By Joe Curley of the Ventura County Star. Will Cowen is returning to the basketball court. And going coast to coast to join one of the biggest athletic departments in the country. The Ventura College athletic director was hired on Monday as the Director of Player Development for Florida State University women’s basketball.
The Ventura College Athletic Department is pleased to introduce Jorge Perez as the new head coach of the Pirates' men's water polo team. He comes to VC after a successful three-year stint as an assistant coach at Los Angeles Valley College where he helped direct the Monarchs to three consecutive Western State Conference championships. During his time in Valley Glen, LAVC was 53-33 overall and 16-3 in WSC play.
Ventura College Athletics finished in 11th place state-wide in the California Community College Athletic Association standings for the National Alliance of Two-Year College Athletic Administrators all-sports competition. VC finished with 98.5 points during the 2017-18 academic year. This is the Pirates' ninth finish in 11th place or better in the 15-year history of the NATYCAA Cup.
Ventura College football and head coach Steve Mooshagian are proud to update that 23 Pirates from the 2017 4-peat Northern Conference champions have inked scholarships or committed to play at four-year schools. In the Pirates' class of 2017, 14 transfers will play football at the NCAA Division I level, with eight playing in the Football Bowl Series with six in the Football Championship series. Six former Pirates will play at the NCAA Division II level while three play at NAIA schools.
VC freshman outfielder Steele Ledford, sophomore shortstop Rudy Aguilar and freshman outfielder TJ Foreman led 10 Pirates on the All-Western State Conference North Division team as voted upon by conference coaches last month. Ledford was named first team All-WSC and won the Gold Glove Award for his defense while Aguilar was also named first team All-WSC. Foreman, meanwhile, was second team All-WSC and also earned a Gold Glove Award.
The Ventura College Softball team was well represented on the Western State Conference North Division all-conference list voted upon by the league coaches earlier this month. Pitcher Anissa Padilla and and outfielder Arianna Rivas, both sophomores highlighted Pirates on the first team along with freshman second baseman Kaylee Neal and first-year outfielder/catcher Adriana Clemons.
Ventura College sophomores Tricia McClain and Allie De Marco were named 2018 women's tennis All-Western State Conference in a ceremony held last month at the VC Tennis Center. McClain earned the first team nod at the No. 6 singles position while De Marco was named second-team All-WSC at No. 3 singles.
The Pirates' men's tennis team dominated the All-Western State Conference selections as voted upon by the conference coaches. In awards announced last month, VC occupied all six first team positions in singles, sharing one, and was honored with all three first team positions in doubles. Additionally, Solal Cherqui was named the WSC Player of the Year and Pirate head coach Nelson Emery was named the Coach of the Year.
A packed house was in attendance at the Top of the Harbor Ballroom at the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach Sunday for the 12th Annual Ventura College Pirate Athletics Hall of Fame Induction and Student Athlete Awards Recognition Banquet. The Pirates' present met the past as a number of current student athletes were recognized for their efforts during the 2017-18 seasons while five distinguished alumni were inducted into the VC Pirate Athletics Hall of Fame.
Milestones were in abundance Friday and Saturday as the Pirates' men's and women's track and field teams ended their 2018 season at the CCCAA State Championships hosted by Bakersfield College. The first milestone was sophomore Valexsia Droughn's title-winning run in the 100-meters, followed closely by her silver medal-winning performance in the 200. Meanwhile,Darrell Handy Johnson provided the second milestone capturing the state championship in the men's high jump.
Ventura College sophomore Denis Kakimoto carded a 3-over par 147 at the CCCAA State Golf Championships Monday at Sandpiper Golf Club in Goleta, claiming fifth place and earning All-State honors. He recorded rounds of even-par 72 and 3-over 75 in the 36-hole event at the picturesque ocean-side venue. Meanwhile, Joey Herrera tied for 23rd of the 60 participating golfers with a score of 153.
Five Pirate track and field athletes punched their tickets to the CCCAA State Championships with their performances at the Southern California Regional Finals Saturday at San Diego Mesa College. Darrell Handy-Johnson led the pack qualifying in three events while his brother Terrell Handy-Johnson qualified in two. Kamar Wilson rounded out the men's qualifiers. Valexsia Droughn will compete at state in two events for the VC women while Marissa Gonzales also qualified for state for the Pirates.
Pirate sophomores Joey Herrera and Denis Kakimoto each qualified as indiiduals for the CCCAA State Golf Championships in regional play Monday at Bakersfield Country Club. Herrera carded a 72-76, 148 and Kakimoto tied his teammate at 73-75, 148 as they tied for fifth place overall. Both earned All-Southern California Region honors. The Pirate team narrowly missed a repeat trip to the state championships with a score of 391-390, 781 to place fifth in the nine-team event, seven strokes behind fourth-place Orange Coast. The top four teams also qualified for state.
The Pirate softball team defeated Antelope Valley in game two of the CCCAA SoCal Regional Playoffs, 5-4 Saturday afternoon at the VC Softball Complex, forcing a winner-take-all game three match-up with the Marauders. Unfortunately, VC could not keep the momentum going, falling to the visitors 10-0 in the series finale. AVC moves on to the SoCal Super Regionals while the Pirates (29-11) have their season come to a close.
Ventura College freshmen swimmers Adrianna Bese and Cooper Fuchs both performed well at the CCCAA State Swimming Championships Thursday through Saturday at De Anza College in Cupertino. Bese set a new school record in the 200-yard breast stroke and placed in her only other event while Fuchs went three-for-three in events entered and events in which he scored points for the Pirates at the final competition of the season.
