JSerra Dominates Sunny Hills in Second Half to Win First CIF-SS Girls Water Polo Title – Orange County Register

IRVINE — The JSerra girls’ water polo team began taking defensive control in the second quarter of their CIF-SS Division 3 Finals against Sunny Hills on Saturday at the Woollett Aquatics Center.

The top-ranked Lions slowly began to retreat in the third quarter and then drove to a 13-5 win and won their first CIF SS girls’ water polo title in school history.

The Lions (24-4) were defeated 12-7 in the 2022 Centennial of Corona Division 5 Finals.

“These girls would not go through their fingers again,” said JSerra trainer Natalie Seidemann. “We’ve been so proud of our condition all year. We really focused on going up and down in the pool and being the best at it and being fast and I think we showed that.”

Six players made the Lions’ scoring charts, with junior Zoe Gabriel and freshmen Sloane Paulson and Sayre Duran each scoring three goals.

“We have a stronger team,” said Gabriel, comparing this year’s team to last season’s squad. “We have more players that we can substitute.”

Junior Hannah Reekstin and senior Sofia Smith both scored twice for the No. 2 seeded Sunny Hills (30-2).

The result was 3-3 after the first quarter and 4-4 at halftime, but it was all serra in the second half.

Newcomer Kamryn McCord scored early in the second period to give the Lions a 4-3 lead.

Smith then scored for the Lancers to tie the score.

Duran’s goal early in the third quarter initiated a 3-0 run and a five-goal third quarter for the Lions.

JSerra shut out the Lancers in the last quarter.

“Our defense is something we focus on and we really showed and played our game in the second half,” said Seidemann.

The Lancers made their debut in a division final under longtime coach Keith Nighswonger, who had plenty of praise for his team after the game.

https://www.ocregister.com/2023/02/18/jserra-dominates-sunny-hills-in-second-half-to-win-first-cif-ss-girls-water-polo-title/ JSerra Dominates Sunny Hills in Second Half to Win First CIF-SS Girls Water Polo Title – Orange County Register

Russell Falcon

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