Winter sports leave their mark in CIF

Julia Ruiz, Sports Editor

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Four Viking athletic teams wrapped up their 2011-2012 winter season as CIF finalists. Varsity wrestling, varsity girls water polo, varsity boys and girls basketball, and varsity girls soccer were all present in their respective CIF divisional playoffs.

Varsity wrestling entered their first round of finals as two-time defending champions on Sat., Feb. 11. Coach Soto’s boys eased through the round of 16, quarter, and semi-finals to meet their arch rival Warren High in the CIF Division 6 final. Unfortunately, the Vikes could not conquer their third consecutive title as they fell to the Bears 37-30.

Meanwhile, the varsity girls water polo team took on Desert Valley as their competitors for their first round of CIF on Tues., Feb. 14. The girls drew 9-9 and were forced to continue into overtime. After thirty-four minutes and double overtime, Coach Judy’s girls were eliminated with a final score of 11-10.

“I am really sad about the loss but glad we didn’t lose by a lot, and losing in double overtime shows that we kept our momentum up,” senior Kathleen Gaytan said.

Coach Shelton and his varsity basketball boys had similar luck. The Vikes hosted Rancho Cucamonga for their first round of CIF on Fri., Feb. 17. The visitors broke out in the second quarter as the Vikings were falling behind. After finding their momentum, Shelton’s boys got back up and kept the scoreboard balanced throughout the rest of the game. A score of 65-65 at the end of regular time forced an overtime. After an additional six minutes, Rancho Cucamonga moved on to the second round as the hosts fell with a final score of 73-67.

On the other hand, Coach Walker and his varsity girls basketball team made history as they reached the CIF quarter finals for the first time since 1995. The girls lost fewer games this season thanks to Walker’s offensive attack, which he enforced this year.

“All the games this year have not been blowouts,” captain Rayana Villalpando said. “The final score has always been very close.”

The girls defeated Trabuco Hills and Katella before facing Summit in the quarter finals on Sat., Feb 25. The Vikes kept up a close game until the final quarter of the match. Summit turned to a defensive attack, denying Walker’s girls to score. The Summit girls were then able to break through the Viking’s defense and win the game 62-54.

“I feel bad about the loss but happy we gave it our all,” Villalpando said. “It was great to see so many fans in the stands supporting us. The school seemed proud and amazed.”

All the while, girls varsity soccer traveled to face Cajon in the CIF Division 5 semi-final on Tues., Feb 28. After being CIF finalist last season, the girls aimed to bring home a title this year.

The only goal of the game came from midfielder Claudia Lopez in the second half of the game, giving the visitors a 1-0 win and a trip to the CIF finals.

“We are all really happy to move on to the finals,” forward Janeth Acuña said. “The win against Cajon was great but now we have to focus on this last game.”

Coach Godfrey and her girls will face La Serna in the CIF Division 5 final on Sat., Mar. 3 at Mission Viejo High School.