Girls Water Polo All-Area: Los Altos’ Stephanie Contreras and coach Chris Coleman lead the way

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Player of the Year: STEPHANIE CONTRERAS, Los Altos, Senior
Stephanie Contreras began her girls water polo career as a virtual unknown. She leaves it as the most-prolic scorer in the CIF-Southern Section.
The senior scored 141 goals this season to finish with a CIF-SS record of 639 goals for a career en route to leading the Conquerors to the division semifinals for the second time in four seasons.
For her efforts, Contreras is 2013 San Gabriel Valley Tribune Girls Water Polo Player of the Year.
“It was a pretty good season,” said Contreras, whose team lost to eventual champion Troy in the Divison 4 semfinals. “It was a sad moment losing (to Troy). It was a pretty close game.
“But breaking the record was a good moment and something I can look back on.”
It was the second milestone for the senior, who set the single-season record her freshman season, scoring 188 while leading the Conquerors to the Division 6 finals, losing to Walnut, 11-6.
She added the career mark to her resume this season, scoring 141 in 31 games to finish with 639. Contreras eclipsed La Salle’s Kara-Leigh Huse’s mark of 607 with four goals in a 9-8 victory over Temescal Canyon on Feb. 2.
“It was kind of crazy, because after I (set the record) I had to come out of the pool,” Contreras said. “Everyone was hugging me. We had a pretty good turnout, so it was good.
“The single season was out of the blue just before playoffs they told me I had a a shot at the record. I was like, ‘OK, I can score all these goals.’ But this was more of a build up. It definitely (felt) better.”
Contreras then helped the Conquerors finished strong, taking a share of second-place in the Hacienda League with Walnut before advancing to the CIF-SS Division 4 semifinals with wins over Rio Mesa and South Pasadena. Their season ended with the 7-6 loss to Troy.
The senior was Hacienda League MVP and first team All-CIF-SS Division 4. She said her college choices include Stanford and Arizona State.

Coach of the Year: CHRIS COLEMAN, Los Altos
Coleman, who just completed his seventh year at Los Altos, has built the Conquerors into one of the top programs in the area, guiding Los Altos to the CIF-Southern Section Division 6 finals in 2010 and the Division 4 semifinals this season. He has 141 wins in seven years at Los Altos and one season at Nipomo. The Conquerors, who finished second in the Hacienda League to Bonita, were 22-9 this season en route to advancing to the semifinals, losing 7-6 to Troy.

FIRST TEAM
SAMMY SANCHEZ, La Puente, Senior
It’s not often that a player is selected MVP of their league without leading her team to the league championship. Sanchez is the exception. She earned MVP of the league, leading the Warriors to share of second-place before losing in the first round of the Division 7 playoffs. La Puente finished 6-10.
JESSICA YBARRA, Ayala, Junior
Ybarra enjoyed a solid season, helping the Bulldogs to a Sierra League title and the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 quarterfinals. She was MVP of the Sierra League after leading Ayala to an 8-0 league mark and a 26-5 overall record. The junior also earned first team All-Division 3.
RACHEL STOCK, St. Lucy’s, Senior
Stock has been one of the top goalies each of the past two seasons, following up last season’s All-Area second team honor with a first-team award this season. She keyed St. Lucy’s run to a second-place finish in the Sierra League and a 16-13 record. Stock was first team All-Sierra League.
MIA RYCRAW, Walnut, Senior
Rycraw earned her second first-team All-Area selection. She helped the Mustangs to a share of second-place in the Hacienda League and a 17-7 record. She was first team All-CIF-Southern Section Division 4 and first team All-Sierra League.
ROSE TAKEUCHI, Los Altos, Senior
Takeuchi was a key factor in the Conquerors winning 22 games and advancing to the Division 4 semifinals. She ranked among the area leaders with 320 saves, 46 steals and eight assists. She was first team All-Hacienda League and first team All-CIF-SS Division 4.
NATALIE RIVAS, Bonita, Junior
The junior was one of the top scorers in the area and played a big part in Bonita ranked No. 1 in Division 4 most of the season before winning the Hacienda League title and advancing to the divisional semifinals. She was first team All-Hacienda League and first team All-CIF-SS Division 4.
SAMANTHA SNOW, Bonita, Junior
Snow was half of the Bearcats’ dynamic duo that also featured Natalie Rivas. She ranked among the area leaders in scoring and helped Bonita to a 24-8 record and the Hacienda League title. She was first team All-CIF-SS Division 4 and first team All-Hacienda League.

SECOND TEAM
Erin McCarthy, St. Lucy’s, Sr.
Brittany Seaman, St. Lucy’s, Sr.
Angela Gomez, Bonita, Sr.
Erin Gonzalez, Bonita, So.
Erica Venegas, Los Altos, Sr.
Brea Cook, Glendora, Sr.
Kimberly Covert, Ayala, Sr.

FINAL TOP 10
1. Bonita (24-8)
2. Los Altos (22-9)
3. Ayala (26-5)
4. Walnut (17-7)
5. St. Lucy’s (16-13)
6. Charter Oak (14-15)
7. Claremont (14-15)
8. Wilson (13-12)
9. Nogales (5-19)
10. La Puente (6-10)

GAME OF THE YEAR: Troy 7, Los Altos 6, Division 4 semifinals

Los Altos was so close to advancing to its second CIF-Southern Section girls water polo championship game since 2010 it could taste it.

But the outcome of games are not determined by halftime.

The Conquerors learned that the hard way.

Grace Shade scored on a loft shot with two minutes remaining and goalie Jessica Harris had 19 saves, including a key stop in the final 20 seconds, as Troy rallied from a four-goal deficit to score a 7-6 victory over Los Altos at the Brenda Villa Aquatic Center.

Allison Lany also had two goals for the Warriors, who went on to win the Division 4 title, beating La Serna, 9-5, in the championship game.

Stephanie Contreras scored two goals for the Conquerors, who led 5-1 at halftime.

“They took the momentum right out of us,” Los Altos coach Chris Coleman said. “We stopped playing. We played like we were trying to protect a lead rather than get a win.”
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