Santa Ana College 2017 Fall Sports Review

Santa Ana College 2017 Fall Sports Review

Men's Cross Country:

The SAC Men's Cross-Country team had another stellar season, taking ninth place in the 2017 CCCAA State Championships. The team raced to a total time of 1:48.29 and an average time of 21:41 on their way to their second straight top ten finish. Santa Ana also took second place in the Orange Empire Conference standings just behind Riverside City College. Eric Jimenez and Eduardo Guapilla were named to the All-Conference 1st Team as the Dons top runners.

Women's Cross Country:

Santa Ana Women's Cross Country placed fifth in the Orange Empire Conference and was given three spots on the All-OEC Second team. Filling those spots were Andrea Anaya, Monique Azpeitia and Jaylynn Vega. The Dons came up short of sending the whole team to the state championships but were represented by Anaya, as she placed 92nd in the SoCal Championships to extend her season. At state, Anaya raced against 160 athletes, earning 97th place with a time of 20:45.6.


The Dons Football team had its best season since 2012 with an overall record of 7-4 and its first bowl game appearance in five years. Santa Ana also earned their first American Metro League Championship with an undefeated 6-0 record in league play. 15 Dons were honored with post-season awards as well as Head Coach Adam Nyssen being named Coach of the Year. The Dons traveled to San Diego Mesa College to play in the SoCal Bowl in a matchup between the third and fourth ranked teams in the American Division. After falling behind 21-0 in the first half, the Dons responded by shutting out the Olympians in the second half to make it a game. In the end, the Dons fell 37-34 to conclude their season.

Men's Soccer:

Matheus Cuhna and the Santa Ana College Men's Soccer team placed third in the Orange Empire Conference with a record of 10-5-6 overall and a conference record of 7-2-5. Cuhna was named OEC Co-MVP in his sophomore season with the Dons. Five more Dons were awarded All-Conference honors with Joseph Vasquez, Noe Alvizo-Chavez and Daniel Castro earning spots on the first team while Joshua Castellon and Paulo Gama landed on the second team. The Dons played their way into the CCCAA Regionals as the 12th seed and traveled to El Camino College to play against #5 Compton College. After giving up a goal late in the second period, the Dons dropped the game 1-0 to finish their season in the first round of regionals.

Women's Soccer:

After a 5-1 start to the season, the Santa Ana College Women's Soccer team had high hopes for 2017 Orange Empire Conference play. The women went toe to toe with the best teams in the Orange Empire Conference but just couldn't finish in a few matches, which resulted in a 7th place finish with an overall record of 7-12-2 and an OEC record of 4-10-2. The Dons landed four spots on the All-OEC teams with Kassandra Herrera and Breana Martinez making the first team, while Linda Frias and Adriana Mejia claimed their place on the second team.


The Santa Ana College Volleyball team finished the 2017 season with an overall record of 10-15 and an Orange Empire Conference record of 3-13. SAC started out the year hot, going 6-2 in pre-season play but ran into some stiff competition in the OEC. Sophomores Mikelle Taylor and Kassandra Murillo were the only Dons to be awarded All-Conference honors. Taylor, a sophomore outside hitter from Valencia High School, was named First Team All-OEC. She led the Dons in kills with 309 on the season, breaking her own record of 255 set last year. Taylor ranked third in the conference in kills and recorded 260 digs, which was good for eighth best in the OEC. Murillo was named to the All-Conference Second team for her dominant play at the net. The sophomore middle blocker out of Loara High School was fourth in the conference in blocks with 66, breaking the previous school record of 58. Murillo was also tied for the team lead in aces with 39 to go along with 112 kills to cap off her last season with the Dons. 

Men's Water Polo:

Santa Ana Men's Water Polo showed steady improvement throughout the 2017 season. With many players being new to the game, the Dons had a steep learning curve and worked hard to get better. The team placed 6th in the Orange Empire Conference with an 0-13 record. Eli Lew, one of Santa Ana's most experienced players, led the team in goals scored with 35 on the season. With many of their freshmen expected to return, the Dons hope to turn things around next year.

Women's Water Polo:

The Santa Ana College Women's Water Polo team was led by freshman Emy Castaneda who recorded 35 goals in just 12 games. That mark put her at 16th in the Orange Empire Conference and 94th in the state rankings. With two returners on the team, Santa Ana struggled to earn wins but showed heart while competing this year. They ended the season with an 0-12 mark even though they fought tooth and nail.


The Dons Wrestling team had a solid season as they finished seventh at the CCCAA State Championships. Brandon Tierney and Wolfgang Bernal earned All-American status, finishing in the top four in their weight classes. Tierney, a sophomore from Irvine High School, placed fourth overall in the 165-pound weight class after going 3-2 in the tournament. Freshman Wolfgang Bernal worked his way through the 149-pound bracket to take home the third-place medal in his first CCAA State Tournament. Santa Ana College Wrestling also made history this year with its first female participant in its history with the addition of Polette Montano. Santa Ana will return next year with a foundation that will be dangerous at the state level.