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Fraser sparks Vaqueros to first-ever State women’s water polo title

Fraser sparks Vaqueros to first-ever State women’s water polo title

Emma Fraser had three goals and three assists on Saturday, sparking No. 1 SBCC to an 8-6 win over Sierra and its first CCCAA State women's water polo championship.

The Vaqueros won their 12th straight game to complete a 31-3 season.

Fraser, a freshman from Canada, was named tournament MVP. Halie Johnson and Meagan Mckillican were all-tournament picks. Johnson had a goal and seven steals while Mckillican notched three steals. Goalie Nicole Poulos recorded six saves and three steals.

It's amazing what coach Chuckie Roth and his Vaqueros have accomplished in just four years. They've won four straight WSC titles, they were the state runner-up last year and Roth posted his 100th victory in Friday's semifinal win over San Joaquin Delta.

"I'm so proud of this team, what a great group of kids," said Roth. "Halie Johnson led this team with integrity, character and experience. The girls were resilient today. This was a product of months of preparation on teamwork and mental toughness. They were committed and determined and they bought in from Day 1."

It's the 11th state title in all sports for the Vaqueros and first since 2015 when they claimed their fourth women's golf championship banner.

Santa Barbara started fast with Kemi Dijkstra, Sarah Parson and Kelee Schimizu tossing in goals for a 3-0 lead. Sierra got two back, then Fraser made it 4-2 with a 10-meter shot with 1:24 to go in the second quarter. The Vaqueros led 4-3 at halftime.

Sierra (25-6) of Rocklin is the first Northern California team to reach the state final in 10 years.

Alexa Negrete scored 15 seconds into the second half to tie it at 4-4. The Vaqueros responded with three straight goals 2:04.

Fraser threw in a 12-meter bomb, Tori Bray skipped one in on a 6-on-5 and Johnson scored on an assist from Fraser to make it 7-4 Vaqueros with 4:17 left in the third. Stephanie Friesen and Shanta Reisinger wouldn't let Sierra go away, connecting on goals just 26 seconds apart to bring the Wolverines within one, 7-6, 17 seconds into the fourth.

Fraser made her third long shot of the game from straightaway with 1:17 to play, boosting the lead to two goals.

"This is a special day for all Vaqueros," Roth declared. "I promised this four years ago to a group who I told to 'create the culture.' To all my athletes -- a heartfelt thank you. Each of you laid the foundation on which this year's team was able to win a championship."

ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
MVP - Emma Fraser (Santa Barbara CIty)
Meagan Mckillican (Santa Barbara City)
Halie Johnson (Santa Barbara City)
Danielle Brown (Sierra)
Alexa Negrete (Sierra)
Anay Ramirez (Riverside City)
Alyssa Anderson (San Joaquin Delta)