After guiding her Vikings to their third consecutive undefeated Coast Conference championship, the NorCal championship and third place in the state, West Valley women's water polo coach Erika Vargas has been selected the West Valley College 2020 Coach of the Year. The NorCal title and CCCAA 3rd place finish were firsts for a program Vargas took over in 2017.
The 2019 Vikings finished 25-7 overall, 11-0 in the Coast, outscoring opponents 449-163. They captured the NorCal crown by knocking off Sierra, the defending state champion, 13-7 on Noc. 16 and then brought home the state 3rd place trophy with another 13-7 victory over Sierra on Nov. 23.
In 2019, Vargas was named the Coast Conference Coach of the Year for third straight time and mentored the Coast MVP and Goalkeeper of the Year Raquel de Pinho, the NorCal MVP Nadja Novakovic, three All-Americans (de Pinho, Novakovic and Maryam Khatoon), three All-NorCal players (de Pinho, Khatoon, Novakovic), and eight All-Coast players (de Pinho, Khatoon, Novakovic, Sierra Ceballos, Emily Fields, Alexis Goldin, Maria Higginbotham and Gigi Valente Cardenuto).
West Valley Director of Aquatics Willo Rodriguez said Vargas has "redefined the meaning of excellence within the women's water polo program at West Valley. Her arrival served as the catalyst that helped transform the women's polo program into a state powerhouse." Rodriguez added, "Furthermore, her work across campus has helped create a sense of equity and inclusion for students, faculty and staff. We are lucky to have her!"