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Prep Report

Napa Valley Prep Report: Artichoke Invitational challenges Braves

The Justin-Siena cross country team raced well in the 50th annual Artichoke Invitational at Half Moon Bay High School on Saturday.

The 2.33-mile course was well short of the 3.1 miles suggested for a high school varsity race, but made up for it with many changes in terrain. Organizers told runners to expect “grass, asphalt, dirt paths, muddy areas, synthetic track, gravel road, downhills, flats, hay bales, a couple of tree groves, and a wee bump a little past the halfway point — all the good stuff you’re looking for in a true cross country course.”

Justin-Siena head coach Ali Dragoo said the Braves “reported the course to be challenging due to the obstacles and the infamous ‘Cougar Hill,’ which is a tough one. They also mentioned it was more fun with the various terrain changes.”

The Braves’ varsity girls placed fifth as a team. Three of them — Hailey Schuemann (16:19), Katie Heffernan (16:36) and Olivia Janerico (16:51) — received medals designed for the event by finishing in the top 25.

Justin-Siena’s boys team finished 12th, led by Charlie Wenzel (14:53), Wyatt Paulson (15:10) and Jack Carey (15:17).

Varsity Girls Water Polo

Napa 20, Ukiah 3

The Grizzlies (1-3 VVAL) took it to the visiting Wildcats early in Wednesday’s game at the Vintage pool by jumping out to a 6-1 lead in the first quarter.

“We felt pretty good about our chances, but we hadn't had a chance to execute some of the changes we've made on offense and defense and see their effectiveness,” said Napa head coach Ashiq Khan.

Grizzlies goalkeeper Jossie Gonzalez’s blocks of several close-range shots also stymied Ukiah.

At the offensive end, Napa continued to be assertive with goals by junior Quincy Frommelt (5), seniors Rina Klieman (4), Keaton Flynn (3) and Jasperina van Stuijvenberg (3), sophomore Sophia Ochoa (2), and freshmen Ella Brandon (2) and Juli Klieman (1).

“Our girls started making their own opportunities by driving and attacking on offense, with better passing helping secure the play,” Khan said.

Varsity Boys Water Polo

Napa 15, Ukiah 10

With goalkeeper Gabriel “Titi” Orozco amassing 15 blocks and making quick outlet passes, the Grizzlies (2-1 VVAL) utilized their speedsters for some good transition goals in Wednesday’s victory at the Vintage pool.

“We knew change had to occur to corral Ukiah's offense weapon at center,” Napa head coach Ashiq Khan explained. “Coach (Will) Namnath came up with a dynamic strategy, which isolated the forward line and forced the Wildcats to shoot from outside. That tight defense allowed us to have more movement to get down the pool toward the offensive end.”

That was evident in the Grizzlies’ balanced scoring. Senior captains Nathan Schwarze (6 goals) and Angelo Baracco (1) led the offense, with juniors Nico Franco (3) and Cameron Taylor (2), sophomore Andrew Dillon (2) and freshman Cameron Scargle (1) adding to the goal tally.

Varsity Volleyball

Vintage improves to 6-0 in VVAL

The Crushers improved to 11-4 overall and 6-0 in the Vine Valley Athletic League with a pair of road wins over programs their seniors haven’t lost to in their four seasons at Vintage.

In a 22-25, 25-18, 25-15, 25-15 win over American Canyon on Tuesday, the Crushers had team totals of 11 aces, 33 kills, 40 digs, 30 assists and 3 blocks.

Leading Vintage in a 25-14, 19-25, 25-15, 25-12 Big Game victory over Napa High at Napa Valley College on Thursday were Evelyn Gillis (9 digs, 3 aces), Krista Young (6 aces, 6 assists, 3 digs, 6 kills), Madisyn Flohr (11 kills, 2 blocks, 6 digs, 100% serving accuracy), Gemma Bahnsen (6 kills, 4 digs, 3 blocks), Peyton Williams (8 kills, 3 blocks). Maria Bodor (10 kills, 13 assists, 3 aces, 5 digs) and Alex Whipple 2 kills, 2 aces, 2 blocks, 4 digs, 18 assists).

While American Canyon (4-3 VVAL) visits Napa (2-5 VVAL) on Tuesday, Justin-Siena (6-0 VVAL) hosts Sonoma Valley (4-3 VVAL) and Vintage visits Casa Grande (0-7 VVAL). On Wednesday, Vintage hosts Justin-Siena in what should be a battle for sole possession of first place.

JV Volleyball

Vintage has 1-1 week in VVAL

The Crushers fell at American Canyon last Tuesday, 25-9, 25-17, despite Melanie McPhee’s 5 assists and Lanie Cockrell’s 2 assists and 3 kills.

Vintage came back with Thursday’s two-set victory at Napa High, getting 10 aces and 8 assists from McPhee, two aces apiece from Gigi Gerien and Raquel Stevens, 4 kills from Beverly Bolen, 2 kills from Sophia Moro, and solid all-around play from Ava Cortez.

Freshman Volleyball

Vintage has 2-0 week in VVAL

The Crushers won 25-23, 25-17 at American Canyon last Tuesday behind Angie Rubalcava’s 3 aces, Abby Condon’s 3 aces and 4 kills, and Paloma Infante’s 1 ace, 1 kill and 1 block.

In a two-set win at Napa on Thursday, Audrey Manley had 2 kills and 2 aces, Natalie Ball 6 assists, Kamila Castro and Sofia Leon Munoz 2 aces each, and Condon 2 aces and 1 block.

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan explained why he ditched the two-quarterback system.

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Sports Reporter

Andy Wilcox is a sportswriter-photographer for the Napa Valley Register. He's had similar roles in Walnut Creek, Grass Valley, Auburn, Tracy and Patterson. He grew up in Ohio. His wife, Laura, is a pastry chef. He also enjoys playing guitar and piano.

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