Ceres High’s varsity girls water polo team boosted its playoff hopes last week after topping Los Banos for the second time.
The Bulldogs defeated the Tigers 12-7 on Thursday in Ceres.
Ceres High won the first meeting, 22-17, in September.
“We felt confident we were going to win,” head coach Stephen Dias said. “But they came in a little stronger than expected in the beginning. They didn’t make it easy.”
The Bulldogs (8-4) moved into a tie for third place in the Western Athletic Conference standings with Grace Davis.
Los Banos dropped to 3-9 in league play.
The top three teams in the WAC will be awarded playoff berths at the end of the regular season.
“I like the position we’re in,” Dias said. “We have the advantage because we beat Davis once so we’re technically in third place. If we beat them on Thursday, we go to playoffs. If we lose, we have a tiebreaker game on Monday.”
Emily Wolff poured in a game-high five goals during the rematch.
Angelique Huerta-Alvarado added three goals.
Allison McAdams and Elise Cannella both had two goals.
The Tigers never posed a threat after falling behind 4-1 in the first quarter.
Ceres High outscored Los Banos 8-2 in the opening half.
“We had control of the game the entire time. The girls did a fantastic job.”Coach Stephen Dias
“We had control of the game the entire time,” Dias said. “The girls did a fantastic job.”
Ceres High will play host to Grace Davis tomorrow at 3:30 p.m.
“I already told the girls what they have to do,” Dias said. “They know what’s at stake. They’ll play a little harder.”
Ceres High’s varsity boys water polo team struggled mightily in losing 15-9 at Los Banos on Sept. 24.
The Bulldogs returned the favor by beating the Tigers 10-5 on Thursday in Ceres.
“We played a lot better today,” freshman standout Nicholas Campbell said. “I feel like they did underestimate us because of the last game.”
Ceres High (6-6) took over sole possession of fourth place in the Western Athletic Conference standings.
Los Banos (5-7) dropped to fifth place.
Campbell scored a team-high four goals for the Bulldogs.
Luis Alvarez had three goals.
Ryan Baranski, Brian Ayala and Oscar Barajas all contributed one goal.
Jeremy Kier totaled eight saves at goalkeeper.
The Bulldogs were better prepared for the rematch.
“At practice, we focused more on passing, defense and swimming,” he said. “He (coach Stephen Dias) talked to us about being more aggressive on offense.”
The Bulldogs outscored the Tigers 5-3 in the opening half.
Ceres High increased its lead to four goals (9-5) in the momentum-seizing third quarter. Alvarez had two goals, while Ayala and Barajas both scored once.
“It felt like we won by more than five goals,” Campbell said. “We played a smarter game. We played harder defense.”