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Ceres High girls finish third in WAC water polo
Dawgs close out conference play with 13-6 win
Head coach Stephen Dias recognized senior players before Ceres Highs final match on Wednesday. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Ceres High School's varsity girls water polo team appeared headed for another playoff appearance.

The Bulldogs dropped out of contention thanks to a three-game losing streak.

Ceres High closed out the 2013 Western Athletic Conference campaign with a 13-6 win over visiting Livingston on Senior Day last Wednesday.

"Our goal was to get to playoffs," said Emily Chapman, a four-year player with the Bulldogs. "We played every game like it was our last. I can't be more proud of my team. We had a good season."

Chapman scored a game-high three goals for Ceres High, which placed third in the WAC standings (4-4). The top two teams advanced to the postseason.

Jordan Pata, Julia Pata and Annie Connors all contributed two goals.

Katie Rose, Ashley Schmidt, Cassidy Hines and Maya Narvaez finished with one goal each.

Bulldogs goalkeepers Kyndal Chapman and Jasmine Moore had 10 and two saves, respectively.

Ceres High fell behind 5-4 in the opening half.

The Bulldogs swung momentum in their favor by outscoring the Wolves 5-0 in the third period. Connors had two goals. Rose, Julia Pata and Emily Chapman chipped in with one goal apiece.

"Livingston worked harder this time," Ceres High head coach Stephen Dias said. "They wanted it. We got a little overconfident in the beginning. We finally woke up. Everybody got to play."

Dias handed his wallet, phone, keys and shoes to assistant coach Victor Cruz before being tossed into the deep end of the pool at the conclusion of the game.

"I knew I was going into," he said. "That's why I didn't dress up in a suit."

Rose, Narvaez, Hines, Jordan Pata, Emily Chapman, Haley Hoback, Sarah Connors and Kirstie Lomoljo, Ceres High's eight seniors, were recognized before last week's game. A group picture was taken before everyone headed home.

"I'm going to miss them," Dias said. "They're great kids."

Los Banos (8-0) and Central Catholic (5-3) were awarded the WAC's No. 1 and 2 playoff spots. CC earned the final berth with a 13-12 triple-overtime victory over Pacheco on Oct. 28.

The Bulldogs lost twice to Los Banos and split with Central Catholic this year.

"We should have made playoffs," Dias said. "We lost it fair and square. The other two teams edged us out."

"The other teams wanted it just as bad as us," Emily Chapman said. "We always tried our hardest no matter what. We had fun. We worked as a team. We made bonds and friendships. It's my best high-school experience."