Ventura College state champions inducted into hall of fame

Fifteen of the original alumnae attended the event

The Ventura College 1996 and 1997 women’s basketball state champions were formally inducted into the Ventura College Athletics Hall of Fame during a ceremony recently held at the Athletic Event Center at Ventura College. As part of their 20th anniversary reunion, the teams were the first in school history to be inducted into the Ventura College Athletics Hall of Fame.

The honorees travelled from around the world, including Washington, Tennessee and Paris, France, to return to the campus and proudly accept their honors.  Out of the 17 team members, 15 of the original alumnae attended the event.  The 1996 and 1997 women’s basketball teams earned the first two state championships for the Ventura College women’s basketball program.

Leading to the state championships between 1995 and 1997, the Ventura College women’s basketball team was nearly undefeated winning 71 out of 72 games. They outscored their opponents by an average margin of 35.7 points. “To look back at the accomplishments of these young women is very inspiring,” remarked VCCCD Trustee Stephen Blum.  “We will forever cherish the memory of their success and the pride of team spirit they contributed to the campus environment at Ventura College during that era,” added Blum.

The 1995-96 team finished 35-0, beating all opponents accept three by double figures, while the 1996-97 team finished 36-1, ferociously responding to an 81-75 loss to San Jose City in the final of the Gilcrest Invitational at College of the Sequoias; snapping a 42-game winning streak. Thereafter they didn’t just win their final 29 games, they put up 100 or more points a school-record seven times.

“The legacy that these women have left on sports at Ventura College is monumental. The team’s spirit of excellence and dedication exemplifies Ventura College athletics” shared Coach Ned Mircetic. The team members were presented awards by Ventura College President Greg Gillespie, Ventura County Community College District Trustee Stephen Blum, retired Ventura College assistant coach and team mentor David Breslin and coaching staff from 20 years ago, including head coach Ned Mircetic and assistants Tara McLean Emery and Maria Christine.

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