Undefeated and looking forward to state finals

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By Javier Cabrera / Managing Editor, Additional reporting by Fred McCarthy and Clayton Skaggs

By Javier Cabrera / Managing Editor, Additional reporting by Fred McCarthy and Clayton Skaggs

The Riverside City College women’s water polo team has come out of the shadows and is destroying its competition without mercy as the team is currently No. 1 in the state.

The team has been on a roll on offense as they averaged 14 goals in its first 13 games, and out-scored its opponents by 10 points.

The team’s defense has been solid in the first 13 games as well since they are averaging four goals scored against them.

The RCC women’s water polo is currently undefeated with a 13-0 record after sweeping through multiple tournaments in the past month.

There is no surprise for the team’s impressive record this season since they are coming off a 29-3 record last season, and finishing second in state behind No. 1 Cerritos.

The team was defeated in the state semi-finals last season by the eventual state champions, Golden West College.

The team feels strong about finishing where they left off last year and capturing the state championship.

“I felt confident in my team because we all have really good chemistry,” Chelsea Harrod said. “Most of us have been playing together for years and unlike last year, we have a very strong group of sophomore leaders with a lot of championship experience.”

Coach David Almquist just has state final champions in his mind.

“We have only one goal and that is to win state,” he said. “I expect my team to work hard every day, respect their teammates and execute at a high level during games.”

RCC resumes its conference play on Oct. 13 vs. Saddleback College, but the damage has been done on the rest of the state as they swept through the American River Tournament, Chaffey Tournament and Cuesta Tournament.

The team is 1-0 in the Orange Empire Conference as they defeated Orange Coast, 13-4 on the road on Sept. 29.

The Tigers also have seven players with 13 goals or more as the team combines for 182 goals as a whole thus far.

Jamie Clark leads the team in goals with 39, followed by Ashley Antonissen with 28 and Harrod with 20.

“I am confident. As a team, we think it, know it and dream it,” Antonissen said. “We work hard to obtain it. To us it is all about “sparkle-sparkle” (championship rings), and at the end of the day we are here to win.

Riverside heads to Huntington Beach on Oct. 15 to continue its streak of defeating teams by 10 goals or more in the Golden West Tournament.

 Also in the tournament, the Riverside Tigers will get their first shot against the team who defeated them last season in the state semi-finals.

They wrap up the season at the Long Beach Tournament on Oct. 22 before beginning the conference championship tournament at Cypress College.

The state finals begins on Nov. 17 in Sacramento.

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