Latest sports

Villanova Prep basketball balling early on in 2018-19 season

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Ojai Valley News photo by Holly Roberts
Villanova Prep senior Madison Fabbian (left) goes up for a lay-in against Channel Islands in the opening round of the Nordhoff High School Tournament.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
The Villanova Preparatory School girls’ basketball team is off to a 4-1 start and head coach Dan Mercer likes what he sees from his squad. “We set up our schedule with the hope of getting some early victories and confidence and it has worked. The girls are playing well and gelling as a team,” he said.
VPS opened its season with blowout wins over Dunn (55-16), Carpinteria (63-21) and de Toledo (71-20). They then defeated Santa Clarita Christian, 54-40. In the first round of the Nordhoff High School Tournament, VPS faced Channel Islands and suffered its first loss of the season, 55-32.
“As I expected, we’re being led by our senior co-captains Madison Fabbian and Sunny Zhou. Early in the season our strength offensively seems to be our balance, something that resulted when we saw a box-in-one defense employed by Santa Clarita Christian,” said Mercer.
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Buena victorious at Nordhoff Tournament

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Ojai Valley News photo by Holly Roberts
Nordhoff junior Korey Stevens drives the lane against Sanger High School in the 76th Annual Nordhoff Varsity Tournament.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
The Buena Bulldogs powered past a tough field at the 76th Annual Nordhoff Varsity Basketball Tournament to win the coveted title. Buena had to defeat Sanger High School in the finals to claim first place. 
The host Rangers had a rough time against some much bigger schools, but head coach Scott Hannah and crew knew the tournament would be a growth opportunity going in. Nordhoff opened the tournament against Pacifica and lost a heartbreaker in overtime 73-66. NHS took a 6 point lead into the half but then Pacfica fought their way back and pulled away late in the overtime for the victory.
In game two, NHS lost to a talented Sanger team 79-49 and then followed that with a 72-52 loss to the Santa Clara Saints. So far this season, the Rangers are 0-6 and will be looking for their first win of the season when they take part in the Thacher Tournament. 

VPS athletes earn postseason honors

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Ojai Valley News photo by Holly Roberts
Kyla Lenehan (No. 44), shown here in the CIF Southern Section playoffs, was recently named to the All-Frontier League first team. 
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
This fall the Villanova Preparatory School had a number of student-athletes earn post season honors for their stellar performances. In girls’ volleyball, senior Kyla Lenehan and sophomore Grace Wells both earned All-Frontier League first team honors. Teammates Eliana Denham and Elsa Tam both made the second team. 
The VPS squad finished its season 14-7 overall, and made it to the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Division 8 tournament. From there, the Lady Wildcats were invited to take part in the CIF State Volleyball Championship Tournament. 
In boys’ water polo action, senior Bryant Hawks was named to the Frontier League’s first team list and senior Baylor Stotko earned a spot on the All-Frontier League second team. 
On the tennis courts, the doubles team of senior Grace Moses and Alzen Dekakibo claimed the Frontier League’s top prize for doubles as they were named the league’s Most Valuable Players. Villanova’s other top doubles team of Analiese Terrazas and Susy Munoz earned first team all-league honors. 

Ninth annual Holiday Tennis Challenge on tap

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Ojai Valley News photo by Holly Roberts
The 2017 Holiday Tennis Challenge winners show off their hardware. From left to right are: Craig Fugle, Dave Jones, Jakob Vos, Mikel Elizalde, Fabio Lauretta and Jeff Jenkins.
The 9th annual Ojai Holiday Adult/Child Tennis Tournament fundraiser will take place at the Libbey Park tennis courts on Dec. 29-30.
Tournament Co-Directors, Craig Fugle and Jakob Vos, along with Ojai Recreation Department Tennis Professional Scott Burton, will pair adult and junior players to compete in eight-game No-Add pro sets of doubles to raise funds for the Ojai Valley Tennis Club Youth Tennis Programs. Players register in either the "In to Win" division for more competitive tennis or the "In for Fun" division for recreational play. 
Toppers Pizza will once again donate a delicious pizza and salad lunch, while the OVTC offers prizes such as t-shirts and tennis gear to participants Everyone enjoys an exciting weekend of good family fun.
All proceeds directly benefit the Ojai Valley Junior Tennis programs.
To register, please contact the Youth Tennis Hotline 805-646-0052 or email Craig Fugle at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Nordhoff girls' basketball team starts 2018-19 season 1-3

Nordhoff High School's girls' varsity basketball team earned its first victory of the young season Dec. 1 at the Bird Cage Classic Tournament at Bishop Diego in Santa Barbara, defeating Coastal Christian 58-32.
After dropping its first three games in the tournament, head coach Ted Cotti's squad turned up its defensive pressure to get into the win column.
The Rangers jumped out to an 18-4 first quarter lead behind early steals on the press. They led 29-12 at half, but Coastal cut that to 10 early in the fourth quarter before NHS regrouped to pull away.
Sophomore Cameron Jones led all scorers in the win with 14 points. Haleigh Loomis had a career high 11. Stella Moore had 5 to go with her 5 assists and 5 steals.
Senior co-captain Courtney Abraham was named to the all-tournament team after averaging 6.5 points, 9.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 3.0 steals per game for the weekend.
Nordhoff is hosting the 42nd annual varsity tournament this weekend with 12 teams coming to the Ojai Valley to compete in the event.
The Lady Rangers played Dec. 6 against Dos Pueblos and will take on Thacher at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7. On Dec. 8 they will host Villanova Preparatory School at 10 a.m. 

