Regional Champs Women’s H2O polo makes big waves at regional competition

The RCC women’s water polo team will be advancing to the US Bank/ Commission on Athletics Championship after its victories in the Southern California Regional on Nov. 11-12. Riverside is ranked No. 1 in the state and will head into the championships with a record of 32-1.

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By Karla Velazquez

By Karla Velazquez

The RCC women’s water polo team will be advancing to the US Bank/ Commission on Athletics Championship after its victories in the Southern California Regional on Nov. 11-12.

Riverside is ranked No. 1 in the state and will head into the championships with a record of 32-1.

Riverside was matched against Fullerton in the semifinals, winning in a 8-4 victory. Sophomore Katie Inglett played a terrific game hustling from one side of the pool to the other. Inglett showed her great talent on both defense and offense.

Freshman Layla Bahzadian also shined, scoring on goal and playing great defense. Inglett added to the final score by contributing four goals. Goalkeeper freshman Emily Fardig, helped Riverside win the match with her 15 saves.

The championship match was between Riverside and Long Beach City.

Riverside came out explosive and determined to win. The crowd exploded in cheers as Riverside took the victory on Nov. 12.

“It was exciting just being there,” coach Dave Almquist said. “We were very focused and came out with determination.”

Riverside took hold of the lead early into the game, the score was 4-1 in the first quarter. Katie Inglett once again contributed greatly, scoring the first three goals for Riverside. The score was at 5-3 into the half, only causing Riverside to rejuvenate itself and once again take hold of the game.

Riverside claimed victory over Long Beach City, with a 9-4 win. Leyla Bahzadian ended the game with three goals and excellent defensive playing. Sophomore Jennifer Laumea also had a phenomenal game. Laumea came out of the game with two goals.

“Jennifer was great,” Almquist said. “Every time they scored she was determined to match it.”

Sophomore Dana Van Gorder also had an exciting game, playing awesome defense on their No. 1 player.

“Dana did a terrific job. She shot out their best player, I’m very proud,” Almquist said.

Riverside showed off its skills to its opponents, proving itself victorious in their matches. Not only is the Riverside women’s water polo team made up of greatly skilled athletes, but it also consists of great team players. Riverside is one of four teams at the state finals, which will take place on Nov. 18-19 in Fresno. The matches will be held at the Central Aquatics Complex. The tournament will be a single-elimination.

“We only need three more matches to win the championship,” Almquist said. “We can do this.”

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