By Steve Ramirez
Freshmen are not supposed to be this good. Los Altos High School’s Stephanie Contreras was the exception. The freshman made history this past season by scoring 195 goals to set a CIF-Southern Section record for most goals in a season. For her efforts Contreras, who also led the Conquerors to the divisional finals for the first time, is the area Girls Water Polo Player of the Year. (To continue, click thread).
Girls Water Polo All-Area
Player of the year: Stephanie Contreras, Los Altos, Fr.
Coach of the year: Lani Ruh, Walnut
Alexandra Escobar, Walnut, Sr.
Allie Zell, Walnut, Sr.
Allison Hu, Walnut, Jr.
Stephanie Tuning, Los Altos, Sr.
Stacie Itow, Los Altos, Sr.
Emily Donohoe, St. Lucy’s, Jr.
Cambria Shockley, St. Lucy’s, So.
Dallon Coulter, St. Lucy’s, Sr.
Cambria Lippiatt, Glendora, So.
Ambyr Stewart, Bonita, So.
Markie Quintana, Charter Oak, Jr.
Bianca Adams, St. Lucy’s, Sr.
Karissa Contreras, Los Altos, Jr.
Samantha Lepp, Walnut, Jr.
Also receiving area honors are Coach of the Year Lani Ruh of Walnut and first-team selections Alexandra Escobar (Walnut), Allie Zell (Walnut), Allison Hu (Walnut), Stephanie Tuning (Los Altos), Stacie Itow (Los Altos), Emily Donohoe (St. Lucy’s) and Cambria Shockley (St. Lucy’s).
“When I came here, I pretty much wanted to see how much I could score and beat the record (of 183 goals previously held by La Salle’s Kara-Leigh Huse),” Contreras said. “I want to see what I can do in four years.
“It’s a pretty good accomplishment, this being my first year.”
But it wasn’t Contreras’ only contribution to the Conquerors, who lost to Walnut in the Division 6 championship.
Contreras, who was first-team All-Miramonte League and All-CIF-SS Division 6, also had 51 assists and 114 steals and forced 61 ejections.
“She has the recognition, the game awareness, that instinct,” Los Altos coach Chris Coleman said. “In other sports, it’s described as field vision.
“She has it. She can figure out what’s going to happen next.”
Ruh also made history this season in leading the Mustangs to their first water polo title in beating Los Altos 11-6 in the championship game. Walnut finished 25-6.
“It’s pretty amazing,” Ruh said. “The girls worked really hard for this.
“I’ve heard so much from a lot of coaches on our campus. They tell me what a boost this is for them and the school as a whole. It’s really raised the school’s spirit.”
The keys for the Mustangs’ road to the top were the trio of Escobar, Zell and Hu.
Escobar was the go-to player for much of the year and led the team with 172 goals, including two in the championship game. She also was a first-team Miramonte League choice and in Division 6.
Zell also had a banner year with 127 goals. She was MVP of the league and Division 6.
Hu was the top goalie in the area and was first-team All- Division 6 after stopping 278 shots, including eight in the championship game.
While Los Altos was led by Contreras, the Conquerors were far from a one-player team. Tuning and Itow also did their part in leading Los Altos to a 24-9 record.
Tuning was stellar on the defensive end with 167 steals. She also had 87 goals and 78 assists and was first-team All-Division 6.
Itow also was solid on the defensive end in getting 45 steals to go along with 31 goals and 29 assists. She also was first-team All-Division 6.
Donohoe and Shockley were St. Lucy’s one-two punch.
The Regents finished 26-5, won another Sierra League title and lost in the Division 3 semifinals to eventual champion Riverside Poly, .
Donohoe, who is on the all-area team for the third consecutive season, was player of the year in Division 3 and Sierra League MVP.
Shockley was a first-teamer in Division 3 and league.