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West Ranch Year in Review: On the upswing

Posted: July 1, 2010 8:47 p.m.
Updated: July 2, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Outside hitter Allison Summers led West Ranch to a second-place finish in the Foothill League and the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division I-A playoffs.

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In just a short time, West Ranch has become competitive in nearly every sport.

Girls volleyball and girls tennis both took strides in beating Valencia for the first time in their programs’ histories. The girls tennis team even won a share of the league title.

The girls cross country team advanced to the first state meet in program history, while the track and field program sent its first athlete to the state meet.

The football team also reached a competitive level, earning its first league victory against a team other than Golden Valley.

Now that the Wildcats are moving in the right direction in football, there are very few sports in which they haven’t experienced at least mild success.

West Ranch’s boys swim team handed Hart its first league dual meet loss since 1996, and the tennis and league-champion boys golf teams have endured the building years and are now primed for more success.

Top performers such as Riley Mita, J.J. Holen, Jennifer Owen and Kylie Sorenson are set to return next year, and it seems as though the past year demonstrated just how good a program West Ranch is becoming.


Sept. 4
West Ranch fullback Trevin Manuel’s late touchdown run gives West Ranch a fourth-quarter lead, yet a late field goal gives Hueneme the 10-8 victory over the Wildcats in the season opener. The Wildcats’ offense struggles, with quarterback Connor Eichten throwing for 73 yards and an interception.

Sept. 11
West Ranch football blows a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter against Lancaster but forces overtime by blocking an extra point at the end of regulation. Connor Eichten throws three touchdowns on the night, including a 26-yard score to Matt Szymanski in overtime to win the game 34-27.

Sept. 17
The Wildcats win their second football game in a row, beating Eastside 23-14. The Wildcats’ running game overpowers Eastside, with Zak Snell and Trevin Manuel combining for 239 yards on 49 carries.

Sept. 24
West Ranch girls tennis opens up Foothill League play with a 10-8 victory over Hart. Wildcats Gabby Morici and Salene Scamardo pick up the two key sets of the match, pulling off consecutive victories with the teams deadlocked 8-8.

Sept. 25
West Ranch football rides the momentum of a 97-yard opening drive to defeat Beverly Hills 33-17 for its third straight victory. West Ranch’s running duo of Trevin Manuel and Zak Snell scores twice, with Connor Eichten throwing for two touchdowns of his own.

Sept. 30
West Ranch girls cross country finishes second at the first Foothill League meet of the season. Jennifer Owen takes the top individual spot in the race, becoming the first non-Saugus runner to win a girls league race since the 2004 league finals.

Oct. 6
West Ranch girls volleyball begins the Foothill League season by defeating Valencia 3-1, the first win over the Vikings in program history. Allison Summers leads the Wildcats with 21 kills as they become the first team to defeat Valencia in a league match since 2006.

Oct. 9
West Ranch football struggles against a stingy Los Osos defense, falling 47-7 in its final pre-league game. The lone score of the game for West Ranch comes on a Connor Eichten touchdown pass with 35 seconds left in regulation.

Oct. 15
West Ranch girls tennis ends the first half of the Foothill League season with a 13-5 win over Hart. The Wildcats once again assert themselves in doubles, capturing eight of nine sets.

Oct. 16
Three defensive touchdowns and a solid running game lead West Ranch football over Golden Valley in the Foothill League opener 49-7. Zak Snell scores two rushing touchdowns in the first half to secure an insurmountable 35-7 lead.

Oct. 20
West Ranch girls volleyball overcomes a 2-0 deficit but falls 3-2 to Hart. The loss is the first in league for the Wildcats, creating a three-way tie atop the Foothill League standings.

Oct. 22
West Ranch girls tennis rides a late surge to end Valencia’s 56-match league winning streak and win 10-8. Mallory Martin and True O’Neill pick up key doubles sets for the Wildcats, who tie Valencia for first place with the victory.

Oct. 23
A 97-yard drive in the fourth quarter lifts Saugus football over West Ranch 26-22. Connor Eichten and Saugus quarterback Zack Gauthier attempt to outdo one another, combining for 581 yards passing.

Oct. 29
West Ranch girls tennis clinches a share of its first-ever Foothill League title with a 14-4 victory over Canyon. Sisters and singles players Ana Lucia and Ana Cecilia Fuentes both sweep, while doubles teammates True O’Neill and Mallory Martin capture three sets of their own.

Oct. 30
West Ranch football earns its first Foothill League victory against a team other than Golden Valley by staving off Canyon 23-18. The Wildcats offense is led by Connor Eichten, who passes for 146 yards and a touchdown, while the red zone defense stymies the Cowboys late.