Nordhoff High boys' hoopers drop home opener to Channel Islands

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown
Nordhoff’s Kaden Gard works his way down the court despite pressure from Channel Islands defender Malik Patton. Gard scored a team-high 22 points in the game.
Ted Cotti, Ojai Valley News correspondent
Nordhoff High School’s boys’ basketball team played its first home game of the 2018-19 season Nov. 20, falling 69-54 to Channel Islands.
New head coach Scott Hannah’s Rangers jumped out to a 12-5 first quarter lead but struggled through the next period as the Raiders ramped up the pressure using a 2-2-1 full-court press, forcing a dozen turnovers during a 33-11 run.
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Kaiser performs well at NAIA Nationals

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Photo submitted
Ojai Valley native Andy Kaiser enjoyed a successful fall, along with the Benedictine College cross-country team. Kaiser and his teammates won the Heart of America Athletic Conference title in Atchison, Kansas, which earned the team a berth to the NAIA National Championships that were held in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Nov. 16.
According to Benedictine College head coach Henry Brun, every runner on the team turned in a lifetime best in what was their biggest meet of the season. Kaiser covered the 8,000-meter course in 26:45, averaging 5:18 per mile along the way.
Kaiser’s best work has been done in the classroom at Benedictine. Prior to the National Championships, he was named to the 2018 Daktronics NAIA Scholar Athlete team. In order to earn that honor, student athletes must hold a minimum grade point average of 3.5. Kaiser is a senior and is majoring in marketing and international business.

Soule Park Golf Course Pounders edge Ojai Valley Inn to win Ojai Cup

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Team Soule Park celebrates after keeping Ojai Cup for another year.
Ted Cotti, Ojai Valley News correspondent
In the closest finish yet in the event’s five-year history, the Soule Park Golf Course Pounders golf club defeated the Ojai Valley Inn men’s club by 1 point to win the coveted Ojai Cup for a fifth consecutive year.
“It was clear from looking at the rosters that this would likely be a much closer match than in the previous four years where the Soule Park Pounders won with comfortable margins,” said Soule Park co-captain Alan Kirby, who, along with co-captain Jim Berube, could not play because of an injury. “I witnessed a great deal of camaraderie on the course and heard from several guys on both sides how much they enjoyed the contest and the two courses.”
The two groups played the Ryder Cup-style competition over two days last week. The first day foreshadowed the parity as the two teams split the eight, four-ball matches at Soule Park.
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Lady Rangers prepare for season against Nordhoff alumni

After making playoffs for the first time in four years and winning its first round game, Nordhoff High School’s girls’ basketball team is excited about the 2018-19 season.
The squad had its first competitive foray Nov. 20, defeating an alumni team 43-34.
Seniors Stella Moore and Courtney Abraham led the way for the young Rangers with 12 and 8 points, respectively. Sophomore transfer Cameron Jones added 7 and 6 assists. Juniors Haleigh Loomis and Ana Gutierrez each had four as did sophomore Miranda Inman. Angela Zirpolo added 2 as every Ranger in uniform scored.
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Lady Rangers wrestle into 2018-19 season

Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
Nordhoff High School has become a hotbed for girls’ wrestling in recent years. This season, NHS got its 2018-19 season underway with a Nov. 17 tournament at the James Monroe High School Rumble Invitational.
“Both girls we took to compete are rookies. Freshman Naomi Rogers (121 pounds) and senior Isabel Guzman (143 pounds) wrestled well for their first time out on the mat,” said NHS coach Robert Hastie.
According to Hastie, Rogers quickly learned in her first match that her stance needed to be better because she found herself fighting off her back from a take down early in the first period. She escaped but was taken down again and pinned at the end of the first period.
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Nordhoff soccer crew thumps Villanova Prep

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Ojai Valley News photo by Holly Roberts 
The Nordhoff High School (NHS) boys’ soccer team hosted crosstown rival Villanova Preparatory School (VPS) Nov. 13 in a nonleague contest. The Rangers got out to a 3-0 lead in the first half and then went on to win the match 5-0 for their first victory of the year. Nordhoff then followed that up with another 5-0 victory against Heritage Christian. NHS will play again Nov. 28 when they host Foothill Tech at 5:30 p.m. while Villanova Prep will return to the pitch Nov. 26, that match will also be against Foothill Tech. 

76th Annual Nordhoff Varsity Tournament tips Nov. 28

Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
Nordhoff High School is home to the oldest varsity boys’ basketball tournament in Ventura County. The 76th Annual Nordhoff Varsity Tournament will get underway Nov. 28 and will conclude Dec. 1 with the championship game tipping off at 5:30 p.m.
This year’s field will include Buena, Rio Mesa, Grace Brethren, and Cabrillo in Pool A. Pool B will be comprised of Nordhoff, Sanger, Pacifica and Santa Clara. Fans hoping to see the new look Rangers under first year head coach Scott Hannah can catch them in action Nov. 28 when they take on Pacifica at 7:30 p.m. in their first game of the tournament.
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Casitas rowers grab gold in San Diego

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The Casitas Rowing team had an excellent showing at the San Diego Fall Classic Regatta Nov. 11. Among the results was a gold medal for the second year in a row for the freshmen girls 8. Any student-athletes interested in joining the team are invited to come check out the free open house events in January for boys and girls grades 6-12. For more information, visit casitasrowing.org. 

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