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Modesto edges Ceres varsity boys water polo team
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Joey Rossi limped across the pool deck. The senior sustained a small cut on the top of his left foot when he kicked an opponent in the mouth while swimming. He also pulled his calf muscle.

"I love playing hard games like that," Rossi said. "I wish we would have won."

Rossi scored four goals during the Ceres High varsity boys water polo team's 9-7 loss to Modesto Metro Conference rival Modesto High on Thursday in Ceres. Teammates Vitaly Polovin, Markus Richter and Miguel Castillo also contributed. Polovin scored twice, Richter added one goal and Castillo blocked eight shots for the Bulldogs.

"We're so much better than this," Rossi said.

"We weren't helping each other out enough."

Polovin evened the score at 7-all with 5:12 left in regulation. The Panthers scored the final two goals.

"We couldn't move the ball down the pool," Rossi said. "Our shots weren't going in. I think we're a little fatigued. We played three games in a row."

Ceres competed against Merced on Wednesday and Beyer on Tuesday, Sept. 13.

The Bulldogs failed to score in the second quarter and trailed5-3 at halftime.

Each team scored four times in the second half.

"Next time, we're going to play harder," Rossi said. "We're going to pass better."

Ceres High won its league opener on Tuesday, Sept. 13 in Modesto. The Bulldogs scored eight goals in the first half and cruised to a 13-6 victory over Beyer.

Rossi tallied a game-high six goals. Vitaly Polovin added three goals. Max Ottersbach, George Polovin, Kevin Fliflet and Ryan Anshutz all had one goal. Castillo had three saves. - By DALE BUTLER / Staff reporter of the Ceres (Calif.) Courier