MERCED – The Ripon High girls water polo team overcame adversity en route to capturing third place with a 4-1 record in the El Capitan Tournament, which culminated in an epic 8-7 come-from-behind victory over host El Capitan.
It is the first time in program history that the girls squad placed in a tournament. The Indians were promoted to the tougher Platinum Division after a 2-0 start in the Silver Division on Friday. They earned three-goal victories over Buhach Colony, 9-6, and Madera, 10-7.
Hannah Sweet totaled seven goals in the two matches, while Andria Martin and Chloe Winter each had a hat trick. Mallory Brubaker chipped in three assists in the Madera game. Goalie Kyra Foley had 10 saves on the first day.
Ripon had to continue on without coach Christine Zador, who battled a cold Saturday morning. Ripon boys coach Erik Zador, her brother, took over the day. To top it off, the team arrived to its destination without the players’ caps and water polo balls. A parent found them at Atwater’s Buhach Colony High, where Ripon played its games on Friday.
The early disruptions did not deter the Indians, who routed Merced 9-2 in their most dominant effort of the tournament. Martin had three goals and three steals, while Brubaker added two goals and three steals.
Clovis East knocked them into the third-place match with a 9-4 win. Sweet finished with two goals, three steals and an assist.
Ripon finished with a bang Saturday, climbing back from a three-goal deficit in the fourth quarter to stun El Capitan, 8-7. Foley did well to keep her team in it throughout, coming through with 13 saves. Martin spearheaded the attack with four goals, including the game-winner with a minute remaining. Sweet netted three goals, and Brubaker set up Martin with the equalizer.
Both the Ripon boys and girls teams open Valley Oak League play on Wednesday, Oct. 7, when they host Oakdale at the Ervin Zador Aquatic Center.
Modesto Christian 0
RIPON — The Indians (2-1, 8-5 overall) staved off the Crusaders in the final set to complete a 25-12, 25-16, 25-23 sweep in a Trans-Valley League match Monday.
Samantha McCreath blasted 11 kills to go with two aces. Courtney Slamon provided four blocks, Stephanie Petlansky set 18 assists and Ashlyn Eisenga registered 26 digs.