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Women's Water Polo: Tournament Sweep Makes 10 Straight Wins

Hannah Long lobs a pass over the head of her defender. Image: Sammantha Reyes
Hannah Long lobs a pass over the head of her defender. Image: Sammantha Reyes

Simply stated, the Women's Water Polo team is on fire. The tightly knit group has extended its win streak to 10 matches after a week that saw the Owls win 6 games, including a sweep of their own tournament at Citrus over the weekend.  

The Owls kicked off a marathon week on Wednesday vs Ventura for a conference game, and extending through Saturday night when they capped the week with a close win over University of Redlands, an NCAA Division III program. With each win, Citrus increased its chances for a Southern California Regional playoff bid.

Friday and Saturday's tournament at Citrus featured games vs El Camino, East Los Angeles, Chaffey, Pasadena City, and Redlands. The Owls blew past El Camino Friday morning, dominating throughout the game, and winning the game 14-3. The 2nd game on Friday was vs East Los Angeles, which the Owls also controlled throughout. Final score for that game was 12-2. Saturday, the Owls had 3 games, beating Chaffey 15-3, Pasadena 16-3 and Redlands 10-8.

Citrus outscored their opponents 57-19 in the tournament, going undefeated and improving their overall record to 20-5, with a conference mark of 4-1. The Owls are currently in the #2 spot in the Western State Conference behind undefeated Santa Barbara. 

The team ranks very highly in the state statistically, leading in many categories. Here's their rank in each major category:

  • 1st in steals (324)
  • 2nd in assists (241)
  • 2nd in exclusions drawn (139)
  • 2nd in home attendance (502)
  • 3rd in shots (518)
  • 7th in saves (172)
  • 11th in goals per game (11.84)
  • 12th in blocks (21)
  • 12th in save percentage (52.9)

Needless to say, the Owls as a team have proven themselves at the state level and command the respect of everyone they play. In the last available coaches poll, the Owls were ranked #5 in the state. With the new poll coming out this week, it remains to be seen if the win streak will get the attention of the poll committee. 

Individually, the Owls have had some fantastic performances up to this point in the season. But one in particular has captured the attention of the water polo world in California. Rachel Sherman, a freshman attacker for the Owls, has had a season for the ages. She is currently the leading scorer on the Owls team, and is the 3rd top scorer in the state with 78 goals. Sherman is 1st in the state in points (100) and steals (98). She is 3rd in shots (124) and 17th in assists (27). The Owls will look to her offensive production, as well as her defensive contributions as playoffs approach. But make no mistake, the Owls are a deep, dynamic, and talented bunch. Sherman's success is impressive, but clearly the result of the depth and ability of the rest of the Citrus players supporting her. 

Citrus plays next this weekend in a two day tournament at Long Beach. Many of the top teams in the state will be there, and it should prove to be an interesting couple of days as some of the titans of the state will face off. 

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