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Ceres High water polo edges Pacheco, loses to El Capitan in pool
Ceres Highs Bobby Baranski applies pressure on defense versus Pacheco. The host Bulldogs opened the WAC campaign with a 10-7 victory against the Panthers on Sept. 29. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Ceres High School's varsity boys water polo team won one of its two matches during the opening week of Western Athletic Conference play.

The Bulldogs overcame a slow start and defeated the Panthers of Pacheco 10-7 on Sept. 29 in Ceres.

"It's a good opening win for us," Ceres High head coach Tracy Bull said. "The key to the game, besides our counterattack, was Logan Kier's ability to play hole-set on defense. He did a phenomenal job. He was our best player."

Blake Borba totaled 15 saves while making his debut at goalkeeper for the Bulldogs.

"He played really well," Bull said.

Tim Campbell led Ceres High in scoring with four goals.

Bobby Baranski and Caleb Bishop tallied three and two goals, respectively.

Fernando Olmos contributed one goal.

The Bulldogs faced a 3-0 deficit seven minutes into the game.

Ceres High competed without two-time WAC MVP Zachary Jones, who was lost to graduation.

"We didn't play particularly well in the first period," Bull said. "They dictated the pace. There's an adjustment period playing without him (Jones). He was a great player."

The Bulldogs outscored the Panthers 10-4 during the final three periods.

Ceres High lost 22-7 to 2014 WAC-champion El Capitan on Thursday in Merced.

"I knew we'd get tired because of the speed at which they play," Bull said. "They keep attacking. They do what we do but better. It's humbling. No one is going to beat them this year."

Borba had 16 blocks in defeat for the Bulldogs, who trailed 10-4 at halftime.

Campbell, Baranski and Olmos all scored two goals.

Tristan Freitas-Scott added one goal.

"We got to get better defensively," Bull said.