Gearing up to defend the state title

By Javier Cabrera / Editor in Chief

One goal for RCC (Russell Hebert / Staff Photographer )

By Javier Cabrera / Editor in Chief

The 52-game winning streak is snapped but with one loss in the season, the Riverside City College women’s water polo team is looking to defend its state championship by opening the postseason against Santa Ana College Nov. 3 in the conference championship tournament.

 The streak was finally ended by Golden West College, RCC’s rival, Oct. 19. The match ended 7-6 in double overtime and Riverside was playing without Brooke Koralewski, who leads RCC with 57 goals in the regular season.

Koralewski was serving a one-game suspension for her ejection in the previous match against Long Beach City College Oct. 14, which RCC won 10-2.

“We were missing our best player in terms of offense, (Koralewski) leads us in scoring, assist and steals, it would have been nice to have her there,” said coach David Almquist.

Revenge did not take long to come since Riverside took the chance to beat Golden West, 6-5, Oct. 22 at the Long Beach City College tournament. While on a side note, Riverside swept the tournament, defeating Cypress College 9-4, Chaffey College 10-7 and Orange Coast College 11-8.

In the victory over Golden West College, Koralewski scored four goals and had four steals.

“It felt a lot better having her back,” said Jamison Mahar, forward for RCC. “It brought our spirits back up knowing we lost without her but (we) are going to win with her.”

Despite the only loss of the season, Almquist said the team never made a perfect season a goal but the team’s only goal is to repeat as the state champion.

“It was a mixture of feelings,” Mahar said about the loss. “The stress was off that we do not have to have a perfect season, but there was still sadness because we did want to have a perfect season.”

“We wanted to be the first team in RCC history to have two seasons with no losses,” she said.

Riverside finished the season with a 24-1 overall record and a 5-1 Orange Empire Conference record.

RCC is hosting the conference tournament which begins Nov. 3 at 9 a.m.