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Lathrop boys volleyball sweeps top All-WAC awards
All-WAC spring
Lathrop outside hitter Gabriel Fa’ali’i swings at the ball against visiting East Union. - photo by Wayne Thallander

 The Lathrop boys volleyball team swept All-Western Athletic Conference major awards, headlining Spartans earning postseason honors.

The baseball and softball teams each had first-team selections.

Outside hitter Gabriel Fa’ali’i was named All-WAC MVP for volleyball, and right-side hitter Marco Palomares is Offensive Player of the Year. Toa Fa’ali’i received Coach of the Year after leading Lathrop (14-0, 25-6 overall) to a third conference championship.

One of the most prolific offensive players in the Sac-Joaquin

All-WAC spring
Lathrop right-side hitter Marco Palomares spikes against Mountain House in a Western Athletic Conference match. - photo by SEAN KAHLER
Section, two-time all-conference selection Gabriel Fa’ali’i drilled 216 kills (4.8 per set) in WAC matches while tallying 38 services aces, 19 blocks and 89 digs. The sophomore was also named to the All-SJS First Team.

Palomares racked up 122 kills (2.8 per set), 29 aces, 78 digs and a team-high 27 blocks in his breakout junior year. He made the All-WAC second team last year.

Senior setter Alexander Vere and senior defensive specialist Charles Reyes also earned All-WAC first-team honors. Vere amassed 425 assists (9.7 per set) and 22 aces, while Reyes collected 242 digs to go with 29 aces.


All-WAC spring
Lathrop’s Ariana Fuentes fires a pitch in a Western Athletic Conference game against Ceres. - photo by Wayne Thallander
Softball

The Spartans (8-6, 13-8) enjoyed their best season in program history, finishing in fourth place.

They were spearheaded by Ariana Fuentes and Luz De Luna, who are now two-time all-WAC selections.

Fuentes is back on the first team as a two-way performer. She made 13 pitching appearances in league, going 5-3 with a 2.04 ERA with 106 strikeouts in 61 2/3 innings. Offensively, she hit .297 with three doubles, a homer and 12 RBIs.

A second-team selection last year, sophomore catcher De Luna was elevated to first-team recognition. She led Lathrop in most offensive categories in conference play, including average (.395), on-base percentage (.460), slugging percentage (.465), hits 17 and RBIs (15).

Sophomore third baseman/pitcher Maci DeCosta made the second team. She pitched 29 1/3 innings, compiling a 3-3 record with a 4.53 ERA. DeCosta was also among the Spartans’ top hitters with a .255 average and nine RBIs.


Baseball

Seniors Omare Cross and Adrian Zuniga are Lathrop’s only All-WAC selections, and both are first-team selections.

Cross was the Spartans’ speedy center fielder and a clutch hitter in conference play, driving in 12 runs. She also hit .243 with 10 runs, three doubles, a triple and 10 steals.

Zuniga emerged as Lathrop’s ace pitcher and was also a key utility infielder. He held a 2.31 ERA in seven WAC appearances, striking out 25 in 36 1/3 innings. On offense, he hit .383, plated 14 runs and stole five bases. 

All-WAC spring
Lathrop’s Omare Cross makes contact during a Western Athletic Conference contest against Ceres.