Paso Robles High School girls water polo’s foray into Division 6 is off to quite a start. After dropping down from Division 3, the Bearcats are in the semifinals of the CIF-Southern Section playoffs following Saturday’s 8-4 win over The Webb Schools of Claremont at Arroyo Grande High School.
“We have one of our stronger teams we’ve had in awhile,” Paso Robles head coach Grant East said. “So we had a feeling we were going to be pretty strong.”
The Bearcats (18-10) jumped out to a 4-0 lead to start the game and went into halftime with a 7-2 advantage. Tatiana Smeltzer led the way with three goals, while Marina Smeltzer and Veronica Ayala each added two goals.
Goalkeeper Lulu Root helped Paso Robles hang on in the second half and fiished with 12 saves.
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“We came out pretty strong in the first half,” East said. “We had a decent idea of what they were going to look like and came out with a good game plan.”
Paso Robles beat Savanna 17-8 in a first-round game Thursday. The Bearcats next face Redlands East Valley in a game likely to be played Wednesday at back at Arroyo Grande High School, East said.
Riverside Poly 7, Arroyo Grande 6
A stellar 2017 season for the Arroyo Grande High School girls water polo team came to an end Saturday in the quarterfinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 playoffs against a familiar foe.
Riverside Poly, the second-ranked team in Division 2, jumped out to a 7-3 lead with nearly four minutes remaining in the third quarter and despite an Arroyo Grande rally came away with a 7-6 win in the Eagles’ home pool. Poly beat Arroyo Grande — competing in Division 2 for the first time after moving up from Division 3 this year — 7-4 earlier this season.
“We knew going up in division was going to be tough,” Arroyo Grande head coach Steven Allen said.
The season for the PAC 8 champion Eagles (20-8) comes to an end after their 14th consecutive league title and having pushed their league winning streak to 137 games. The careers of six seniors also culminated after winning a section title and advancing to two championship games.
Two of those seniors turned in standout performances against Poly, wtih Sarah Parson leading the way with four goals and goalkeeper Danielle Jenkins recording 12 saves. Sam Vitt scored Arroyo Grande’s two other goals.
Arroyo Grande jumped out to a 2-1 lead after the first quarter, but Poly went up 5-3 at halftime and then 7-3 at the 3:50 mark of the third. For Poly, Dailynn Santoro led the way with three goals.