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Four Vaquero stars sign with four-year schools

Four outstanding Vaqueros are heading to four-year schools -- Kat Sheehy (UCSB), Kaylene Ureno (Cal St. Stanislaus), Kyle Skinner (Ohio State) and Vanessa Watkins (Cal St. Bakersfield).
Four outstanding Vaqueros are heading to four-year schools -- Kat Sheehy (UCSB), Kaylene Ureno (Cal St. Stanislaus), Kyle Skinner (Ohio State) and Vanessa Watkins (Cal St. Bakersfield).

Four SBCC student-athletes signed national letters-of-intent on Friday during a Signing Ceremony at the Sports Pavilion.

Katherine Sheehy will continue her women's soccer career at UCSB and Kyle Skinner will play volleyball for two-time defending national champion Ohio State. Two other Vaqueros are going home to compete with women's volleyball star Kaylene Ureno signing with Cal State Stanislaus and golf standout Vanessa Watkins committing to Cal State Bakersfield.

Katherine Sheehy, Women's Soccer (UCSB) – She was the 2017 WSC North Player of the Year on the most successful team in school history. The Vaqueros went 21-1-1 and finished one goal shy of a state title. They were 8-0 in the WSC North and set school records for win streak (21) and fewest goals allowed in a season (6).

Sheehy, a sophomore forward from La Canada High, racked up 15 goals and 36 points. The Vaqueros made the state Final Four in both of her seasons, finishing third in 2016 and second in 2017.

"It's always been a dream of mine to play at the next level," said Sheehy. "Starting here was a great opportunity to get me there. I was grateful to have the coaching staff that I did. UCSB was so close, it was a good way to get noticed.

"It was incredible going to Santa Barbara City College the last two years. I didn't know where I wanted to go out of high school and I wasn't even sure I wanted to play soccer when I first got here. When I joined the team and realized I could use it as a stepping stone to the next level, it really changed my outlook."

Kyle Skinner, Men's Volleyball (Ohio State) – The 6-4 outside hitter was a star at Santa Barbara High, then played a season at Santa Monica College in 2016. He redshirted last year at SBCC and is now one of the top players on a Vaquero squad that's unbeaten (5-0) and ranked No. 4 in the state.

Skinner went to Switzerland in May, 2016 to play for the U21 USA Beach Volleyball team.

"I've always dreamed of playing for a four-year school, especially a D1 program," he said. "Coming into this year, I was looking to transfer to a good team. When I heard back from Ohio State, it was amazing. I'm super excited to follow in the footsteps of (SBCC men's VB coach) Jon Newton and go play there and see if I can make a big difference."

Kaylene Ureno, Women's Volleyball (Cal St. Stanislaus) – She was first-team All-WSC North in 2016 and the conference co-Player of the Year in 2017. She had 324 kills last fall when the Vaqueros went 21-7 and won their sixth straight WSC North title.

SBCC went 44-11 in her two seasons and she amassed 532 kills, 468 digs and 104 blocks.

Ureno, a 5-9 opposite from Turlock, Calif., is returning to her roots to play for Cal State Stanislaus, an NCAA Div. 2 program.

"I really wanted to be back close to my family," said Ureno. "It was a great experience being in Santa Barbara. The coaching staff really helped me get to the next level and I had great teammates. I'm ready to go back home, so my parents can watch me play more."

Vanessa Watkins, Women's Golf (Cal State Bakersfield) – She had an outstanding career at SBCC, finishing third in the state in 2017 with rounds of 76 and 69 at Morro Bay Golf Course. The Vaqueros went 99-1 and were the state runner-up in 2016. Last fall, they were 90-3 and took third in the state.

Watkins' teams went 189-4 (.979) and won two straight Southern Cal Regionals as well as two WSC titles with a perfect 110-0 mark.

"I was born in Bakersfield and my parents are still there, along with most of my family," said Watkins, a former star at Arroyo Grande High. "I really love Bakersfield and I love the people.

"I remember when I first came here, I knew I made the right decision because this is a great school and I love the beach. Playing the last two seasons here was amazing with great teammates and a great coach in Chuck Melendez."