Ceres High’s varsity girls water polo team drew a tough opponent in the opening round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-II playoffs.
The third-seeded St. Mary’s Rams built an insurmountable lead in the first half and didn’t let up in beating the 14th-seeded Bulldogs 30-3 on Nov. 5 in Stockton.
“It’s not the score that made me mad,” Ceres High head coach Stephen Dias said. “We’ve got our clocked clean at sections before. But the other teams backed off. They were out for blood. It was an inability to show compassion.”
Emily Wolff tallied a team-high three goals during her final match with Ceres High.
Bulldog junior Allison McAdams scored once.
St. Mary’s stormed out to a 22-1 lead in the opening 14 minutes.
“I thought they were going to slow it down,” Dias said. “They were being overly-aggressive. They kept pouring it on.”
Originally scheduled to be played at 3:30 p.m., St. Mary’s contacted the section office and changed the game time for the playoff match to 5:30 p.m. without notifying Ceres High.
“I don’t think they did it on purpose,” said Dias, who took his players to the mall before the two teams faced off. “The frustrating part was I had to get a substitute for school and the girls had to miss two extra periods of classes. They apologized after the fact.”
Ceres High continued its tradition of excellence under Dias’ guidance this fall.
The Bulldogs posted a 10-5 record and finished in third place in the Western Athletic Conference standings.
Ceres High earned its fifth playoff berth—fourth straight—in the last eight years.
The Bulldogs secured the WAC’s final postseason spot with an 11-8 tiebreaker win over Grace Davis.
The Bulldogs will lose a total of six players to graduation, including Wolff, Mariana Ramirez Cabrera, Teresa Dennis, Ashlyne Hott, Mia Norstrom and Valerie Ramos.
“This was a fun team to coach,” Dias said. “There were absolutely zero problems. Everybody was friends and cared about each other. They had a good bond. I’m proud of them.”