Water polo championship for Sierra women

Lady Wolverines win Big 8 tournament title
By: Staff Report
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Playing some of their best and most inspired water polo of the season, the Sierra College women’s water polo team waltzed through the Big 8 Conference Tournament on their way to a second consecutive conference championship. Going in as the No. 2 seed, the Lady Wolverines topped three tough opponents on their way to the title. Opening play Friday against No. 7 seed San Joaquin Delta College, the Lady Wolverines left no doubt who was the higher seed as they jumped out to a 5-1 first quarter lead on their way to a 15-3 victory over the Lady Mustangs. Leading the way were sophomores Ariel Noriega with four goals, Julie Maginnis with three goals, and Michelle Berrios and Malina Lorring with two goals and four steals a piece. Freshman goalie Tayma Ueltzen held down the goal with six blocks and one steal to solidify their victory. On Saturday, the Lady Wolverines returned to action in the semifinals against long time foe Diablo Valley College. Once again establishing themselves early as the team to beat, the Lady Wolverines jumped out to a 7-1 first quarter lead in route to a 17-2 victory over the Lady Vikings. Sparking the Wolverines with six goals was sophomore Jordan Pare. Chipping in three goals was Noriega, while Berrios and freshmen Kelsey Carrigan and Marion Sanborn had two goals each in the victory. Once again, the Lady Wolverines received standout goalkeeping from Ueltzen who had six blocks and two steals. The Lady Wolverines were determined to defend their conference championship as they reached the tournament final. Facing long time nemesis Santa Rosa Junior College, the Lady Wolverines started out slow but finished fast as they were able to clamp down on defense, and get the offense rolling after a scoreless opening quarter, leading to a 9-4 victory over the Lady Bearcubs. Once again super sophomores Pare (four goals) and Noriega (two goals) led the way. Berrios had one goal, three assists and four steals, Julie Maginnis had one goal, two assists and three steals, and Malina Lorring had two assists and five steals while defending the Bearcubs’ best players. Ueltzen once again came to the rescue in goal with 10 blocks. The Lady Wolverines next action is at the Northern California Championships Nov. 13 and 14 at West Valley College in Saratoga. After winning the conference championship, the Lady Wolverines go in as the No. 1 seed from the North and will take on the winner of the Merced College vs. Santa Rosa Junior College match. The Lady Wolverines must win one of their two games this weekend to finish top three in the tournament and qualify for next weekend’s state championships at Golden West College in Huntington Beach California.