Ceres High’s varsity girls water polo team has reeled off three straight victories since opening the Western Athletic Conference season with a lopsided loss against Beyer earlier this month.
The Bulldogs remained in a tie for second place in the WAC with Johansen after besting reigning league champion Los Banos 17-8 last Thursday on the road.
“We have more experience and depth,” coach Stephen Dias said. “They have a new coach. They lost some good seniors. They’re reorganizing. I’m hoping their team gets back on its feet.”
First-place Beyer (4-0) had a one-game lead over Ceres High and Johansen in the conference standings as of Monday.
The WAC sends three teams to the playoffs.
“I seriously thought we’d be lower than that,” Dias said. “I didn’t know how we’d play against Los Banos and new teams. I figured we’d be playing for third or fourth.”
Ceres High’s Camryn Silva scored a game-high six goals against Los Banos.
Kassandra Armas added five goals.
Gisele Garcia and Emily Wolff both contributed three goals.
The Bulldogs outscored the Tigers 11-2 in the opening half.
Los Banos edged out Ceres High for the WAC title the past two seasons.
“It felt good to win. We controlled the game. I wish it would have been competitive like last year.”Coach Stephen Dias
“It felt good to win,” Dias said. “We controlled the game. I wish it would have been competitive like last year.”
Ceres High routed visiting Pacheco 19-3 on Sept. 18.
“We’ve played well,” Dias said. “We have a little more to give.”
Silva scored a match-high six goals.
Allison McAdams tallied three goals.
Armas, Garcia and freshman Elyse Cannella finished with two goals apiece.
Wolff, Ninweh Gorges, Adriana Lopez and sophomore Katie Hensley all scored once.
The Bulldogs led 12-1 at intermission.
“I’m happy to win but I wanted it to be more competitive,” Dias said. “It’s more fun when you have tight games.”
Ceres High defeated Los Banos and Pacheco by a combined score of 36-11.
Dias relied on all 13 of his players during both matches.
“They were excited to get in and were tired when they got out,” he said.
Varsity newcomer Isabel Juarez starred at goalkeeper.
“She did a fantastic job,” Dias said. “I’m very proud of her.”
The Bulldogs will compete against Mountain House and Grace Davis in Ceres this week.
“This league is making us stronger,” Dias said. “Playing Beyer and Johansen will prepare us for playoffs.”