by Samantha Brooks

The CIF Southern Section Commissioner’s Cup, which awards points according to a school’s final standing in various sports, announced five South Bay schools within its top ten finishers for 2009-2010. Chadwick ranked second on the girls’ side, behind Malibu’s Harvard-Westlake.

Chadwick girls teams earned points based upon the strength of cross country CIF and runner-up State Championship titles (five points), a runner-up CIF finish in tennis (three points) and semifinal CIF appearances in basketball and water polo (two points each).

Currently, Coach George Ramos’ girls cross country team is the highest Division V team in’s “Hot 100” state ranking for the 2010 season.  The team has won two straight CIF titles and seven overall since 1998. The girls have also won three state titles, but lost by eight points last season.

Defending CIF champion senior Jaye Buchbinder is a bona fide state title contender and is poised for a big senior season.

Sophomores Lauren Ouye, Melissa Shadden and Hailey Waller, Senior Nicole Hutchison, and Juniors Valerie Yarema and Jennifer Calfas add experienced depth the team.

The girl’s tennis team may not look as strong as it did last season with their number one single’s player, Cait Bartlett (Princeton), a solid performance in the CIF Southern Section Division II championship match; however, five returning starters from last year’s team are prepared to hold up the team in their quest for the Prep League Title and a spot in the championship match once again.

Additionally, Palm Desert, which beat the team last season in the CIF final, was moved up to Division I. “ We anticipate going to the playoffs and to battle for the Prep League title,” said coach Carolyn Leach. “I don’t know if we’ll go as far as last year, but we could make a run at it.”

Sophomore Montana Morgan and Junior Madeleine Sung are both vying for the No. 1 singles spot, with Senior Madison Webster holding down the No. 3 spot. Junior starters Lauren MacHarg and Allyson Melideo will also return as the No. 1 doubles team this year, the third season the two have played together.

The girl’s basketball team has high hopes and goals for the senior seasons of four-year Varsity players Breanna Madrazo, Airiss Finley, Haley Bush and Emily Lapham, as well as a return to the court by senior Val Geiger. “Our goal is to win CIF and Prep League,” Lapham said.

“Bre(anna) just re-tore her ACL, so we’re all pretty bummed about that, but we still have really high expectations for ourselves this season. She’s an outstanding player, but we still finished well last season without Bre(anna) so, while we’re currently hoping for a quick recovery for her; we know we can hold our own until she heals up.”

Although suffering from the loss of graduated players Carlyn Robertson and Ginny Trumbull, the water polo teams rounds off the list of Chadwick girls teams hoping to win CIF and League this season.

Currently, those goals are very dependant on more girls joining the team, as well as someone to step up and take-over Trumbull’s spot as goalie. As of now, the team only has roughly twelve players, which is barely enough for a varsity team with subs.

However, the need for more players is not putting a damper on the girls’ aspirations. The team is still striving to beat Malibu, their rival team who they best last year for the first time ever.

They hope to establish a winning streak over Malibu this year during tournaments and in CIF.

The girls’ volleyball team also hopes to add points to Chadwick’s Commissioner’s Cup ranking this year. The team boasts nine senior players this year, including four year varsity starters Zoe Hamilton, Corinne Hemmersbach, Cameron Longyear and Melissa Kohl.

“We know the seniors all want to win and are going to give their all every day, so it’s really about who else is going to step up during each game with them,” said Sophomore Libero/Defensive Specialist Sarah Gurbach.

The Dolphin’s have a perfect 5-0 record in League this year, and plan to keep it that way. Sophomores Sarah Lucenti and Abbe Holtze moved up to varsity this year and are both proving to be great strengths for the team.

The girls’ teams all share a common characteristic: striving for excellence.  Coming fresh off of successes last season, the girls in each sport plan to compete better than ever.