Downey sinks Nevada Union in 1st round |

Downey sinks Nevada Union in 1st round

The first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section girls water polo playoffs got started just as Nevada Union girls water polo coach Craig Zetterberg had predicted.

The Lady Miners fell behind in their contest with San Gabriel Valley League champ Downey but rallied from their early deficit to take the lead.

That all went according to plan, but Downey didn’t stick to Zetterberg’s script, and the Lady Vikings answered to tie the game and send it to overtime, where they edged NU 11-10, sending the Lady Miners home for the winter.

“(Downey) did some unconventional stuff that we were not prepared for,” Zetterberg said. “We were close, but no cigar. And the facts are 16 teams go to the playoffs, and 15 leave unhappy. We wish we could have extended the season.”

The contest headed to overtime knotted at 9-9. Downey scored twice to grab the 11-9, edge. The Lady Miners would net a goal to bring the deficit to one, but Downey played keep-away after that, running out the clock to claim victory.

Nevada Union senior Nicole Blaney had an impressive game, scoring eight of the Miners’ 10 goals.

“Nic had a really strong game,” Zetterberg said. “She was pretty dominant, and I hope it gets her on the all-section team.”

The Lady Miners close the season with a 15-10-1 overall record and 4-2 in the Sierra Foothill league, good enough for third in the SFL.

NU does say goodbye to Blaney, a three-year starter and all-league selection. Seniors Maddie Hedenland and Ellie DiMartini also conclude their prep careers with the NU water polo team.

Coaches may submit game reports by email at or by phone at 530-477-4232. Deadline for submission is 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and 5 p.m. Sunday.

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