Ceres High’s varsity girls water polo team took over sole possession of third place in the Western Athletic Conference standings last week after dominating Lathrop and Grace Davis.
The Bulldogs improved to 6-2 in WAC play following Thursday’s 12-4 win against Lathrop on Thursday in Ceres.
Ceres High showed mercy by resting its normal starters during the first half.
“The first time we played, we beat them pretty bad,” head coach Stephen Dias said. “We didn’t want to do that again.”
Mariana Ramirez Cabrera led the Bulldogs with six goals.
Makayla Estermann and Mia Norstrom both contributed two goals.
Ashlyne Hott and Valerie Ramos each scored once.
Reserves Ramirez Cabrera, Estermann, Norstrom, Hott, Ramos and Teresa Dennis started the match.
They helped Ceres High build a 10-3 lead in the opening half.
“They did a fantastic job,” Dias said. “It was fun to watch.”
Ceres High pulled away for a 14-7 victory against Grace Davis on Oct. 1 in Modesto.
The Bulldogs and Spartans had identical records prior to competing.
“We were nervous going in because we didn’t know what to expect,” Dias said. “The (previous) scores didn’t tell us a whole lot. They lost to the same teams we lost to and beat the same teams we beat.”
Emily Wolff scored a game-high eight goals for Ceres High.
Elise Cannella added three goals.
Angelique Huerta-Alvarado had two goals.
Estermann had one goal.
Goalkeeper Savannah Bringazi limited the Spartans to just three goals in the first half.
“That’s the best she’s played this season,” Dias said.
Ahead by three goals, Ceres High extended its lead to seven by outscoring Grace Davis 6-2 in the momentum-swaying third period. Wolff had three goals. Huerta-Alvarado, Cannella and Estermann all chipped in with one goal apiece.
“My girls knew it was an important game,” Dias said. “They played as a team. When they’re focused, they do a good job.”
Ceres High’s varsity boys water polo team cruised to a 10-2 win against visiting Lathrop on Thursday.
Seven different players scored for the Bulldogs.
Noah Avalos, Jeremy Kier and Cayden Jantz led Ceres High with two goals apiece.
Luis Alvarez, Brian Ayala, Nicholas Campbell and Nathaniel Pethyon all contributed one goal.
Ceres High won the first meeting, 27-1.
“I started the second string today and let them play most of the game,” first-year head coach Stephen Dias said. “They did a great job. They had fun.”
Ceres High (4-4) moved into a tie for fourth place in the Western Athletic Conference standings with Los Banos.
Beyer (8-0), Grace Davis (7-1) and Johansen (6-2) are battling for the WAC’s three playoff spots.
“Realistically, we’re playing for fourth place,” Dias said. “Third is the hope. It’s not out of the realm. We’re going to have to beat Johansen and Los Banos.”
Ceres High lost 16-3 at Grace Davis on Oct. 1.
“They didn’t give up,” Dias said. “They lost with dignity.”
The Bulldogs competed without their starting goalkeeper.
Kier was home sick with the flu.
“He’s a great goalie,” Dias said. “It could have been a little different had he played. The outcome would have been the same.”
Ayala accounted for two of the Bulldogs’ three goals.
Campbell scored once.
The Bulldogs never recovered after falling behind 10-1 in the first period.
“Even when they’re losing, they don’t back down,” Dias said. “They always give their all. We talked about it. This is a transition year for us.”
Ceres will travel to Modesto tomorrow to compete against Johansen at 4:30 p.m.