, Nikki Osuna, Poerava Gantt, Kimya Jafroudi, Karlee Skalla, Amanda Cheseborough. All-State and All-American: Briana Fields.

cross country meetCross Country: With a tradition unlike any other program here at Coast, the men's and women's cross country programs continued to rank at or near the top in the state in 2009. On the women's side, the Pirates notched their 13th straight Orange Empire Conference title while the OCC men picked up their 13th overall conference crown and seventh in the past eight years. Both teams ended up in second place overall, both at the Southern California Meet and at the CCCAA State Meet, led by OEC champion Kimone Hewitt (pictured right) on the women's side and OEC runner-up Russell Westphal on the men's side. In addition to their conference success, the OCC men have won four Southern California titles (three since 2002) and four state titles (two over the past five seasons), while the OCC women have won 13 SoCal titles (four in the past seven years) and six state titles over the past eight seasons.

football actionFootball: Despite a 5-5 overall record, the Pirates had a memorable season, thanks in large part to the numbers put up by sophomore running back Ray Holley. Holley, a 5-foot-9, 190-pound sophomore from El Modena HS, broke school's single-season rushing record with 1,457 yards, breaking the previous mark, held by Jeff Clayton in 1993 (1,442). He set the record with a 266-yard, five-touchdown performance in the season finale against Long Beach City. As a team, the game of the year for OCC came in Week 3 against rival Golden West when the Pirates held on for a 24-21 win. It was the third straight win for the Pirates over the Rustlers and it marked the first time in the 42-year history of the "Victory Bell" rivalry that a team has kept the coveted trophy for three straight seasons. All-SCFA Southern Conference: Ray Holley, London Sapolu, Anthony Vidal, Justin Niutupuai, Jimmy Keating.

Men's Water Polo: The Pirates, ranked among the top-10 in the state all season long, advanced to the second round of the Southern California Regional Playoffs before falling to Long Beach City and finishing the season with a record of 20-10. Several players had remarkable seasons for Coast, including Casey Sullivan (66 goals, 24 assists, 38 steals), Adam Thomas (53 goals, 33 assists, 37 steals), Kyle Thorsness (53 goals, seven assists, 13 steals) and Antonio Dominguez (42 goals, 28 assists, 30 steals). Four of OCC's wins came against teams that finished with 20-or-more wins (Fullerton twice, Riverside twice). All-Orange Empire Conference: Casey Sullivan, Adam Thomas, Antonio Dominguez, Kyle Thorsness, Shardad Djahangiry.

Women's Water Polo: Much like the OCC men, the Pirate women also found success in the pool in 2009, finishing 20-10 overall before losing the Southern California Regional playoffs to Chaffey. Led by offensive standouts Brittany Daniels (42 goals), Alex Garcia (39 goals) and Elizabeth Dempsey (37 goals), the Pirates picked up six wins against teams with 20-or-more wins, including 23-10 Sierra, 21-7 San Diego Mesa, 27-8 Long Beach City, 21-12 Chaffey and 20-6 Golden West (twice). All-Orange Empire Conference: Mary-Jane Cooney, Elizabeth Dempsey.

Women's Soccer: After rough 2007 and 2008 seasons, the Pirates rebounded and turned in one of the best win-loss records in school history. Coast finished the season 14-6-1 after a first-round loss to OEC-rival Cypress. OCC's 14 wins were the most since 2002 when the Pirates finished 21-2-2. Freshman Kallie Ryker led the conference in goals (19) and scoring (46 points), while freshman teammate Taryn Bales led the OEC in assists with 14. Fellow Pirate Lara Tishler also posted a successful offensive campaign, notching nine goals and dishing out six assists for 24 points. All-Orange Empire Conference: Kallie Ryker, Taryn Bales, Kayla Albin, Lara Tishler, Chelsea Hilliard, Erica Munoz-Hardway.

Men's Soccer: The Orange Coast College men’s soccer team sprinted out of the gates to start the season and limped, hobbled and dragged themselves across the finish line at the end, but along the way, the Pirates gave themselves, their coaches and school moments to be proud of in 2009.
Following their 9-0 loss to Cerritos to end the nonconference portion of their schedule, the Pirates came together as a team and ripped off four consecutive conference wins – a 2-1 win over Santiago Canyon, a 4-2 victory over Cypress, a 3-2 win over Irvine Valley and a 1-0 victory over rival Golden West. However, the injury bug that bites every team, took a major chomp on the Pirates, leaving several starters on the bench down the stretch as OCC finished the season 8-10-3 overall, 5-6-3 in the always-tough Orange Empire Conference. All-Orange Empire Conference: Shun Katashima, Jordan Gorman, Antonio Gonzalez, Eddie Guillen.

Women’s Basketball to host Coast Christmas Classic: The Orange Coast College women’s basketball will play host to seven other teams in their annual Coast Christmas Classic, which kicks off on Friday at 1 p.m. at the Peterson Gym.

Here is the schedule for Day 1 of the tournament …

1 p.m. – Cerritos (7-6) vs. Southwestern (5-2)
3 p.m. – Cuesta (3-7) vs. Saddleback (7-5)
5 p.m. – Canyons (4-4) vs. Chaffey (6-6)
7 p.m. – El Camino (3-6) vs. Orange Coast (8-3)

Day 2 of the event will once again have games at 1-3-5-7 p.m. on Saturday at the Peterson Gym. Sunday’s schedule will be the consolation championship at 11 a.m., the third-place game at 1 p.m. and the tourney title game at 3 p.m. Last year, Cerritos took home the tourney title by defeating Chaffey in the title game, while OCC beat Canyons in the third-place game.