The Exeter Water Polo Club just returned from competing in the 2019 Kap 7 Invitation in Irvine, California. The team returned home with silver medals from the event after going 4-1 and only losing in the championship game 8-7.
The girls began the weekend with a strong start, beating 241 Water Polo Club from Southern California 19-4. The Exeter Club was then faced with a challenging second round matchup against Riverside Water Polo Club. The Exeter ladies pulled off the win thanks to Skylar Ford of Redwood High School with an outside shot to put Exeter up by one with 5 seconds left. The final score was 10-9.
Sunday games were held at the world renowned William Woollett Aquatics Center. Once again, the Exeter ladies started off strong with a dominant win against Pacific Water Polo Club 15-6. That win then put Exeter WPC in the semifinals against Riptide Water Polo Club. The girls rallied together and pulled off another solid 11-9 win.
The championship game was set between the Exeter Water Polo Club and Royal Water Polo Club. The Exeter ladies gave up a quick three goals and were faced with having to get back into the game. The team was led again by Skylar Ford, as well as Porterville High’s Rosemary Chapman and Shyanne Rainey. The ladies from Exeter tightened up their defense and took advantage of mismatches on offense to tie the game with 2 minutes left. Royal went up one goal on a 6-on-5 play with 15 seconds left in the game. Exeter was unable to convert a goal with seconds on the clock.
Leading Exeter WPC in goals scored were Rainey, Chapman, Ford and Monache’s Ava Lobue. In charge of coordinating the defense was Hadyn Aguiar of Tulare Western High and Megan Nickell of Exeter Union High. Safeguarding the cage was Porterville’s Samantha Rainey and Exeter’s Morgan Weldon.
The Exeter Water Polo Club also had a group of younger ladies competing in the 16-and-under division. The 16u group pulled off an eighth-place finish, also beating 241 Water Polo Club 8-1.
Ladies competing on the 16u team were Ahna Davis (PHS), Faith Ficher (TWHS), Aubrey Wingfield (Sequoia Middle School), Mary Catherine Strizic (SMS), Alex Salazar (RHS), Taylor Johnson (Golden West HS), Mariah Mendoza (Mt Whitney HS), Adelyne Merritt (Rockford Elementary), and Payton Unholz (GWHS). The team was coached by Porterville High School’s defending East Yosemite League and Valley champion coach, Evan Thomas.
For more information about joining the Exeter Water Polo Club contact head coach Jack Amaral at 909-782-7157.