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The Californian

Women’s lacrosse ready for NCS run

Girls seeded 2nd after winning EBAL title

Senior+captain+Ashley+Ward%2C+right%2C+gears+up+for+a+shot+in+Cal%E2%80%99s+monumental+win+over+powerhouse+Mater+Dei+on+April+20.
Senior captain Ashley Ward, right, gears up for a shot in Cal’s monumental win over powerhouse Mater Dei on April 20.

Senior captain Ashley Ward, right, gears up for a shot in Cal’s monumental win over powerhouse Mater Dei on April 20.

Photo by Marley Fernandes

Photo by Marley Fernandes

Senior captain Ashley Ward, right, gears up for a shot in Cal’s monumental win over powerhouse Mater Dei on April 20.

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As the NCS playoffs begin this week, the women’s lacrosse team has its sights set on winning the section title after being crowned EBAL champion for the second year in a row.

With an overall record of 15-3, 8-1 in the EBAL, Cal earned the No. 2 seed and hosted No. 15 St. Francis on Wednesday in the opening round. Results were not available before The Californian went to press.

If Cal won as expected, the Grizzlies will face the winner of Dougherty/Redwood in the quarterfinals.

Cal wrapped up the EBAL title last Friday with a 15-8 win over Carondelet.

Cal faced its toughest competition of the season on April 20 when the Grizzlies upset  Mater Dei from Santa Ana, which was ranked fourth in the state entering the game.

The then-sixth ranked Grizzlies won 16-12 behind junior caption Isabella McHugh’s six goals. 

“It was so fun beating Mater Dei,” says junior Sayler Bagnall. “I think it brought our team closer.”

Unfortunately, Cal lost 9-8 to Monte Vista the very next day in what several players described as an unexpected and disappointing loss. The Grizzlies hope to see Monte Vista again to get their revenge in the postseason. 

“The competition is not going to be easy in any round and our team is preparing to play every team as if they’re the toughest competition out there,” says McHugh. 

Senior Ashley Ward leads the team with 40 goals and 35 assists. Sophomore Sydney Furman leads the team in most shutouts as goalkeeper with two. 

This isn’t the first time Cal has seen such success with women’s lacrosse. Last year, the team was undefeated in league before being upset by Granite Bay in the quarterfinals.

“Last year we had an outstanding roster all around and that explains our one and only loss during NCS,” said McHugh. 

With the loss of nine seniors last year, the team has relied on younger players to fill the positions and recreate the same winning environment in order to build an even better and stronger team. Some younger players who have contributed include freshmen Rachel Leonardi and Antonia McHugh, and sophomore Lindsay Lee. 

“Our defense is mostly new,” said senior captain Marissa Leonardi. “We had to put players in positions they don’t typically play in and accommodate for that.”

Men’s Lacrosse

The men’s lacrosse team has enjoyed one of the better seasons in program history, finishing the regular season 12-8 overall, 4-5 in the EBAL.

The Grizzlies reached double digits in wins for just the third time since 2008 and earned the No. 14 seed in NCS. Cal faced No. 3 Monte Vista on Wednesday. Results were not available before The Californian went to press.

“It’s been really great to be part of one of the best men’s varsity lacrosse teams the school has seen,” said senior Patrick Michie. “I feel like we really came together as a team this year. All of the boys put in a lot of great effort.”

The Grizzlies have been an offensive juggernaut all year long, as only five contests have seen the team score fewer than 10 goals. In addition, the team boasts a goal differential of +29, and it has scored 15 goals or more in nine games this season.

Cal started the season on a hot streak by winning seven of its first nine games. This early stretch run was something that really helped the team gain a tremendous amount of confidence in their abilities, especially after a couple rough campaigns the previous two seasons.

“Early in the season, the College Park game was a big win for us and a great way to get some confidence under our belts after they beat us pretty bad last season,” said Michie. “It was something good early in the season to get the ball rolling.”

The Grizzlies will look to make a deep run in the NCS playoffs and finish off this memorable season on a high note. 

Despite the fact that a total of 19 players will be lost to graduation, the team is set up for future success with some exciting, young underclassmen ready to take the next step in their development. This year’s JV team had an outstanding season, winning 12 games.

