The Malibu Sports Year In Review

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Retired baseball superstar Barry Bonds throws out the ceremonial first pitch at Bluffs Park on the Opening Day of Malibu Little League on Saturday, March 2, 2013. 

From winning CIF championships to capturing league and conference titles to throwing a no-hitter on the biggest stage, sports in 2013 left indelible memories for Malibu to cherish.

MHS: Pietrzyk and Hotchkiss set cross country, swimming records

Juniors Caroline Pietrzyk and Logan Hotchkiss each won two individual CIF championships, reaffirming the belief that hard work can translate into well-earned success. 

Pietrzyk won the CIF Division IV 3200-meter championship race last spring in a time of 10:47.70. She improved to a personal best of 10:35.91 at the Masters a week later. Pietrzyk also won the 1600- and 3200-meter Frontier League titles. 

Pietrzyk became the third female athlete in Malibu track and field program history to win a CIF Southern Section title and the first since 2000. 

Her feats continued this fall when she became Malibu High’s first female cross country section champion by winning the CIF Division IV title in a personal best time of 17:32. Pietrzyk’s season culminated with a second-place finish in Division IV at the state cross country championships. 

The sky is the limit for Pietrzyk as she still has another year-and-a-half to add to her collection of astonishing achievements. 

In the swimming world, Hotchkiss made a splash by winning the CIF Division IV 200-meter freestyle (school-record time of 1:45.54) and the 500-meter freestyle (4:46.45). He also won three league titles (500-meter freestyle and two relays) as the Malibu boys’ swim team won the Frontier League championship. 

Hotchkiss will look to add to his impressive trophy case this spring as one of the top swimmers in the Southern Section.

In addition to boys swimming, Malibu High won league titles in lacrosse, baseball (school-record 24 wins and its first league title since 2005), girls water polo (seven straight), girls tennis (four in a row) and boys water polo (four consecutive, including a CIF runner-up finish this last season while winning a school-record 30 games). 

Malibu Little League hosts Barry Bonds 

The baseball diamond high atop Bluffs Park was home to many special moments in 2013, including home-run king Barry Bonds throwing out the ceremonial first pitch and the Phillies celebrating their third-consecutive Majors championship. 

With a huge crowd in attendance last March, Bonds threw out the first pitch with his godson Riley Banvard standing by his side. Three months later, the Phillies (19-1-1) captured another title behind the incredible exploits of pitcher Giancarlo Zappala. 

Zappala threw a no-hitter and a near-perfect game as the Phillies defeated the upstart Athletics 6-0. In six innings of work, he allowed no hits, no runs, no walks and struck out 15 of 19 batters. Zappala ended the season with three playoff wins and 28 2/3 consecutive innings of zero runs allowed. 

The White Sox (17-2-2) won the AAA Minors Championship with a 15-7 victory over the Nationals. Despite losing the opening game of the double-elimination tournament to the Nationals, the White Sox tallied five consecutive wins to fight off elimination and claim the title. 

The Tigers (14-5-1) won the AA Minors Championship with an 11-7 come-from-behind victory against the Giants. The Tigers lost to the Giants in the quarterfinals and came back to beat the Giants on back-to-back days to win the championship. 

Pepperdine tennis, sand volleyball, water polo thrive 

Five Pepperdine teams reached NCAA postseason play, with the men’s tennis team advancing to the NCAA championship quarterfinals. The women’s sand volleyball team took second place at the AVCA National Championships a year after winning the title. 

The men’s and women’s tennis teams each won the West Coast Conference regular season crown and the WCC Tournament as well. For the men’s team, it marked the 40th tournament championship in its illustrious history, while the women’s team nabbed its 23rd title. 

Fifteen Pepperdine student-athletes earned All-American honors and 48 student-athletes earned all-conference honors. 

Pepperdine men’s water polo coach Terry Schroeder became the Waves first-ever inductee into the CoSIDA/ Capital One Academic All- America Hall of Fame. Nina Matthies received the first-ever national coach of the year award given out by the AVCA in women’s sand volleyball. 

This fall, Matthies announced her retirement as the women’s indoor volleyball coach. Her 31-year career as coach concluded with an overall mark of 590-343 (.632 winning percentage). Matthies is the WCC’s all-time winningest coach, having led the Waves to 11 WCC championship titles.