Title hopes disappear to old foes

By Rickly Holmes / Staff Writer

By Rickly Holmes / Staff Writer

Both of the water polo teams at Riverside City College have played their hearts out this season on their way to the state championships. Unfortunately, neither team was able to bring the championship home to Riverside.

The men’s team finished fourth at the state championships. The team started off strong by beating Diablo Valley 9-8 to kick off the tournament. The Tigers then faced off against Golden West. The Tigers were narrowly beaten by the Rustlers 11-10 at the end of the first day. Golden West ended up taking home the state championship on Nov. 21 by defeating Long Beach City College 7-5. Golden West has won two consecutive state championships. Riverside finished off the season with a 20-15 record.

During the course of the season, the Tigers faced off against Golden West four times. The Tigers lost all four games. The team knew going into the state championship that Golden West was the team to beat and they almost pulled it off. This just goes to show that any team can win on any given day.

There was one bright spot in all the gloom surrounding the team’s loss in the state championships. That bright spot was Shawn Nolan. Nolan, who scored 97 goals during the season, had 11 goals in the state finals. Nolan was named to the all-state team for his hard work and determination this season.

The women’s team has a similar story to tell. The team was seeded No. 1 in the state finals after a nearly flawless season. The team’s only two losses during the regular season were at the hands, and feet, of Golden West. The Tigers had hoped to squash that statistic and bring the championship back to Riverside. Unfortunately for the team, they had no such luck.

The Tigers, who have a mass of talent on their squad, kicked off the tournament in a dominating fashion. On the opening day of the championships, the Tigers took on Foothill College. Foothill was the No. 2 seed in the northern section. The Tigers were able to pummel their way through Foothill en route to a 14-3 victory. This victory pitted the Tigers against their arch rival Golden West in the semi-finals. Golden West was seeded No. 3 in the southern section.

The Tigers fought valiantly against yet another strong Golden West team but still ended up coming up short. The Rustlers defeated the Tigers 8-5 on their way to their finals match-up against Long Beach City College. After this disappointing loss, the Tigers were forced to settle for playing in the third place game against Sierra College.

The team utterly decimated Sierra College in that game. The Tigers beat up on Sierra by beating them 16-8. That win solidified Riverside’s third place ranking in the state standings for the 2009 season thus giving them reason to be optimistic about next years’ season. With a 29-3 overall record , the Tigers have every right to be optimistic about next year and the years to come.

Like the men’s team , the women also have a bright spot in all the gloom because they also had some players named to the all-state team this year as well. Jaime Clark and Maria Quiroz were given the honor and distinction of being named to the all-state team for their efforts this season. Clark finished off the season with 81 goals and 42 assists while Quiroz had 39 goals with an amazing 70 assists.

Both of the water polo teams should be proud of their achievements this season because they were both able to make it to the state championships. They should also be honored with the selections to the all-state team. Both teams have every right to hold their heads up high because there’s always next year!