Ceres High's varsity boys water polo team boosted its playoffs hopes last week.
The Bulldogs won two of three matches and took over sole possession of second-place in the Western Athletic Conference standings (4-3).
"I'm happy to be in the race to get the opportunity to go to playoffs," Ceres High head coach Bill Campbell said. "That would be a big accomplishment. We haven't been there in a couple years."
Ceres High dominated from start to finish in crushing host Livingston 18-7 on Oct. 16.
David Johnson, Joseph Rodriguez and Elliott Lewis led the Bulldogs with four goals apiece.
Sebastian Alvarado and Ethan Letras scored three and two goals, respectively.
Adam Rantz added one goal.
Ceres High goalkeeper Caleb Cannella totaled 14 blocks.
The Bulldogs outscored the Wolves 10-2 after intermission.
"On any given day, anybody can be beat," Campbell said. "We had to get the job done. Scoring 18 goals was pretty impressive."
Ceres High dominated all facets while coasting to an 8-2 home win over Los Banos on Oct. 17.
"Our defense has been outstanding," Campbell said. "We're not giving up a lot of shots on goal. We've had very few ejections. We're playing as a team."
The Bulldogs beat the Tigers for the second time this season.
Ceres High won the first meeting, 13-11, on Oct. 2.
The Bulldogs shut out the Tigers 4-0 during the first half of last week's meeting.
Ceres High outscored Los Banos 4-2 the rest of the game.
The Tigers played a defensive-minded game by relying on just five players on offense.
"They held a man back on defense so we couldn't fast-break," Campbell said. "That was an advantage for us."
Johnson tallied a team-high three goals versus Los Banos.
Lewis chipped in with two goals.
Alvarado, Rodriguez and Letras all scored once.
Cannella had 12 saves.
Ceres High put up a fight in losing 8-6 to undefeated Pacheco on Oct. 18 in Los Banos.
The Bulldogs led 3-2 at the break.
The Panthers had never trailed all year.
"We were ahead most of the game," said Campbell, whose team lost 12-10 and 9-6 to Pacheco earlier this season. "We made a couple mental mistakes late and they took advantage of it."
Alvarado netted four goals to lead Ceres High's scoring attack.
Letras and Lewis each collected one goal.
Cannella made 20 saves.
The Bulldogs will close out the WAC season with matches against third-place Los Banos (3-4) and last-place Livingston (0-7) this week.
Barring a major collapse, the Bulldogs should return to the postseason.
"I'm proud of everybody," Campbell said. "We're set to go to playoffs. If we beat Los Banos, we won't have to worry about having to beat Livingston."