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Oakdale, Sonora sweep Ceres High in water polo
The Valley Foothill Conference will send two teams to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs this year.

Ceres High's, Oakdale's and Sonora's varsity boys water polo programs are expected to contend for postseason berths.

The Bulldogs (2-2) suffered narrow losses to both schools this past week.

"We played awesome defense," Ceres High head coach Tim Reyes said. "We need to improve our offense. That's been our weakness all season. Everybody needs to step up."

Third-place Ceres High lost 11-8 to first-place Oakdale on Wednesday in Ceres.

"I knew it was going to be close," Reyes said. "Every time Ceres plays Oakdale, it's always a nail biter. We were a little too predictable towards the end and they caught onto it."

Bulldog goalkeeper Kenny Carroll tallied 15 blocks against the Mustangs (4-0).

Ceres High's Nick Serratos and Victor Cruz scored five and three goals, respectively.

The Bulldogs trailed 5-4 at intermission.

Oakdale outscored Ceres High 4-1 in the third period.

The Bulldogs had turnovers on four of their last five possessions.

"We started rushing passes," Reyes said. "We needed to slow the game down."

Added Carroll: "We should have beat them. They took advantage of our mistakes."

Jason Stanhope, one of Ceres High's top defenders, did not play. He left school earlier in the day because he wasn't feeling well.

"We wanted to win for Jason but didn't meet our expectations," Carroll said.

Wildcats 11, Bulldogs 9

Host Ceres High dropped an 11-9 decision to second-place Sonora on Monday, Sept. 20.

Serratos led the Bulldogs with seven goals.

Cruz and Zach Zamaroni both scored once.

Carroll had five blocks.

Ceres High managed to build a 3-1 lead in the first period despite competing shorthanded.

The Bulldogs received five of their 14 kickouts during the opening seven minutes of play.

The Wildcats totaled just three kickouts.

"We played half the game a man down," Reyes said.

Tied at 9-all late in the final period, Serratos picked up his third kickout and was relegated to the bench for the remainder of the game.

Two other Bulldog starters fouled out as well, including Cruz and Stanhope.

"If we don't get kicked out, we win that game," Serratos said.

Ceres High wanted to make a statement against Oakdale and Sonora.

The Bulldogs will try to seek redemption on the road later this season.

"We need to play smarter," Serratos said.

CHS girls lose twice

Ceres High School's varsity girls water polo squad trailed from start to finish during its 12-5 loss to visiting Oakdale in Valley Foothill Conference play last Wednesday.

"Oakdale's an intimidating team," Bulldog Courtney Craig said. "They're faster and bigger. We have the potential to beat them. We all have to pitch in."

Just three different players scored for Ceres High (2-2), including Craig, Courtney Frampton and Haley Fisicaro.

Craig and Frampton both had two goals.

Haley Fisicaro contributed one goal.

Bulldog goalkeeper Allison Ghimenti made six saves.

The undefeated Mustangs (4-0) held Ceres High scoreless for the opening 8 minutes, 50 seconds.

The Bulldogs lost 11-7 to Sonora on Monday, Sept. 20 at Ceres High School.

Ghimenti totaled 11 blocks.

Frampton scored five times, while Craig had two goals.