Women’s Water Polo State Championship bracket led by Santa Barbara City and West Valley
NOVATO - The 3C2A Women's Water Polo State Championship bracket is set and is ready to kick off on Thursday, November 16 with a champion to be named the following Saturday, November 18 at the College of the Marin's Indian Valley Campus in Novato, CA.
Tournament Central (Scores, Recaps, Photos, Watch)
The North's top-seeded West Valley College Vikings (25-6) will face off against the South's fourth-seeded Saddleback College Bobcats (21-12) at 10:30 a.m.
West Valley has been the queen of the North for many years and they look to climb back to the top after winning a title in 2021. Four players have scored more than 40 goals this season with sophomore utility Aiyana Mendoza leading the way with 79 netters. She has added a second-best 37 assists to go along with 19 steals. Sophomore Hannah Edwards and freshman Bella Raynes have each scored 59 goals, while Raynes leads the team with 48 assists. Freshman goalkeeper Kayla Tweed has earned 19 wins en route to 181 saves.
Saddleback rolls out numerous weapons with sophomore Katherine Butler leading the way with 75 goals. She has drawn 34 ejections and swiped 23 steals as well. Freshman Lola Annear follows with 55 goals and 22 assists, while sophomore Marin Hickson leads the team with 30 assists. Freshman goalkeeper Lilian Wang has manned the pipes in 17 games and hauled in 144 saves.
The South's second-seeded Riverside City College Tigers (26-4) are set to square off against North's third-seed Modesto Junior College Pirates at 11:45 a.m.
Riverside reigned supreme in the Orange Empire Conference (OEC) Championships two weeks ago and were bested by Santa Barbara in the Southern California Regionals last week. Nevertheless, they are ready to make waves led by OEC MVP sophomore Jessie Nelson. Nelson has been the leader of the pack with 94 goals and 38 steals. Freshman Abigail Ruiz follows with 62 goals, 27 assists and 31 steals. Freshman duo Mikayla Nielsen and Nicole Robertson have each netted 37 goals on the year.
Modesto, who placed third in the Big 8 Championships, will bump up one seed in the North after Cabrillo's third-place regional finish was vacated. They are led by freshman utility Ava Faria who has scored 74 goals, notched 64 assists and has pocketed 41 steals. Freshman Breece Soaras backed her with 43 goals, while freshman Molly Kendrick sits one goal behind with 42.
The top-seeded and 3C2A undefeated Santa Barbara City College Vaqueros (34-1) will play the North's fourth-seeded Merced College Blue Devils (13-10) at 3:30 p.m.
Santa Barbara has been the premier program of this season as they have yet to lose a 3C2A showdown. They cruised through the Western State Conference (WSC) postseason tournament with a title, backed by a Southern California Championship. Pick your poison with Santa Barbara due to 11 players scoring double-digit goals this season. Sophomore Claire Daland leads her team with 68 goals and 72 steals, while freshman Addie Lane backs her with 61 goals, 55 steals and 29 assists. Freshman Cate Daland has found the back of the net 50 times, while freshman Lily Carrick leads the team with 68 assists. Freshman Kate Densmore is unarguably the best goalkeeper in the state with 304 saves and a state-leading 34 wins.
Merced placed fifth in the Northern California Regionals and replaced Cabrillo in the bracket. Freshman utility Savanna Rivera leads with 50 goals, 34 assists and 36 steals, while sophomore utility Madeline Hall and freshman Vanessa Rivera have each netted 43 goals.
The North's second-seeded Sierra College Wolverines (19-6) will round out the bracket and battle the South's third-seeded Long Beach City College Vikings (21-11).
Sierra, who won the Big 8 Conference Championship and was the Northern California Runner Up, will look to snag their 20th win of the year. It has been a one-woman wrecking crew offensively as freshman two-meter Bailey Hollick leads the Wolverines with a massive 120 goals to act as one of the most potent scorers in the North. She has added 24 assists and steals. Freshman Heidi Green is the next-closest with 57 goals while leading the team with 50 assists. Freshman goalkeeping duo Tui Arama and Kappa Martin have each surpassed the century mark in saves. Arama leads the way with 130, while Martin follows with 114.
Long Beach finished atop the South Coast Conference (SCC) after defeating Mt. San Antonio in the conference championship. Freshman attacker Olivia Slavens is flirting with the century mark in goals as she has hummed home 94 netters. She has pocketed 67 steals in the process. Sophomore Kate Suarez follows with 46 goals, while Sharon Vargas backs her with 37 goals.
(Release by Nicho DellaValle, 3CWPCA SID)