Bruins win PVL water polo title
The Lady Bruins water polo squad (11-1 SFL) won its first ever Sierra Foothill League Division-I title in its home swimmin’ hole Thursday after defeating Granite Bay with a gut-check performance by a score of 7-6.
Granite Bay attempted 20 shots, but almost all of them were contested, some being forced wide of the net or off the crossbar. For those that did manage to find the goal, the Bruins’ Patti Southworth was there to stop them. Southworth collected eight saves on the evening.
“Andrea Bock had a huge game, as did Nicole Groat,” coach Daryn Glasgow said. “Our philosophy is to control the game offensively. That is our best defense.”
Entering the game, both teams were already guaranteed berths into the playoffs, but valuable seeding was at stake.
If Bear River lost, it would have needed to play an additional tie-breaker game versus Del Oro to decide who would be crowned league champ, but the Lady Bruins battled hard and took care of business. Del Oro finished second, and Granite Bay fell to third in the SFL.
“Last year, we came in second behind Del Oro,” Glasgow said. “This league title gives us a favorable position next Saturday in the tournament.”
Bear River won the first meeting with Granite Bay in another tight contest 5-4. This time around proved to be just as gritty.
Bock was a dominating presence for the Lady Bruins, scoring three goals, including two within the span of just 19 seconds after snatching the ball back from the Grizzlies.
“We can‘t wait to take the flag and hang it in our gym,” said Bock. “We work so hard. Five or six of us have been playing together since the eighth grade.”
The Lady Bruins executed well on offense with great passes to set up opportune shots and manage the clock effectively. On defense, they stripped away several steals in front of the net, as well as in transition and ultimately controlled the flow of the game. The team fired 22 shots and led most of the way, building a two-point lead in the second quarter. However, they were unable to pull way as the Grizzlies’ Grace Reggo proved to be a tough task.
Down the stretch the Lady Bruins showcased their tenacity and experience as they regained a lead they did not relinquish, going up by two with just one minute, 50 seconds left to play. Eventually they were able to swim out the clock.
“Nine seniors, that helps a little,” Glasgow said. “They bought into the program, into goals they committed to back in their freshman and sophomore year. This year was theirs to have.”
The Lady Bruins have more business to take care of when they travel to Modesto Saturday with ambitions of bringing home a section title.
To contact Sports Writer Brian Shepard, call (530) 477-4234 or email email@example.com
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