The Pirates' women's basketball team traveled to Lemoore Wednesday for the program's 19th CCCAA State Elite Eight, with aspirations of qualifying for the team's 16th final four and 10th state championship game, and possibly winning the program's eighth state title. They came home Thursday, however, along with the other seven state championship hopefuls, after the CCCAA canceled the state tournament in response to the COVID-19 outbreak gripping the nation.
The team went through a whirlwind 40 hour period beginning on Tuesday afternoon when the state announced that the games would be played, but only with necessary personnel including active players, coaches and athletic training staff. The Pirates left following classes on Wednesday after deciding to forego the annual Banquet of Champions later that evening to minimize contact with others in light of the situation. During their travels, the National Basketball Association was the first to cancel games, and other major sports across the country began doing the same later in the night and into the next day.
Thursday morning VC went to their pre-game meal as scheduled around 11:00 am in preparation for their 3:00 pm tip-off against Diablo Valley College. It was there that the team learned of the news of the cancelation. Heartbroken, the players finished their meal and returned to the team hotel, packing for their return home.
The Pirates end the season with a 21-7 mark, posting the school's 31st consecutive 20-win season. VC also had an All-State selection in sophomore Talia Taufaasau and five All-Western State Conference selections. Ventura will have a different look in 2020-21 with eight sophomores playing their final game in the orange and black last weekend at the Athletic Event Center in the regional finals, They include Taufaasau, Cece Quintino, Alaina Garcia, Nikki Puga, Emma Larson, Victoria Maciel, LaDaesha Merriweather and Madison Kast. Pirate freshmen returning to carry on the VC tradition include Yasmine Ahllamara, Alanna Jackson, Kimora Pooler and Alyssandra Lacanilao.
With the season complete, although without the closure of the final game, it is our hope that everyone stay safe during this difficult time. We look forward to the day when we can all return to cheer on the Pirates!