Nov. 5
West Ranch girls volleyball overcomes a 2-0 deficit to defeat Hart and clinch the No.2 spot in the Foothill League.

Nov. 6
Despite a late surge, West Ranch football falls to Hart 43-26. Connor Eichten throws for 301 yards and two touchdowns, yet the Wildcats offense cannot stop C.J. Reyes and the Hart offense.

Nov. 10
West Ranch girls volleyball defeats Calvary Chapel 3-0 in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division I-A playoffs for the second straight year. After allowing their opponents to take an early 9-4 lead, the Wildcats are able to assert their will behind Hannah Orlandi and her match-high 24 kills.

Nov. 12
West Ranch girls tennis defeats Santiago 12-6 to advance to the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division III playoffs for the first time in program history. The Wildcats exhibit a balanced attack, picking up six sets from their singles players and six more from their doubles lineup.

West Ranch girls volleyball loses 3-1 to Marymount in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division I-A playoffs. Marymount outside hitter Jennifer Bonilla keeps the Wildcats in check with 19 kills and 23 digs. Wildcat senior Allison Summers ends her high school career with 16 kills and 13 digs.

Nov. 13
West Ranch football ends the season with a 49-10 loss at the hands of Valencia. A West Ranch field goal keeps the game within three points early in the first quarter, however the Vikings score 43 unanswered points on the way to a victory. The Wildcats finish 5-5.

Nov. 21
The West Ranch girls cross country team qualifies for the first state meet in program history. The Wildcats finish seventh at the CIF-Southern Section Division II finals after accumulating 230 points. Jennifer Owen’s 25th-place individual time of 18:27 leads the way for West Ranch.

Nov. 28
In their first trip to the CIF State Cross Country championships, the West Ranch girls finish seventh overall, led by Bailey Miller’s 20th-place time of 18:24.

Dec. 7
West Ranch girls soccer drops its first match of the season in a tightly contested 1-0 loss to Crescenta Valley, ranked No. 7 in the preseason CIF-Southern Section Division II polls. The two schools play dead even until Crescenta Valley scores in the 60th minute.

Dec. 8
West Ranch boys basketball loses the season opener 80-69 to Highland. The inexperienced Wildcats lineup jumps out to a 24-14 lead early, yet its poor 3-point shooting and sporadic runs by Highland prove to be too much to overcome. 

Dec. 11
Martin Flowers scores a school-record 47 points as he leads his team to a 72-67 victory over Eastside at the Canyon Classic. Despite the standout performance, the Wildcats need overtime to defeat the Lions. The win is the first of the season for West Ranch.

Dec. 26
West Ranch girls basketball squeaks past Newbury Park 68-64 in the first game of the West Coast Holiday Invitational. Erin Ruiz scores 19 points, while teammate Kaylyn Tarver adds 14 points and five blocks.

Jan. 12
West Ranch boys soccer opens Foothill League play with a 2-0 win over Saugus. After being held to a deadlock through the first half, Evan Stevens scores and assists Matt Duben’s goal to put West Ranch ahead in the second half.

Jan. 15
Martin Flowers loses a showdown with Lonnie Jackson as Valencia defeats West Ranch 77-45. Jackson proves too much for the Wildcats, scoring 25 points, with 13 coming in the second quarter.

Jan. 19
West Ranch girls basketball defeats Hart for the first time in program history, toppling the Indians 61-48. Not only does the win mark a stepping stone for the program, but it also moves the Wildcats to 3-0 in league.

Feb. 2
West Ranch girls basketball rides a 21-point performance from Erin Ruiz to defeat Valencia 53-46. Ruiz, who goes 5-for-5 from downtown, leads the Wildcats to a 6-1 record in league, tied for first with Canyon.

Feb. 5
West Ranch boys basketball snaps a two-game losing streak by defeating Hart 72-64. The Wildcats build an early lead and hang on from there.

Feb. 11
West Ranch girls basketball fails to capture a league title by falling to Canyon 56-44. Early turnovers hurt the Wildcats, and a 12-point fourth quarter from Erin Ruiz is not enough to complete the comeback.

Feb. 17
West Ranch boys basketball falls to Compton 75-48 in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division IIAA playoffs. After trailing by only three points entering the second quarter, the Wildcats lose control of their offense, turning the ball over 13 times in the first half.

Feb. 20
West Ranch girls basketball falls to top-seeded Brea Olinda 76-34 in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division IIAA playoffs. The Wildcats, overwhelmed by the Bearcats’ defense, manage only three points in the first quarter.

March 13
A four-run second inning lifts the Wildcats softball team over Alemany 7-3 in the championship game of the Hart Varsity Tournament. West Ranch finishes 4-0 overall at the event.

