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Ceres High girls keep playoff hopes alive
Jaden Joy
Jaden Joy scored three goals during the Ceres High boys water polo team’s 17-12 loss to Beyer in Western Athletic Conference play on Oct. 11 in Modesto. - photo by Dale Butler

Ceres High’s girls water polo team kept its playoff hopes alive this past week.

The Bulldogs remained in fourth place in the Western Athletic Conference standings after topping Johansen 15-11 on Oct. 13 in Modesto.

The top three teams in the WAC qualify for the postseason.

Ceres High and Los Banos have identical 6-4 records. The Tigers are in third place because they won their first meeting versus the Bulldogs earlier this year.

“It’s up in the air,” head coach Stephen Dias said. “If we beat Los Banos (on Wednesday), there will be a tiebreaker match for the final (playoff) spot. I don’t think we should have lost to Los Banos the first game.”

Ceres High’s Elise Cannella scored a team-high six goals against Johansen.

Andrea Contreras and Amberlin Hopwood both contributed three goals.

Karen Bernal had two goals.

Lillian Blevins added one goal.

“Like always, the girls played together as a team,” Dias said. “It was a solid game.”

The Bulldogs defeated the Vikings twice this season. Ceres High won the first match, 13-5, on Sept. 20.

Ceres High lost to Beyer for a second time this season last week.

The Patriots rolled to a 17-7 win over the Bulldogs on Oct. 11 in Modesto.

“I expected that,” Dias said. “Beyer was strong. We were in their pool. We could have beat them the first time.”

Beyer won the first meeting, 19-12, on Sept. 15.

Cannella and Contreras both scored two goals during the second meeting.

Bernal, Hopwood and Haley Davis all had one goal.

Ceres High’s seventh-place boys water polo team dropped to 2-8 in the WAC after losing to Johansen and Beyer last week.

“Their effort has increased,” Dias said. “They’ve improved an awful lot.”

Johansen topped Ceres High 20-14 on Oct. 13 in Modesto.

The Vikings won the first meeting, 17-12.

“Johansen has a strong team,” Dias said. “I can’t deny that.”

Bulldog Nicholas Campbell tallied a team-high eight goals during the rematch.

Ceres High teammates Mackay Cannella and Cayden Jantz both contributed three goals.

Beyer pulled away for a 17-12 win over visiting Ceres High on Oct. 11.

The match was tied at 8-8 at intermission.

“My guys played a really good game,” Dias said.

The Patriots outscored the Bulldogs 9-4 during the second half.

Momentum swayed in Beyer’s favor after Campbell was ejected from the game. He was assessed his third kickout late in the third quarter.

“That was a huge game changer,” Dias said. “We were doing well until he went out.”

Campbell totaled seven goals.

Jaden Joy had three goals.

Calen Adams and Mateo Gonzalez both chipped in with one goal apiece.