Lady Miners thrash Rocklin
The Nevada Union girls water polo team sank the Rocklin Thunder 17-4 Thursday at Nevada Union, returning the favor from a semifinal loss (10-9) in a Reno tournament earlier this season.
“It was nice,” said head coach Craig Zetterberg. “We owed them one.”
Senior Kim Ellis got NU off to a quick start, firing a shot from halfway across the pool for a goal. The Lady Miners never looked back.
Nicole Blaney added two goals within the next two minutes to stretch the lead to 3-0.
Part of the Lady Miner’s strategy was moving Blaney to driver from her usual hole-set position. This opened up more shot opportunities for the Miners to capitalize on the inside, Zetterberg said.
At the end of the first quarter, the Lady Miners had a comfortable 5-0 lead, and their aggressive defense showed no signs of letting up.
Robyn Fernandez put in her share, scoring four goals on well placed balls that found the back of the net.
Haley Chase also had a phenomenal game, hurling three goals of her own, one of which came on a put-back off a rebound.
On the defensive end, Carly Messex was a blocking machine, stopping 12 shots on goal. The Lady Miners pressure on defense forced Rocklin to take several shots from further out, which either sailed over the goal or ricocheted off the crossbar.
The only real threat of the game came near the end of the second quarter when the Thunder scored three unanswered goals in a 90-second span.
Zetterberg called a timeout to regroup his squad, and the girls responded well with Fernandez scoring two straight goals to close out the half.
The final goal came with just four seconds remaining to give NU an 11-4 cushion.
“They had rotated their top player (Aelish Guinn), and she was getting a head start,” said Zetterberg. “Guinn, she’s like their Michael Jordan. Everyone’s always rushing in on her.”
Coming out of halftime, the Lady Miners continued to overwhelm and frustrate the Thunder and never allowed another goal. As the fourth quarter wound down the Lady Miners were able to manage the clock an add to their lead.
The game featured great ball movement and seemingly flawless execution, which drew nine ejections from Rocklin’s defense. Of the nine ejections, the Lady Miners converted on six opportunities.
With the win, the Lady Miners move to 8-7 overall and 3-2 in Sierra Foothill League play.
NU hits the pool to prepare for what looks to be a challenging contest against the three-time defending champ Del Oro. The Lady Miners have played Del Oro already this season and suffered a one-goal loss (4-3).
To contact Sports Writer Brian Shepard, email email@example.com or call (530) 477-4234.
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