Team USA, cutting its softball roster back to prepare for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, left Sahvanna Jaquish off the ultimate squad last week.

The onetime Redlands East Valley High School star, who is from Highland, has collegiate All-American roots from her days at Louisiana State University.

The roster was set on Oct. 6; some 18 athletes -- a 15-player squad plus three replacements -- by Tampa University head coach Ken Eriksen.

“My heart is broken,” said Jaquish, sharing with social media, “but I know the 2020 team is going to hold it down.”

Jaquish, the youngest of three softball-playing sisters who each played at REV, is a hard-hitting catcher-third baseman, a factor that should have played in her making the squad.

Jaquish has toured with Team USA, playing in the Pan American Games this past summer, while also attending a training camp and another tournament in Tokyo, site of next year’s Olympics. She was part of a 29-player mix whose spot on the team was determined by Eriksen and the Team USA staff.

“I did really well in my eyes,” she said, “and I had so much fun.”

Despite getting cut, Jaquish seemed fired up for Team USA’s hopes to repeat its gold medal from the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

“All I know is I love Team USA,” she said. “I know those girls will bring it home and I am their biggest fan.”

Ten of the final 15 roster members are Californians, including some highly decorated players from such NCAA powerhouses as UCLA, Alabama, Michigan, Florida, plus legendary pitchers Monica Abbott of Tennessee and Cat Osterman of Texas.

In fact, the three replacement players are also from California, a fact that could have played in Jaquish’s favor. It’s year-round play in the Golden State.

During Team USA’s recent tournament play, Jaquish was teammates with the elite of the nation’s softball talent.

“My story,” said Jaquish, “is to be continued.”

REV has had its connection to the Olympics in the past.

In 2000, soccer star Landon Donovan was part of the USA squad.

In 2016, volleyball’s Krista Vansant had made the team until the final cut.

PREP VOLLEYBALL

Citrus Valley has clinched an outright Citrus Belt League championship after edging Redlands High in five games while sweeping Cajon High School in a 3-gamer last week.

At 20-5 overall, head coach Tina Raddish has landed the Lady Blackhawks back atop the CBL standings after a three-way deadlock with REV and Yucaipa last season.

“We are super excited,” said Raddish. “It’s a great group of girls.”

The Lady Terriers threw a tough challenge at Citrus Valley, coming up with 25-23 and 26-24 triumphs in games three and four to send it to a decisive fifth-game, won by the Lady Blackhawks, 15-8.

Jackie Barrett’s 26 kills with Abigail Lium’s 14 putaways led Citrus Valley. There were no statistics available from Redlands.

Emily Tuttle-Kamon’s 30 assists, McKayla Long’s 36 digs, Leilani Battle’s five blocks with Barrett and Tatum Sells splitting eight service aces to lead Citrus Valley.

Redlands (12-9, 3-4) needed this match to hold onto a share of third place in hopes of nabbing a CIF playoff berth.

* * *

In a top-heavy Ambassador League chase, unranked Aquinas (17-6, 10-3) fell to third place behind a pair of highly ranked CIF teams, Ontario Christian and Temecula Linfield Christian.

Top-ranked in Division 3, Ontario Christian has swept the Lady Falcons twice, both in 3-0 counts, while fourth-ranked (Div. 6) Linfield Christian -- scheduled this week to play at Aquinas -- held on in a 5-gamer.

Junior setter Jessica Amori has led the attack, her sets going mainly to Janel Pido, Abigail Aguilera-Ayala or Alyssa Gurrola, who have combined for over 500 kills.

* * *

A Senior Night sweep over Rialto Eisenhower was a nice message from San Gorgonio’s volleyball team

A few days earlier, Arroyo Valley fell in a three-game sweep to the Lady Spartans.

No team will stop Rim of the World, the Lake Arrowhead-based squad with multiple CIF championship banners hanging in its gym, plus an endless number of league championships. The Lady Scots, 20-12 overall, entered the week at 8-0 in SAL play.

Rim of the World, in fact, knocked off Aquinas in tournament play, winning two out of three in an Oct. 5 duel.

San G was fighting for second place with the likes of Rialto and Fontana Jurupa Hills.

BOYS PREP WATER POLO

Off to a 2-1 start in San Andreas League play, 10th-ranked San Gorgonio has made the most of a brutal non-league schedule, winning six out of 17 against the likes of polo powers No. 2 (CIF Division 6) Redlands, San Bernardino and Palm Springs.

Fontana stifled the Spartans, 12-1, sandwiched around San G wins over Arroyo Valley, 13-4, and Rialto Eisenhower, 14-4.

“The team has been getting better,” said Chad Rahn, noting the Spartans were ranked No. 20 in Division, second in place in SAL.

“Playoffs are on the horizon," he said. "We’ll need to win a few games to close out the regular season still.”

“Fontana beat us in the first round of SAL competition pretty badly...hence the 2nd place.”

PREP CROSS COUNTRY

San Gorgonio seemingly got smoked at the recent ASICS/Temecula Twilight @ Galway Downs meet back on Oct. 5.

“A night meet,” said Spartans’ coach Chuck Sanchez, “so we can stay away from the heat.”

Consider, however, that Temecula Great Oak High -- perhaps the state’s best program at Division 1 -- was fully engulfed in the same division as the Spartans.

The Wolfpack scored big, 25-68, over second-place Claremont while San G took 16th place in a fully loaded 22-team field.

“Going up against teams like that toughens you up,” said Sanchez. “You don’t want them to get a false sense of where they are as a team. You say, ‘yes, you can beat people (in a league race, for instance), but are you achieving your goals?’ 

That approach, he said, “has worked for me.”

A trio of juniors -- Edward Ocampo, Raul Andrade and Tony Bui -- plus senior Elvis Bui finished in a pack-running time of 16:08 to 16:26, which could bode well for the San Andreas League finals.

Scheduled this week was SAL mini-meet No. 2.

A return to health for Andrade, who suffered a summertime knee injury, led Sanchez to predict a No. 1 finish for the boys.

San G’s girls, of course, were no match for Division 1-ranked Yucaipa, Vista Murrieta or Great Oak -- the top three teams to finish in Division 1 -- but the same principal applies.

The Lady Spartans’ top two finishers were sophomores -- Maritzabel Salcido and Unieque Solis -- with junior Angelica Ramirez-Canseco and sophomore Yoselyn Canseco in a 22:06 to 21:09 pack-running outcome.

“I basically have the girls’ soccer team,” said Sanchez.

* * *

Citrus Valley boys’ held off Murrieta Mesa, 87-93, in one division at last week’s Inland Empire Challenge.

Aquinas’ boys held off Riverside Prep in the Small Schools (Division 3-4) race, a rumble dominated by Barstow’s 24-95 over the Falcons, led by junior Alejandro Ayala (12th, 17:11).

The Blackhawks, led by freshman Ethan Romero (9th, 16:24), not only beat Murrieta Mesa, but outlasted Redlands city rivals Redlands and Redlands East Valley. REV, however, put its top lineup in the Boys Sweepstakes race, which it won.

Christian Fernandez, Juan Montes, Joseph Gaitan and Arian Mayorga took 13-19-23-30 in scoring.

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