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Rio Americano overpowers second-year Ripon in semis
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The Ripon High boys water polo team’s roll came to halt Thursday in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-II Championships.

The Indians ran into tournament top-seed Rio Americano in the semifinals, suffering a 21-9 defeat at Whitney High in Rocklin.

The loss brought the second water polo season in school history to a close, finishing with a Valley Oak League championship and a postseason battle with one of the best programs in Northern California.

“We were a little timid at first, we came out a little nervous,” Ripon head coach Eric Zador said. “It’s a big game, so it took us a little time to get comfortable. We really started pulling together and getting more and more comfortable with each quarter.”

Ripon got four goals from Caleb Rogers and a pair from Trevor Smith.

The Indians were forced with the daunting task of trying to stop the Capital Athletic League’s top team.

“They are one of the best teams in Northern California, if not the entire state,” Zador said of the Indians. “They are a really good team. They didn’t keep their starting lineup in the whole game, so I don’t know exactly what the score could have been.

“We did get some scores on their starting lineup, and I’m ecstatic on how they played this season.”