Tiana Smith won the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League singles championship for Aptos High, which also had Holly Hegna and Coral Collins win the league doubles tournament. In volleyball, Harbor High took down rival Santa Cruz High again, while in water polo, Santa Cruz High won the SCCAL boys tournament and Soquel High scored yet another girls tournament title.
Editor’s note: Welcome to Lookout’s high school sports coverage. Our coverage is made possible by our members. Please become a member here today. Thomas Frey, an alum of Cabrillo College who has covered high school sports locally, will lead our coverage. His column — rounding up the week and looking forward to the next — will run each Monday. He’ll also profile an athlete of the month. We welcome your input — email email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org (with high school sports in the subject line).
Two sports closed out their league tournaments Wednesday in Aptos.
The day started at the Imperial Courts Tennis Club with the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League singles championship between Aptos High School senior Tiana Smith and Santa Cruz High School sophomore Francesca Garces. Smith was the No. 4 seed and took two close sets — 6-4, 6-3 — to win the league crown. Smith will advance to the Central Coast Section tournament at Bay Club Courtside in Los Gatos on Nov. 13.
Aptos looked to win the doubles championship with senior Holly Hegna and sophomore Coral Collins battling the Scotts Valley High School junior tandem of Sofia Niklaus and Erin Szymanski. The Mariners duo took the first set 6-4. In the second set, Hegna and Collins held off the Falcons duo to win 7-5. The Aptos doubles team will play in the CCS tournament Nov. 14.
Aptos High School will represent the SCCAL as a team after finishing undefeated at 8-0.
A few hours later, the Harbor High School volleyball team won the SCCAL volleyball tournament 3-1 over Santa Cruz High School at Cabrillo College. The victory means the Pirates sit alone at the top of the league to finish a season for the first time since 2014. Harbor has been co-champs three times since 2014, but by finishing 12-0 in the regular season and winning the SCCAL tournament, the Pirates take the crown for themselves.
In the final, junior Isla Johnson had a double-double with 23 kills and 12 digs and senior Holly Pendergraft had 11 kills in the four-set win in the championship game against Santa Cruz High School.
Harbor earned the No. 2 seed in CCS Division IV and the Pirates will host No. 7 Soquel in the quarterfinals Tuesday.
Monte Vista Christian School 55, Watsonville High School 19
Junior quarterback Dominic Pierini broke the Mustangs’ school record by passing for 486 yards in the 36-point victory. Pierini had a touchdown run and four passing scores. Fellow junior Nico Downie accounted for nearly half of Pierini’s passing yards, pulling down 14 catches for 222 yards and a score as he went over 1,000 receiving yards on the season. Senior Nicolas Jimenez had three catches for 80 yards and two touchdowns. He also returned an interception for a score.
Monte Vista Christian improved to 5-4 overall and will finish the season on the road Saturday at St. Francis High School.
Watsonville High School fell to 3-6 on the season and the Wildcatz will have to defeat North Monterey County at home on Friday to reach the four victories needed to qualify for the postseason.
Next up for Monte Vista Christian: At St. Francis High School (3-6) on Saturday.
Next up for Watsonville: Hosts North Monterey County High School (4-5) on Friday.
Seaside High School 49, St. Francis High School 28
St. Francis fell to 3-6 overall. The Sharks will have to win their final game Saturday against Monte Vista Christian to reach four wins and be playoff-eligible.
Next up for St. Francis: Hosts Monte Vista Christian School (5-4) on Friday.
Scotts Valley High School 14, North Monterey County High School 0
Senior Brady Siechen had quite the game as the Falcons improved to 5-0 in the Pacific Coast Athletic League Mission North Division and 8-1 overall. Siechen, a wide receiver and defensive back, scored the first touchdown of the game on a reception from junior quarterback Lucas Ringel, and on the other side of the ball intercepted two North Monterey County passes.
The Scotts Valley defense halted five drives with interceptions on the night as seniors Jay Fishler, Robert Bradford and Colton Duerson each had a pick.
Next up for Scotts Valley: Hosts Santa Cruz High School (0-9) on Saturday.
Hollister High School 29, Aptos High School 26
Aptos fell to 2-7 overall and will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2009. To the Mariners’ credit, they had a very difficult schedule against some of the top teams in the Central Coast Section including Archbishop Mitty High School and Monterey High School.
Next up for Aptos: Hosts Soquel High School (7-2) on Friday.
San Lorenzo Valley High School 41, Harbor High School 15
San Lorenzo Valley notched its fourth win of the season Saturday and is playoff-eligible. Senior Dom Chechi and juniors Chase Thomsen and Winston Wells all scored touchdowns for the Cougars (4-6).
Next up for Harbor: At Stevenson High School (4-3) on Saturday.
Next up for San Lorenzo Valley: Regular season complete.
Greenfield High School 38, Pajaro Valley High School 7
Next up for Pajaro Valley (1-8): Hosts Marina High School (1-8) on Saturday.
