Water Polo: St. Lucy’s Emily Donohoe named player of the year; Rach coach of the year

By Steve Ramirez
It’s been a banner year for the St. Lucy’s Priory athletics program.
The volleyball team made history by winning the school’s first CIF-Southern Section title in the sport and the water polo team reached the division finals for the first time. The difference-maker for the Regents was senior Emily Donohoe, who proved to be a vital cog in and out of the pool. For her efforts, Donohoe was named the Tribune’s girls water polo Player of the Year. (To continue click thread).


Player of the Year
: Emily Donohoe, Senior, St. Lucy’s
Coach of the Year: Jeff Rach, St. Lucy’s
First Team
Ambyr Stewart, Junior, Bonita
Stephanie Contreras, Sophomore, Los Altos
Cambria Shockley, Junior, St. Lucy’s
Kim Van Alstine, Senior, Ayala
Sabrina Kaefer, Senior, St. Lucy’s
Haley Williamson, Senior, Bonita
Allison Hu, Senior, Walnut
Second Team
Lisa Elliot, Bonita, Senior
Megan Snow, Junior, Bonita
Karissa Contreras, Senior, Los Altos
Jenna Cook, Senior, St. Lucy’s
Sara Gentry, Senior, Ayala
Markie Quintana, Senior, Charter Oak
Chelsea Dement, Senior, Ayala

The senior, a two-time CIF-SS Division 3 Player of the Year, is joined on the All-Area team by

St. Lucy’s coach Jeff Rach, who is Coach of the Year, and first-team members Stephanie Contreras of Los Altos; St. Lucy’s Cambria Shockley and Sabrina Kaefer; Bonita’s Ambyr Stewart and Haley Williamson; Ayala’s Kim Van Alstine and Walnut’s Allison Hu.

“This was one of the most memorable teams I’ve ever been on,” Donohoe said. “The chemistry was just awesome. It was a great and fun year.

“We just worked really hard, and to go through the experience was great, even though we didn’t win (a CIF-SS championship). It was a great experience. We made history at our school. It was exciting.”

Donohoe earned her second consecutive division player of the year honor after scoring 182 goals and collecting 132 steals. She also had 58 assists and drew 49 ejections.

The senior was All-CIF-SS all four seasons, and this marks her fourth year on the All-Area team.

came up big in the postseason, during which she scored five goals as the Regents ended three years of frustration in the semifinals by beating South Pasadena 16-8 to advance to the division finals for the first time.

“Everyone just knew their role and how to play together this year,” Donohoe said. “We all just really wanted it this year. Not that in the past years we didn’t, but this year you could tell by the way everyone put all the effort into it.

“It was just something we knew what we wanted, and we worked our hardest to get it.”

Another key for the Regents was at the top, where Rach found a way to harness the team’s individual personalities and mold them into one unit to reach a common goal.

He gave credit to his players, who went 10-0 and secured a Sierra League title before finishing 28-5 and runners-up in Division 3.

“Honestly, I’m honored to be Coach of the Year,” Rach said. “But I wouldn’t be anything without these girls. These 10 girls worked just so hard. The dedication they made, the dedication their parents made … without them we wouldn’t have been where we were.

“They worked so hard all year long to get to the finals. I was so excited for them. It’s a first in school history. So again, I’m honored, because without them I wouldn’t be the coach that I am.”

The first team is led by Los Altos driver/2-meter Stephanie Contreras, a sophomore who earned her second All-CIF-SS honor after scoring 177 goals and getting 89 steals. She also had 37 assists and drew 101 ejections. She has 367 goals in just two seasons and was a first-team All-Hacienda League selection.

St. Lucy’s Shockley and Kaefer made the first team after All-CIF-SS seasons that saw them score 91 and 76 goals, respectively. They also were first-team All-Sierra League.

Bonita, led by Stewart, landed two players on the first team. The junior was first-team All-CIF-SS Division 5 and Hacienda League MVP. She led the Bearcats to their second division final in the past two years, although they lost to Temescal Canyon. Williams made the All-Area team after earning first-team in Division 5 and in league.

Van Alstine sparked Ayala’s run to the Division 5 quarterfinals. She was first-team All-CIF-SS Division 5 and All-Sierra League.

Hu, one of few returning players from Walnut’s 2010 Division 6 title team, helped lead the Mustangs to the quarterfinals. She was first-team All-Division 5 and All-Hacienda League.

626-962-8811, ext. 2296

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