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Results tagged “state championships” from College Sports Blog

McNally a frontrunner for Moorpark XC

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Megan McNally learned her role running behind Liberty Miller and Sarah Baxter at Simi Valley High.

So now that the sophomore has developed into the Moorpark College women's cross country team's frontrunner, she knows why it's so important for her to perform Saturday morning at the California Community College Athletic Association championships at Woodward Park in Fresno.

"You could always count on them being up there," said McNally of Miller and Baxter. "That's kind of what I feel like I have to do, always be there for my team."

McNally has been an ever-present for the Raiders this fall, repeatedly battling with Glendale's Grace Graham-Zamudio and Santa Barbara's Cecilia Instebo in the biggest races.

McNally, freshman Karla Vernola and sophomore Clarissa Wentworth have Moorpark, which finished second at WSCs and third at SoCals, in position to improve on last year's sixth-place state finish.

"We don't want to put too much pressure on ourselves," Vernola said, "but, at the same time, we know what needs to be done."

Orange Coast is the big favorite, but Moorpark will be competing with Glendale, DeAnza, Cerritos and others for a top-5 finish.

"It's always more fun to be the underdog," Vernola said.

"We just want to go in there and give it the best effort we can," McNally added. "Hopefully, it's second."

Ventura, which finished 12th at SoCals behind Danica Galvan's 26th-place finish, and Oxnard, which finished 20th behind Vannessa Martinez's 44th-place finish, will also be competing in Fresno.

"We all seem like we're ready to take on the challenge," Galvan said. "We're going to go up there and leave everything on the course."

LIVE -- CCCAA state semifinals (pregame)

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The CCCAA state Final Four arrives tonight at Consumnes River College in Sacramento.

At 5 p.m. the Ventura College women's basketball team (32-1) faces deep, athletic and physical Foothill (29-4) in a meeting of the two teams who reigned over the Southern and Northern California regional coaches' polls for the last three months of the season.

Not up to date on the game? Click here for my Final Four preview. Click here for my feature on how the VC women have made themselves such a quality team. Click here, here and here for pregame coverage from Sacramento.

We'll have all the live updates here on Twitter.

The VC vs. Foothill women's semifinal will being broadcasted online by HomefieldSports.com.

Community College women's basketball
State semifinals, Consumnes River College, Sacramento
No. 2-South Ventura (32-1) vs. No. 1-North Foothill (29-4), 5 p.m.
No. 1-S Mount San Antonio (29-3) vs. No. 3-N Fresno (28-5), 7 p.m.

Mircetic, LaFountain proclaim Pirates "ready to play"

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After a 55-minute shootaround, the team's final on-court preparations ahead of tonight's state Final Four in Sacramento, both head coach Ned Mircetic and star forward Destinee LaFountain proclaimed the Ventura College women's basketball team "ready to play" Friday morning

"It went well," said Mircetic. "We got out of the hotel. We got some good shots up. We got in everything that we wanted and did it efficiently.

"We're ready to play."

Asked about the on-campus venue, the Consumnes River College Athletic Center, Mircetic replied that only the Pirates' home venue would be better.

"It's very nice, I love it," said Mircetic. "This is a great site."

The consensus among the players was positive, although sophomore Blayke Hudson mentioned that the balls seemed "really bouncy."

Sophomore point guard Rebecca Griffin pointed out that the venue will be the same for both teams.

"We could be playing outside and we'd still have to give it our all," said Griffin.

Breaking bread before tipping off

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All four semifinals were asked to make a brief statement about their seasons at Thursday night's CCCWBCA banquet.

Stephanie Ramirez, the sophomore captain of the Ventura College women's basketball team, was chosen by her team.

The Rio Mesa High product was diplomatic in her speech in front of the three opposing teams.

"We're going to do our best and hope for the best," said Ramirez.

After the banquet, Ramirez was asked about being up on the spot.

"I had to keep it classy and respectful," said Ramirez.

With all four teams mingling in a small meeting room, there is often a bit of gamesmanship at the event.

"I know everyone is going to be nice, but we're in business mode," said sophomore Regan Mew. "All four teams were staring each other down."

"I felt a little tension in there," said sophomore Blayke Hudson. "It made me laugh."

As the CCCWBCA president, Consumnes River head coach Coral Sage served as moderator of the night's events. Before the night was through, she made sure to take a friendly dig at Ventura by making sure to mention that, as a player, she led her Sierra team over the Pirates in the 1999 state championship game.

The comment prompted laughter and boos from different corners of the room. It seemed to perk up the Ventura players.

"We want to win this year and back coach up," said Hudson.

Sophomore Destinee LaFountain didn't mind the atmosphere. The state co-Player of the Year was so focused on Friday's semifinal that she didn't realize her name was misspelled "LaFountaine" on her All-State certificate.

"All the talking is going to be done on the court," said LaFountain. "I just can't wait to play."

Advice from a new Hall of Famer

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The California Community College Women's Basketball Coaches Association's banquet is held annually the night before the state championships to honor the participating teams.

It also honors the CCCWBCA Hall-of-Fame class. This year, the coaches inducted Los Angeles Valley players Ruth Aguilar Seja '89 and Sylvia Casteneda '90, as well as Cypress player Sara Works '95.

Aguilar Seja, the former L.A. Valley coach, now works in the neonatal intensive care unit at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles.

Thursday night, the 1989 state co-Player of the Year offered perhaps the best advice for the four teams on Final Four eve.

"Enjoy this," said Aguilar Seja on the dais, her young daughter at her side. "It's going to go one of the best times of your life."

College Sports Blog
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Ventura County Star sports writer and columnist Joe Curley covers college sports and soccer for this Star. This is the place to click for local college football and basketball coverage, including USC, UCLA, Moorpark College, Ventura College and Cal Lutheran.

Curley will update from live events and also interject with periodic comment on both international soccer and the local Ventura County Fusion.