Bye weeks: Soquel High School and Santa Cruz High School
Next up for Soquel (7-2): At Aptos High School (2-7) on Friday.
Next up for Santa Cruz (0-9): At Scotts Valley High School (8-1) on Saturday.
Watsonville High School earned the No. 12 seed in the Central Coast Section’s Division I, and fell to No. 5 Homestead High School on Saturday in three sets. The Wildcatz finished the season with 18 wins and were led by junior Daisy Cornejo, who topped 200 kills on the season with nearly 100 aces.
Santa Cruz High School is the No. 2 seed in Division III and the Cardinals play at home on Tuesday against No. 7 Notre Dame of San Jose. Last season, Santa Cruz reached the CCS finals and qualified for the Division III NorCal playoffs, winning one game and losing in the second round.
No. 7 Soquel High School defeated No. 10 Monte Vista Christian in three sets in the first round of the Division IV playoffs on Saturday. The victory means that Soquel will face Harbor on Tuesday — the teams’ third meeting this season. The Pirates won both previous matchups, but the Knights took each to five sets.
Scotts Valley High School was the No. 9 seed in Division IV and fell to No. 8 Harker in the first round 3-1 on Saturday.
Boys water polo
Santa Cruz High School and Soquel High School battled Saturday for the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League tournament championship, with Santa Cruz coming out on top 8-6.
The two squads tied for the regular-season league championship with a 7-1 record. Goalkeeper Lucas Primovera came up big with 11 saves to help the Cardinals win the postseason tournament. Sophomores Tate Wilson and Hayden Johnson came up big defensively, each stealing the ball three times. Junior Pakalani Vaka-Saxton had three steals and two goals and Jayden Chopra passed for two assists and scored a goal.
All six goals by Soquel were scored by seniors. Hayes Pizzica had three goals, Connor Garde had two and Tucker Graessle had one goal.
The Knights reached the tournament finals after a 16-5 victory over Aptos High School on Thursday. Pizzica scored five goals. Seniors Garde and Malloy Wiens, junior Cash Wolfe and sophomore Stryder Stelck each scored two goals.
Santa Cruz reached the finals after beating Harbor 19-1 on Thursday. Johnson had five goals while juniors Matthias Cruz and Vaka-Saxton and freshman Xavier Hunter each had three.
Playoffs begin Saturday in both boys and girls play; brackets had yet to be released as of publication time.
Girls water polo
Soquel High School won its 14th consecutive league title after defeating Aptos High School 12-3 on Saturday in the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League championship.
The Knights were led by seniors Summer Stelck and Leah Murphy, who combined for eight goals.
Soquel reached the finals after defeating Harbor High School 15-2 in the tournament semifinals on Thursday. Sophomore Libby Forrest led the way for the Knights with four goals. Stelck and first-year player Elizabeth Penny each had multiple goals.
Harbor played Tuesday in the first round and beat San Lorenzo Valley High School 15-7. Harbor junior captain Abigail Higgins did a little bit of everything and scored five goals, passed for three assists and recorded three steals. Sophomore Kate Brandon had five goals, and senior Scout Bauman and Serena Manildi combined for five goals, five assists and five steals. Juniors Lily Grauman and Zia Jagger and first-year player Morgan Lakey each had an assist.
Aptos reached the finals after beating Santa Cruz High School 6-3 on Thursday. Junior Adelaide Friedley had four assists, senior Fiona Carey had three goals and junior Scarlet Gleitsman-Miller had three steals.
Girls flag football
Aptos High School won the inaugural Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League championship by defeating Soquel High School and Scotts Valley High in the league tournament. Both games ended 7-0 Aptos. In the first game, junior quarterback Gaby Dow ran for a touchdown and junior Mia Parello had three sacks.
In the second game, Dow passed for a touchdown to senior wide receiver Angelique Nunez. Nunez also had an interception to halt a Scotts Valley drive.
Cabrillo College football sits at 5-3 heading into its game Saturday against Monterey Peninsula College, and the Seahawks are led by several Santa Cruz County players.
Rio Cruz from Aptos High School leads Cabrillo with 257 receiving yards while former Mariner Juan Arroyo is the team’s punter and field goal kicker. The Cabrillo defense, coming off a shutout victory over West Hills Coalinga College, is getting key contributions from Matt Percival and Darryl Williams from Soquel High; Matt Flores-Ortiz, Saul Samoza and Brayden Arnold of Watsonville; and Patrick Tripier from Santa Cruz High School.
This week in history
A year ago on Nov. 5, 2022, the Soquel High School girls water polo team won its first Central Coast Section playoff game and began an incredible six-game journey that ended in the CIF NorCal Division I Water Polo Championships.
Along the way, the Knights won the CCS Open Division, the highest classification for water polo in the section. Soquel then cruised through Clovis West High School and Acalanes High School in the NorCal playoffs before falling in the finals to Miramonte High School. Leah Murphy, a senior on this year’s squad, scored 16 goals in those six games.
Have something to say? Lookout welcomes letters to the editor, within our policies, from readers. Guidelines here.