Tigers claw to No. 1 in state

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By Lindsay Berg

By Lindsay Berg

It all came together in the Cuesta Tournament.

That was the day the RCC Women’s Water polo team knocked off No. 3 team Golden West and no. 5 Orange Coast to become the only undefeated team in the state.

How does it feel to have a perfect record?

“No biggie,” said coach Almquist.

“It’s wonderful to have a perfect record, but our goals are to: A. win conference, and B. to win state. What is most important is that it (the perfect record) gives us lots of confidence, and will help us in the future.”

Formerly ranked second in the state, RCC pulled ahead of Long Beach City which lost in the first round last Friday and finished fourth in the tournament. Long Beach was the only other undefeated team in the state of California. The Lady Tigers also defeated Golden West in the tournament, to whom RCC has lost for the past four years.

How does it feel to be ranked No. 1 in the state?

“Kinda cool,” Almqust said.

The Lady Tigers have a good shot at accomplishing both of their goals this season, even though Almquist admits that there are five teams in the area which are all capable of becoming state champs.

“We’ve been spending more time improving ourselves as a team. If we go in as a team, we’re in good shape. If we go in as individuals, we’re dead meat,” Almquist said.

A combination of talent, character, and hard work has enabled the team to be in the position they are right now. Four are returning sophomores, and eight new all-CIF players help to mold a group that works hard, is unselfish, works together, and brings each player’s levels up. Every girl tries to do her job.

Among this talent pool is an array of outstanding players. Freshman Dayna VanGorder is one of the best defensive specialists in the state. Sophomore Lauren Williams is one of the state’s best goalies. In the Cuesta Tournament she only gave up four goals in two games against top teams – a feat difficult to accomplish, considering four goals can be scored in one quarter.

Sophomores Loren Myers, Stacey Rahn, and freshman Cydney Owen, the team’s leading scorer, are all very strong on offense, and Katie Inglett is excellent on both ends of the pool.

This is a team with a lot of character, which is a great companion to a talented group of woman, and something the team needs to succeed.

Can the Lady Tigers win state? Definitely.

“It will be fun to see what happens,” said Almquist.

The team plays Golden West on October, at the Sippy Woodhead pool off University avenue. and Kansas. The winner of the game will most likely become the Orange Empire Conference champion.

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