“I’m really excited to see what the future holds for this program,” said Michie. “I’m really proud of what we’ve done.”

– Brendan Ogburn

Swim and Dive

Both Grizzly swim and dive teams are wrapping up a long and successful season.

Over the course of the past three months, members from all teams have been participating in various meets and invitationals.

EBALs for both swim and dive began on May 5 and the girls finished second in league, while the boys finished ninth.

Sophomore Daniella Hawkins placed third in the 200 freestyle and second in the 500 free. Freshman Amber Gardner took second in the 500 free while freshman Caitlyn Tan placed second in the100 butterfly. 

The women’s 400 free relay team also placed second. 

Those athletes who performed well in EBALs move on to NCS this week with the hopes of earning a spot in the CIF state championship at the end of the month.

Senior swimmer Laura Lampron feels good about the next few weeks ahead. 

“We have a really good shot at our relay team,” Lampron said. “We went to state last year and hopefully we’ll be back again. There’s probably going to be a lot of us there.”

Coach Thomas Pearson leads the Grizzly swim team and is well-liked by his swimmers.

“He’s pretty laid back when he needs to be, pretty nice for high school swim,” said senior Taylor Hammill. “When he needs to be strict he is strict. He’s really encouraging, he has a good spirit, brings a lot of positivity to the team.”

Under the direction of new dive coach Eric Holzheimer this year, the team is smaller but still has high hopes for the rest of the season.

“I think everyone is putting in a lot of effort, so that’s good to see,” senior Lauren Ginney said. 

–-

Track and Field

The track and field team is ready to bring home more gold medals as they sprint toward the finish line of the season.

The team has continued to carry on its high ranked status in the NCS, placing first at the West Coast Relay earlier this spring.

“I’m very proud of our team this season,” said head coach Mark Karbo. “We have so many talented athletes this year.” 

Students enjoy their experience on the team and are ecstatic about their end results. 

“This was my first year joining track and I had so much fun!” Said junior Paloma Maoriano. “My experience was so much better since we did so well.”

The Grizzlies hosted  Monte Vista on April 13 and the scores were remarkable as the varsity men’s team won 71-65. The varsity women’s team won 94-42, a stunning 52 point difference.

Junior Alyssa Brewer, who was named MaxPreps High School Athlete of the Month for April, and Bobby Poynter both won two events. 

The team also has maintained its winning streak at the Northern California Frosh/Soph Championships held on April  22 at Dublin High. Cal’s most recent competition was its intersquad meet on April 27, when athletes compete against each other to beat school records.

The Grizzlies continue to preserve their title as an exceptional group of athletes and a perennial leader at the top of the EBAL.

–- Iris Kang

Baseball

The baseball team has endured a season of ups and downs, with many bright spots but far too many frustrating moments. 

The squad boasts a record of 10-12, 5-6  in league, and can make NCS by winning the final two games or the end-of-season EBAL tournament next week.

The Grizzlies have a +1 run differential on the year, but they have ran into a surprising amount of bad luck, losing a total of six games by just one run. 

Cal has benefited from superb pitching throughout the season, as the team’s seniors lead a staff that boasts a 2.05 earned run average. 

The rotation is anchored by two senior aces, Zach Chalmers and Clark Eder. Chalmers, who is in his fourth season on varsity.

Eder has been a workhorse all year long, leading the team in innings pitched and strikeouts. He has an ungodly ERA of 0.67 in over 40 innings, to go along with three complete games.

The Grizzlies have undoubtedly struggled to find consistency at the plate, as they’re averaging three runs per game with a team batting average of .235. Despite a solid on base percentage of .344, Cal has had a very difficult time hitting with runners in scoring position.

The absence of timely hitting has haunted the Grizzlies all year long, and proved to be the difference between win and loss on many occasions. 

Infielder Cody Nisbet has been locked in at the dish all season, with a team-high 14 hits and seven RBI. The team has depended on him to get on base and jump-start the offense.

– Brendan Ogburn

Men’s Golf

The men’s golf team really hit its stride as this season wore on this year, recently qualifying for the NCS Championships on May 15 at Chardonnay Golf Course in Napa.