March 19
West Ranch’s distance medley relay team of Bailey Miller, Kylie Long, Ashley Welker and Jennifer Owen runs the race in 12:03.81 to set the nation’s top time in 2010. The mark would stand for a couple of weeks before being broken.

March 24
West Ranch baseball dominates Canyon for a 13-0 win. The Wildcats’ second-through-fifth hitters combine for 11 hits and eight of the team’s 13 runs. Allen Sarkissian dominates both on the mound and at the plate, as he couples four scoreless innings with three hits and an RBI.

April 12
West Ranch boys golf wins the third league match, shooting a 376 to finish 42 strokes ahead of second-place Valencia. Clayton Thatch’s 73 leads West Ranch, while C.J. Espino and J.J. Holen post rounds of 74.

April 13
West Ranch softball begins Foothill League play with a walk-off hit to defeat Saugus 2-1. Amanda Martin keeps Saugus in check on the mound, and Lauren Lombardi’s ground ball up the third-base line scores Kylie Sorenson to win the game.

April 21
The boys swim team ends Hart’s Foothill League dual meet winning streak at 70 with an 87-83 victory. The Wildcats finish second and third in the 400-yard freestyle relay, which provides the points to break the Indians’ streak that began in 1996.

April 28
West Ranch boys golf clinches the Foothill League title by shooting a 381, good enough to best second-place Saugus by 25 strokes. Leading West Ranch once again is C.J. Espino, who shoots par in the match.

May 6
Despite sharing a league-best 5-1 record with Hart, the West Ranch boys swim team falls to the Indians at the Foothill League finals and finishes second in league. Riley Mita has a big day for West Ranch, setting league records in the 200 and 500 freestyles and being named male Swimmer of the Meet.

Jennifer Owen wins the 1,600-meter run title at the Foothill League track and field finals, while Ashley Welker captures the 800.

May 7
West Ranch baseball holds on to an early five-run lead to defeat Hart 10-7. The win keeps West Ranch in the hunt for a share of first place, and a hit from Jared Ortiz extends his streak to 24 games.

May 10
West Ranch golf finishes third in the CIF-Southern Section Northern Team Divisional. The Wildcats finish with a team score of 388, led by J.J. Holen’s outing of 69.

May 14
Despite a 10-0 loss at the hands of Hart, the West Ranch softball team clinches its first-ever playoff spot.

West Ranch boys golf sees its playoff run halted after finishing 18th out of 21 teams at the CIF-Southern Section Team Final at Redhawk Golf Club. After shooting in the 300s almost all season as a team, the Wildcats shoot a 400 as their season comes to an end.

West Ranch baseball ends its regular season on a high note with a 12-7 victory over Saugus. Heading into the playoffs, the Wildcats find their groove offensively in pounding out a season-high 18 hits.

May 18
Riley Mita places second in the 500 freestyle at the CIF-Southern Section Masters Meet in Long Beach. In addition to finishing less than a second off of the first-place time, Mita finishes sixth in the 200 freestyle as well.

May 20
West Ranch softball sees its first trip to the CIF-Southern Section Division I playoffs end in the first round, falling to Esperanza 3-0. The damage is done in the fifth and sixth innings, when the Aztecs score all three of their runs.

Esperanza ends another West Ranch playoff run, this time defeating the baseball team 5-4. Despite a leadoff home run by Chris Caldwell and an early 3-0 Wildcat lead, Esperanza scores three runs in the sixth inning to ice the game. But Jared Ortiz hits a first-inning single to give himself a school-record 46 hits and keep his 27-game hitting streak intact.

May 22
Jennifer Owen finishes third in both the 1,600 and the 800 at the CIF-Southern Section Division II finals at Cerritos College. She qualifies for the CIF-SS Masters Meet in both events but chooses to focus on the 1,600.

May 24
J.J. Holen narrowly advances at the CIF-Southern Section Individual Final/SCGA qualifier by shooting a 4-over 76. Holen is one of 28 golfers to advance.

May 28
After running the 1,600 in 4:54.74 at the CIF-Southern Section Masters Meet, Jennifer Owen becomes the first track and field athlete in school history to advance to the state meet.

June 3
J.J. Holen’s 1-under 71 is not enough to advance to the CIF state golf championship. The strong outing marks a personal best in the event, yet Holen ends tied for 32nd.

June 5
Jennifer Owen finishes fourth overall in the 1,600 finals at the CIF State Track and Field Championships in Clovis. She runs the race in a school-record time of 4:52.45 and is the first state medalist in the history of the track and field program.

June 9
Cal Vogelsang becomes the first West Ranch graduate in history to be drafted by a Major League Baseball team. After spending a year playing at College of the Canyons, Vogelsang is taken by the hometown Los Angeles Dodgers in the 37th round with the 1,132nd overall pick.

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