Ceres High’s girls water polo team won one of its final two matches of the 2021 season.
The Bulldogs cruised to a 15-6 win over the Mountain House Mustangs in Western Athletic Conference play on Senior Day in Ceres on Oct. 25.
Ceres High head coach Stephen Dias recognized seniors Karen Bernal, Elise Cannella, Andrea Contreras and Berlin Kahl prior to the start of the match.
“It’s a cycle,” he said. “You lose kids every year. Those girls were fun to work with. They had good attitudes. They’re great kids.”
Cannella and Contreras both tallied a team-high five goals against Mountain House.
Bernal had four goals.
Amberlin Hopwood added one goal.
The Bulldogs outscored the Mustangs 6-1 during the second half.
Ceres High led 9-5 at intermission.
The Bulldogs dropped their WAC finale, 9-4, to the visiting Grace Davis Spartans on Oct. 27.
Hopwood, Bernal, Contreras and Reagan Hensley all scored one goal for Ceres High.
The Bulldogs trailed 4-0 at the break.
Grace Davis outscored Ceres High 5-4 during the second half.
The Bulldogs compiled an 8-6 record en route to a fourth-place finish in the WAC standings.
The top three teams advanced to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs, including Beyer (14-0), Grace Davis (12-2) and Los Banos (9-5).
Ceres High had an 0-6 mark versus Beyer, Grace Davis and Los Banos.
The Bulldogs went 8-0 against Johansen, Mountain House, Pacheco and Lathrop.
“I’m happy with how they played this year,” Dias said. “I don’t think they thought they’d do as well as they did. They surprised themselves. They did a great job. I’m proud of them.”
CHS boys tie for sixth
Ceres High’s boys water polo team struggled to a sixth-place finish in Western Athletic Conference play due to injury and a lack of depth.
Standout goalkeeper Jeremy Kier suffered a season-ending shoulder injury during the second game of the WAC campaign.
“It would have been a totally different year if we didn’t lose Jeremy,” Bulldogs’ head coach Stephen Dias said. “That was a game-changer. We could have also used two more players on the team. It got tiring (playing shorthanded).”
“Jeremy was one of our key players,” Ceres High junior standout Nicholas Campbell said. “He was a big part of our team. No one else is trained (to play goalie) like him.”
Ceres High (3-11) tied for sixth place in the WAC standings with Pacheco.
The top three teams in league qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs, including Grace Davis (14-0), Los Banos (12-2) and Johansen (10-4).
“They grew as a team,” Dias said. “They played hard.”
The Bulldogs closed out the 2021 season this past month with back-to-back setbacks.
Mountain House spoiled Ceres High’s Senior Day with a hard-fought 17-13 victory on Oct. 25.
“We played well,” Campbell said. “It was tied at halftime. We stopped playing as a team in the second half.”
Bulldog seniors Blake Barr, Mackay Cannella and Jaden Joy were recognized prior to the start of the match.
Campbell led Ceres High in scoring with nine goals.
Joy and Cayden Jantz each collected two goals.
Ceres High and Mountain House battled to an 8-8 tie in the opening half.
The Bulldogs were outscored 9-5 after intermission.
Ceres High closed out the 2021 season with a 16-10 loss to visiting Grace Davis on Oct. 27.
“They’re the best team in the league,” Campbell said. “They have a lot of good players.”
Campbell poured in a game-high seven goals.
Gonzalez tallied two goals.
Jantz had one goal.
Campbell, Jantz, Gonzalez, Jesus Valdovinos, McCoy Adams and Calen Adams could return to the team next fall.
“We could have done a lot better this season,” Campbell said. “We should have done a lot more in the weight room. We should have practiced longer and harder. We just need more guys that are dedicated to the sport.”