Trio of Grizzlies, T-wolves top girls polo all-league

Granite Bay’s Hamby is SFL MVP
By: Kurt Johnson, The Press Tribune
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The teams that won the regular season and tournament titles in the Sierra Foothill League also led the way when postseason honors were handed out.


“I think the SFL is such a strong league that any girl on the SFL all league first team would have to be on a regional team,” said Woodcreek coach Grant Guensler. “The SFL continues to show well every year in the section, and this year Whitney, Woodcreek and GB were really closely matched.”


Three teams placed three players each on the all-league first team as released by the coaches last week, with league MVP Jessica Hamby of Granite Bay leading the way. Hamby led her team to a regular season league title and to the No. 2 spot in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II tournament.


Jessica Hamby has definitely earned her title as league MVP,” said Granite Bay coach Sarah Kovach.  “She is definitely a key player, and our team would not have been as successful as we were without her. By far our leading scorer, she communicates what needs to be done both in practice and in the games and she is well-respected by her teammates as a great motivator.”


Hamby’s twin sister Alison is also a first-team selection and the duo is joined by Geneva Capos.


“They are key elements to both our offense and our defense,” Kovach said. “With Alison guarding hole-set and Geneva's stellar drive defense, they help us to have an effective defense. They are also both offensive threats as they never hesitate to put the ball in our opponent's cage.”


Woodcreek’s SFL tournament-winning team also placed three girls on the first team, as Patti Fernandez, Rachel Marmorstein and Leah Smith were selected among the league’s top players.


“Patti Fernandez and Rachel Marmorstein where the backbone of a hard-working team with no real big players,” said Woodcreek coach Grant Guensler. “They made us a team that sticks together and were good because they worked so hard to improve the whole team. Leah Smith came into her own later in the season and caused teams to double on her at two-meter.  She is improving daily and is the reason that a lot of the other girls were free to take shots.”


The coaches are impressed with the level of play in the league as a whole and recognize the honor it is for these girls to receive all-league recognition.


This year was possibly one of the best years in the SFL for girls water polo,” Kovach said. “The level of play in our league continues to get better and better and the talent continues to grow. There were a lot of close, nail-biter games this season, which shows how competitive this group of girls is. If I had the opportunity to coach that 1st team all-league in some sort of game, it would be really fun to watch.”


Roseville goalie Nicolette Halflich was also selected to the first team and Del Oro also had one representative in Sarah Mekelon.


Whitney was represented by a trio of field players – Marley Kinney, Liz Grover and Kayley Marshall and Rocklin goalie Stacey McTaggart was joined on the first team by teammates Katie
Summers and Kayla Phillips.




SFL girls water polo all-league team:

MVP: Jessica Hamby, Granite Bay


First team:

Alison Hamby, Granite Bay

Geneva Capos, Granite Bay

Patti Fernandez, Woodcreek

Rachel Marmorstein, Woodcreek

Leah Smith, Woodcreek

Nicolette Halflich, Roseville (goalie)

Marley Kinney, Whitney

Liz Grover, Whitney

Kayley Marshall, Whitney

Stacey McTaggart, Rocklin (goalie)

Katie Summers, Rocklin

Kayla Phillips, Rocklin

Sarah Mekelon, Del Oro


Second team:

Shelby Romuk, Granite Bay

Amanda Wirth, Granite Bay

Natalia Aldrete, Woodcreek

Lindy Olberg, Woodcreek

Lauren Moniz, Woodcreek (goalie)

Kristin Boston, Roseville

Mackenzie McWilliams, Oakmont         

Stephanie Grover, Whitney

Courtney Ueltzen, Whitney

Tayler Lightle, Rocklin

Natalie Johnson, Del Oro

Rachael Odell, Del Oro

Devin Blaney, Nevada Union

Angela Murphy, Nevada Union