South’s Santa Barbara, Riverside Reach 3C2A Women’s Water Polo State Dance
A battle of two southern powerhouses will unfold on Saturday, November 18 in the 2023 3C2A Women's Water Polo State Championships. The south's top-seeded Santa Barbara City College Vaqueros and the south's second-seeded Riverside City College Tigers will class in this year's championship contest.
CHAMPIONSHIP SATURDAY SCHEDULE - NOVEMBER 18
STATE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
|(1S) Santa Barbara (36-1)
|(2S) Riverside (28-4)
THIRD PLACE GAME
|(1N) West Valley (26-3)
|(2N) Sierra (20-7)
The Vaqueros and Tigers are familiar foes after meeting five times this season. This tim, its for the ultimate bragging rights.
Santa Barbara has defeated the Tigers in all four meetings this season. Three of the four meetings were decided by three goals or less, but the most recent meeting between the two squads ended with a 16-10 victory in SBCC's favor.
Santa Barbara will look defend their belt and repeat as state champions after winning it last season. They leaped into the state dance after defeating the north's second-seeded Sierra, 9-5, in the semifinal match and pushing their 3C2A winnings streak to 36-consecutive games.
The Vaqueros' tied their second-lowest offensive output today after scoring nine goals but held the Wolverines to a season-low five goals for the third time this year.
SBCC held the Wolverines scoreless through the first 11 minutes of the contest while grabbing a quick 4-0 lead that stretched into the early stages of the second quarter. Cate Daland netted two goals in that span, while Addie Lane and Natalie Mancinelli each chipped in a score.
Sierra trimmed the deficit to two goals as they rode a three-goal run in the third quarter. Breyenne Pierce got the offense rolling with a score, while Emma Morse and Heidi Green each followed with netters.
However, two goals from Addie Lane and one score from Gabrielle Muehring in the fourth quarter kept the Wolverines at bay as Santa Barbara came out with a 9-5 victory.
Riverside defeated the north's top-seeded West Valley College Vikings, 17-2, to punch their ticket to the big dance for the first time since 2019.
The game was gridlocked at nine all after the frist half, but a 5-1 run by Riverside in the third period sealed the deal.
West Valley struck first in the third quarter as Aiyana Mendoza scored on the opening possession. However, five-consecutive netters from the Tigers put the Vikings in the rear-view mirror. Abigail Ruiz scored three of the goals, while Mikayla Nielsen and Chandler Burrell chipping in the other two.
The Tigers went on to outscore the Vikings, 3-2, in the final frame leading to the win.
(Nicho DellaValle, 3CWPCA)