Although head coach Michael Pottinger said the team had a little bit of difficulty adjusting to the additional matches and crowded schedule with Dublin and Dougherty entering the league, they managed to stay in the middle of the 10-school pack. Cal went 6-12 in league.

 The team finished in ninth place at EBAL on May 1, shooting 443 at Stonebrae in Hayward to place eighth in league. Sophomore JP Guimares lead the team with a 9-over 81.

“I think we’ve pulled out some great wins at our home course and away,” said Pottinger. “Overall, we’ve done a great job of defending our home course, Bridges.” 

After losing to Dougherty Valley at Blackhawk in the first round by more than 20 strokes, the team was able to protect their notoriously difficult home course in the second round, winning by 10 strokes. 

“We are performing a lot better than I thought,” said junior Nick Ryu. “We’ve been able to pull out wins when it mattered and when there’s a chance to win we start playing very consistently.” 

Cal also beat Granada at Bridges by just three strokes.

“We won two must-win matches against Granada and Dougherty Valley and everyone on the team went nuts,” Guimares said. “It felt so good.” 

The Gambetta Invitational at Lone Tree in Antioch stood out as a highlight. The team placed third and senior Josh Candeub made a hole in one.

“Overall, I feel like it’s been a solid season,” said Guimares. “I know we could definitely have done better, but there is not a better group of guys to have on the team.”

– Julia Tjan

Softball

The team has had a bit of a tough season, but it can still make NCS by beating San Ramon Valley and Carondelet this week.

Cal (9-13 overall, 4-7 EBAL)  has many studs on the team, but one who stands out is junior Hailey Meyer. In addition making many great plays in left field, Meyer really lit it up in the batters box with a slugging percentage of .766, third in EBAL, and an on-base percentage of .541, fourth in league. 

Sophomore outfielder Sydney Frankenberger is hitting .500 with a team-high 18 hits.

Although they had a shaky start, the Grizzlies did enjoy a five-game win streak toward the end of the season, giving them a shot at NCS. 

– Sidney Dutcher 

Men’s Volleyball

The men’s volleyball team has endured a difficult season, with a record of 6-18, but head coach Austin Morsey says his squad is looking forward to ending the season on a positive note.

Morsey discussed how the team struggled playing with confidence early on in the season before improving.

“It’s been great to see how all the players have been able to come together,” Morsey said. “It’s amazing to see how everyone has displayed their own unique talents here and there on the court.”

Morsey said his goal as a coach is to see all of the players put in their full effort and then go from there. 

“Confidence is so important,” Morsey said. “I always say it’s a mental game more than it is a physical one.”

Co-captains Andrew Olague and Robbie Portoni said the team still managed to pull some exciting wins along the way. 

“Highlights that stand out to me were when we got our first win against Granada and our revenge on Dougherty,” said Olague.

– Julia Tjan

Men’s Tennis

The men’s tennis team wrapped up its season after several players missed out on an opportunity to advance to NCS as individuals. Cal finished 2-7 in league with wins over Amador Valley and Dublin.

“The chemistry between us is a lot better this year since we have all been playing together for a few years now,” says senior Michael Peera. 

With recent changes in players and the way the league is now set up, Cal has had a hard time adjusting this season. 

“We definitely regressed since last year,” said senior Eeshan Sharma. 

This is the first time in six years that Cal hasn’t qualified for NCS. Dougherty Valley and Dublin joined the league just this year, and Dougherty has won NCS the past two years. 

“With the new schools entering our league and worse schools leaving or playing us less often, the level of competition has gone up,” says senior Anthony Zorovic. 

Senior Roger Wen and junior Alvin Xu were among the top competitors representing Cal individually in the EBAL finals. Wen and Xu won the EBAL doubles tournament against Dougherty Valley in the finals. Junior Tarun Rajan lost in the second round of singles and sophomore Andrew Chiu made it to round three. 

For some, the record and opportunity to play a postseason isn’t all they care about. 

“I don’t focus my attention too much to our record because I don’t believe it determines our team’s success,” says senior Kevin Fang. 

– Kallie Sedrel

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Women’s lacrosse ready for NCS run