Top two seeds to tangle in Saturday women’s water polo final

West Valley's Grace Smith had a tournament high 19 saves.
West Valley's Grace Smith had a tournament high 19 saves.

Number one seeds Santa Barbara City College and West Valley College will meet for the fourth time in 2021 Saturday, this time with the CCCAA Women's Water Polo State Championship at stake. The Vaqueros and the Vikings will meet at 2pm in Saturday's championship, with San Joaquin Delta and Fullerton meeting in the 11am third-place game.

The Vaqueros and the Vikings took care of business in Friday's semifinals at Las Positas College, but it wasn't easy for either.

#1S Santa Barbara over #2N San Joaquin Delta 8-6

The Vaqueros (30-6) scored four times in the second after a 2-2 first quarter for a 6-3 halftime lead over the Mustangs (23-5) they never relinquished. SBCC then got two big third period goals from Jenna Olsen to counter single scores from Delta's Mackenzie Lincoln and McKenna Bowman. The 8-5 SBCC lead would hold up, as keepers Chloe McKay (SBCC) and Camryn O'Neal (SJD) went to work in the final stanza. O'Neal blanked the Vaqueros, while McKay allowed a single goal to Wilson inside the final minute.

Olsen led Santa Barbara with three goals, followed by two each from Allison Kay and Charlize Winter. Hannah Wilson scored twice for San Joaquin Delta.

#1N West Valley over #2S Fullerton 14-11

As in the first semifinal, it was a big second quarter that keyed the win for the Vikings (31-2). Neida Torres gave the Hornets (28-8) a lead after the opening sprint, but the Vikings headed to the second quarter with a 3-2 advantage after goals from Jojo Scheer, Marija Mijuskovic and Tima Garcia. Mijuskovic stayed hot in the second with three consecutive goals. Scheer, Kiki Melvin and Aaliyah Lax added single scores for the Vikings, as WVC outscored Fullerton 6-2 for a 9-4 lead at the break. The Vikings were in command after three with a 12-6 lead, but Fullerton came alive in the fourth, outscoring the WVC 5-2. A Megan Ditlof goal brought the Hornets to within 13-10 with just over two minutes left. Melvin provided the clincher on WVC's next possession before Eden Tal scored for the Hornets with :40 left for the 14-11 final.

Mijuskovic paced the WVC stat sheet with five goals, with state scoring leader Scheer netting four and Melvin adding three. Viking goalkeeper Grace Smith had 19 saves. Torres led Fullerton with four goals, followed by Julissa Velazquez and Jordyn Lughart with a pair each.