The VC men's and women's track and field teams traveled to the Southern California Preliminaries Saturday in San Diego. Nineteen athletes made the trip south with 14 Pirates earning a return trip for the SoCal Finals on Saturday May 12 at San Diego Mesa College. Leading the charge for Ventura was Valexsia Droughn on the women's side along with Darrell Handy-Johnson, Terrell Handy-Johnson and Kamar Wilson.
VC beach volleyball pair Taylor Benitez-Fanslow and Shea Mckeown finished the 2018 season just points away from qualifying for the CCCAA State Beach Volleyball Pairs Tournament in regional play in Irvine Friday. The duo won one match and lost two, the final one in three sets by just four points, bringing to a close the Pirates' 2018 beach volleyball season.
A pair of walks, an error, and a bloop single were all it took for the Pirates to drop the first game of their first round playoff series against Antelope Valley. VC dropped a 2-1 decision to the Marauders Friday at the VC Softball Complex in game 1 of the best-of-three first round series. Games 2, and game 3 (if necessary) will be Saturday May 5 beginning an noon in Ventura.
Pirate Joey Herrera claimed medalist honors Monday at the Western State Championships with an even par 70-74, 144 at the par-72 Crystalaire Country Club in Llano. The VC sophomore finished the day two shots ahead of the second place competitors to win the tournament as he finished second for the season in conference competition. The Pirates came in third as a team in the 36-hole event, claiming a second place finish in the WSC's final standings.
The Ventura College men's tennis season came to an end Saturday in the quarterfinal round of the CCCAA State Singles and Doubles Championships at The Ojai Tournament. Priyank Soni dropped his quarterfinal match against the No. 1 seed in the draw in the morning while Solal Cherqui and Rafael Dunan lsot their quarterfinal match in the afternoon.
The Ventura College softball team has matched its highest playoff seed in program history, earning the No. 7 seed in the upcoming CCCAA Southern California Regional Playoffs. The Pirates (28-9) will host No. 9 Antelope Valley (28-11) in a best two-of-three series beginning on Friday May 4 and concluding with a double-header, if necessary, on Saturday May 5. First pitch Friday is scheduled for 2:00 pm at the VC Softball Complex.
Taylor Benitez-Fanslow and Shea Mckeown took third place at the Western State Conference Beach Volleyball Pairs Tournament Friday in Bakersfield. The duo won their elite eight match before falling in the semifinals in a heart-breaking three set match. Fanslow and Mckeown were able to rebound, however, to sweep the third-place match.
The Pirates' men's tennis team continued play in the CCCAA State singles and Doubles Championships Friday in The Ojai Tournament. Priyank Soni made it through to the quarterfinals to be held Saturday April 28 while the doubles team of Solal Cherqui and Rafael Dunan also moved through the draw to the quarterfinals.
The Ventura College men's and women's track teams hosted the Western State Conference Championships for the first time since the all-weather track was installed at the VC Sportsplex 13 years ago. The Pirate women took the silver team trophy placing second behind champion West Los Angeles while the men finished in fourth place overall in the highly contested meet. Valexsia Droughn led the VC women with a pair of individual gold medal performances and was part of a first place relay team. Darrell-Handy-Johnson won the lone gold medal for the Pirate men, taking first in the high jump, winning a tie-breaker against his twin brother Terrell Handy-Johnson, who claimed the silver.
Sophomore Alyssa Powell was the last person standing for the Ventura College women's tennis team. Playing in the Round of 32 in the CCCAA State Singles Championships at The Ojai, Powell was eliminated from the draw Friday morning by the No. 4 seed from College of the Desert, 6-1, 6-0. Her setback closed the 2018 season for the Pirates' women's tennis team.
They never gave up, fighting to the end. The Pirates' baseball team , trailing by two runs, were able to load the bases in the top of the ninth inning Thursday at Santa Barbara, just could not get one more hit to overcome the Vaqueros in the season finale. VC dropped the 7-5 decision at Pershing Park, finishing the season at an even .500 overall and in Western State Conference North Division play.
The Pirates' men's tennis team began its final weekend of the season Thursday with five singles players and three doubles teams moving on to day two of the CCCAA State Singles and Doubles Championships at The Ojai. Victories included upset victoies by Rafael Dunan, Augustin Lestelle and Priyank Soni in singles play while Alexander Martin and Jakob Runschen had an upset win in doubles.
Alyssa Powell came from behind in a three-set thriller to advance to day two of the CCCAA State Singles Tournament at The Ojai in play at the VC Tennis Center Thursday. Lea Meschke also won her first match of the day before falling in the round of 32, and the doubles pair of Allie De Marco and Powell also won their first match at state before bowing out.
The Pirates' beach volleyball team had one of its five entrants advance to the Elite Eight of the Western State Conference Pairs Tournament played Wednesday at the Harbor Cove Courts at the Ventura Marina. In an unfotunate quirk of the brackets, Taylor Benitez-Fanslow and Shea Mckeown defeated teammates Janessa Simental and Braxton Jessie in the round of 16 to advance to Friday's final rounds of the draw in Bakersfield.
Dayton Provost had the kind of day that every young baseball player dreams about. With the Pirates' backs against the proverbial wall, he came through in a big way, batting 5-5, including a two-out, bases-clearing triple and an eighth inning home run, and batted in six runs as VC defeated Santa Barbara 9-7 Tuesday. The victory kept the Pirates' post-season hopes alive, pulling them into a three-way tie for second place with SBCC and Hancock with one game left on the schedule.