Strathmore falls short in 7-4 loss to Tulare Union
Youth can be your friend or foe in sports, but right now it’s the latter for the Strathmore High School girls water polo team.
The young Spartans (1-2-1) were holding their own against Tulare Union but a three-goal fourth quarter from the Tribe kept Strathmore from claiming their second win of the season.
“Just missed shots,” SHS head coach Monty Newkirk said. “Missed shots, missed opportunities. You know, just freshman mistakes and typical stuff that you just have to work through in the offseason.”
Strathmore kept things tight with Union, and after being tied 1-all after the first, were ahead 3-2 entering the second half thanks to goals from Kylee Blackwell and AnnMarie Patterson, respectively, in the final minute of the half.
The Tribe scored two goals in the first three minutes of the next half but a goal a minute later from Sidney Hartsell tied the score at 4-all. Unfortunately, it was the last goal for the Spartans.
Patterson, Blackwell, Hartsell and Faith Wynn finished with a goal each for Strathmore while Paulina Cemo had four assists. Faith Karjala had four blocks in the cage while Patterson had two.
The young team returned six players but only Hartsell and Blackwell are seniors, while Cemo, a junior, was the only Spartan to make the All-East Sequoia League first team last season.
“Most of the game we had three players that had never played before, just two games,” Newkirk said. “Two freshmen and a senior that had never played.”
Newkirk hopes to use these next couple of weeks of preseason to get the kinks out of the team before league starts at the end of the month. Strathmore has a tournament at Exeter this weekend, then games at Exeter and Monache before league.
On what he hopes the girls will learn before league begins, Newkirk said, "Just understanding and recognizing where they’re at in the pool. What part of the game is going on. Getting comfortable with the ball. And being aggressive but playing fair.”
Monache High School volleyball defeated Independence-Bakersfield 3-1 in a non-league game at home Tuesday. The Marauders won the first, third and fourth sets 25-14, 25-21 and 25-15 but lost the second one 26-24.
Setter Gabriella Cox had 35 assists, eight digs and six kills. Libero Kristen Watson had 15 digs and two aces. Tia Jules had 12 kills, three blocks and three aces. Morgan Hunter had eight kills, five digs and three blocks. Ashlynn Baxter had six kills, four digs and three aces. Kailyn Castle had nine digs, five kills and one ace.
BOYS WATER POLO
Tulare Union 10
Strathmore High School boys water polo lost 10-8 to Tulare Union in a non-league game at home Tuesday.
Owen Patterson led the team with three goals while Lucas Wilkinson had two. Gabe Bower and Jacob Watson had one goal apiece.