SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cuesta College women’s water polo’s 2018 campaign ended in the first round of the CCCAA Regional Playoffs against the eventual champion in a heartbreak overtime loss to Golden West, 9-8.
Cuesta finished the season in third place in the Western State Conference, with an overall record of 23-11, and landed nine players on the All-Western State Conference teams, led by All-America selection Faith Archibald (Atascadero HS).
Archibald, a sophomore, was named the Cougars’ Most Valuable Player after leading the team with 87 goals and 38 assists. She was selected to the All-Western State Conference First Team and the All-State Second Team, however, she also garnered enough votes to earn All-American honors. Her accomplished second season was a welcome change after her freshman season was hindered by injury and illness, although her strong finish did earn her all-WSC Honorable Mention. Archibald built on that finish and was one of the state’s top players this season from start to finish. Her 87 goals rank seventh all-time for a season at Cuesta, while her 38 assists are 10th all-time. A leader in and out of the water, she was also one of the Cougars’ tri-captains.
Two-time All-State selection Gabi Fabri (West Sacramento) repeated on both the 2018 All-Western State Conference First Team and the CCCAA All-State Second Team. Fabri constructed one of the best two-year careers in program history while leading the Cougars to a pair of playoff berths. She was a pure scorer with 95 goals as a freshman but became a dominant playmaker in her sophomore campaign. She led the Cougars in steals (41) and was second on the team in both goals (73) and exclusions drawn (43), while also dishing out 27 assists. She is only the ninth two-time All-State, first- or second-teamer, in program history and ranks fourth all-time in goals (168), as well as, 13th in both assists (55) and exclusions drawn (59), and 18th in career steals (95). She was also one of the Cougars’ tri-captains.
Freshman driver Kylee Wesemann (Bountiful, Utah) joined Archibald and Fabri on the 2018 All-Western State Conference First Team. Wesemann developed into the Cougars’ third option on offense and scored 20 of her 30 goals in the Cougars’ last 13 games. She was the Cougars’ sprinter this season and renowned as one of the state’s most dynamic fastbreak threats. Her ability to outpace the defense allowed her to post a team-high 57.7 shooting percentage.
Two-time All-Western State Conference Second-Team selection Sofia Terry (SLO HS) was joined on the squad by Freshman Goaltender Tina Bell (Atascadero HS). Terry was known as the team’s top one-on-one defender and for doing the tough work to find a way to make her team win. She led the team with 44 exclusions drawn her career total of 83 ranks second all-time at Cuesta. She also scored 22 goals on the season, including a career-high four tallies in the Cougars’ season-opening win over Fresno. Terry joined Archibald and Fabri as one of the Cougars’ tri-captains.
Bell was part of the Cougars’ dynamic duo at goalie. She played in every game but started only nine. Despite sharing the position, she was able to produce an outstanding season. She finished third in the state with 235 saves and fourth in save percentage 62.5
Sophomores Victoria Donis (Fresno) and Piper Fluegge (Valley Center HS) joined freshmen Sadie Emmitt (Agoura Hills) and Caitlin Luster (Clovis East HS) as All-WSC Honorable Mention picks. Donis was a starter last year, but the Cougars’ first player off the bench in 2018. She scored 19 goals and dished out 22 assists for the Cougars, while also finishing second on the team with 32 steals. Fluegge was the sophomore half of the Cougars’ goaltending platoon. She posted a 12-5 record and compiled 113 saves, however, she also missed nine games due to injury. Fluegge’s career 55.4 percent save percentage ranks fourth all-time (behind three eventual NCAA Goalies). Emmitt and Luster were the only players to start and play every game for the Cougars. Emmitt scored 19 goals and was second on the team with 33 assists and third on the team with 27 exclusions drawn. Luster scored 27 goals and was third on the team with both 31 assists and 31 steals.
All-American Faith Archibald
2018 CCCAA All-State
Second Team Faith Archibald
Second Team Gabi Fabri
2018 All-Western State Conference Honors
First Team Faith Archibald
First Team Gabi Fabri
First Team Kylee Wesemann
Second Team Tina Bell
Second Team Sofia Terry
Honorable Mention Victoria Donis
Honorable Mention Sadie Emmitt
Honorable Mention Piper Fluegge
Honorable Mention Caitlin Luster