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Women’s water polo are perfect champs

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By Danielle Schmidt / Asst. Sports Editor

By Danielle Schmidt / Asst. Sports Editor

Riverside City College women’s water polo completed an unbelievable, undefeated season 35-0, earning the team California Community Colleges Athletic Association State Champions in the end.


In 2007, Riverside went 35-0 on its way to the state title. Riverside’s title this year is the program’s third while the first title was in 2005.


Since taking over the women’s program eight years ago, coach Almquist and his staff is 248-21 with the three state titles.


The Tigers fought long and hard throughout the season but their toughest challenge took place during the state championship games against Foothill and Long Beach City; which were held in Sacramento. The team showed no sign of struggle during the first match against Foothill, winning comfortably, 12-1.


When it came time to play Long Beach City, the Tigers had to kick their game into high gear. Even though the second game was much more of a challenge, they still came out on top, ending the game with the score of 9-7.


“It was unbelievable, it didn’t feel real until we were out of the pool and we finally had that state title that we were looking for,” said Jamie Clark.


One of the players who really felt the pressure during the most important game of the season was Riverside’s head of defense, the goalie, Andrea Antonissen.


“As a freshman I’ve never been in that situation, with so much pressure. Long Beach started taking off and I just wasn’t doing my job as well as I should have; but my teammates were there telling to me ‘lets go, lets go’ and in the end we got the job done,” she said.


Antonissen set the bar high for water polo goalies everywhere, saving a grand total of 341 goals in one season.


“It’s a lot of hard work to come from where I started, but I gave it all my effort. I’d anything for those girls and did my hardest to block any shot that they couldn’t block,” Antonissen said. “It feels amazing, coming from my high school to RCC, with girls who give such good team effort. I really enjoyed watching it from my perspective.”


Not only did Antonissen play an incredible part of the ladies’ defense, but was also selected for the second All-American team.


“Being a freshman making that team was a really big and knowing that enough coaches saw that, it was an honor to have,” she said.


Riverside not only had an amazing season as a team, but also with individual achievement. Clark was selected the Orange Empire Conference Most Valuable Player after leading the Tigers to an undefeated regular season, as well as the OEC tournament title and the state champion title.


“I didn’t expect it at all, it was kind of surprising but it feels really good to know that hard work really does pay off,” Clark said.


Clark may have won a few titles during the season, but she still feels grateful for her teammates.


“I don’t consider myself the best player on the team. I received all those titles because of how great my team was, they helped me through everything and without their support I wouldn’t have won anything,” she said.


About their amazing season Antonissen and Clark said, “We have a rock solid defense. Offense wins games, defense wins champs.”

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