Ceres High School’s girls water polo team had its Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs hopes dashed last week.
The Bulldogs dropped out of the race for the Western Athletic Conference’s third-and-final postseason spot after losing a pair of matches.
“It just didn’t happen,” said Stephen Dias, who led the Bulldogs to playoff appearances in 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2012. “We fell short. It’s frustrating for all of us.”
Host Mountain House pulled away for a 13-4 victory over Ceres High on Thursday.
Dias was unable to attend the game due to a health issue.
Derek Wach, leader of Ceres High’s boys water polo team, filled in for Dias.
“In my 12-plus years of coaching, I’ve never missed a game,” Dias said. “I wanted to be there bad.”
Bulldog goalkeeper Arleth Sanchez totaled nine saves versus the Mustangs.
Ceres High’s Amber Hopwood and Reagan Hensley both scored a team-high two goals versus Mountain House.
The Bulldogs trailed 2-1 at the end of the first quarter.
Ceres High faced a 5-2 deficit at intermission.
The Mustangs outscored the Bulldogs 8-2 during the second half.
Visiting Mountain House edged Ceres High 7-6 on Sept. 27.
Ceres High fell 13-4 at third-place Los Banos on Oct. 18.
The Bulldogs compiled an 0-2 record against the Tigers this year.
Los Banos won the first meeting, 10-5, in Ceres.
Fourth-place Ceres High (6-7) will close out the 2022 season at WAC-champion Grace Davis (13-0) this week.
A newcomer to water polo, senior Zion Wesir competed at home for the final time as a member of Ceres High School’s boys team earlier this month.
Wesir was recognized on Senior Day as the Bulldogs lost 11-4 to the Johansen Vikings on Oct. 11. His main sport is baseball.
“Zion’s been a great leader,” Ceres High first-year head coach Derek Wach said. “He’s pushed some of the younger kids to do well. He’s really selfless.”
Wesir and the Bulldogs dropped a pair of conference matches this past week.
Ceres High fell to 0-13 in the WAC after losing 11-3 to host Mountain House on Thursday.
“I have no complaints,” Wach said. “They’ve been working hard at practice and during games.”
Bulldog freshman goalkeeper Logan Butler made 11 saves.
Freshman Abel Samaniego paced Ceres High in scoring with two goals.
Freshman Eli Farinha had one goal.
The Bulldogs led 1-0 through the opening 2 minutes, 34 seconds of play while battling the Mustangs.
“The kids were excited,” Wach said. “They’ve never played with a lead before. I could see them trying harder.”
Ceres High sustained a 7-4 loss at Los Banos on Oct. 18.