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Local water polo teams make a splash

POSTED August 11, 2009 11:19 p.m.
The Modesto-Stanislaus 18-under water polo players and coaches had a number of things they wanted to achieve this season. For the most part, they were successful.
Their season ended earlier this month at the Junior Olympic Tournament in San Jose, where they concluded with a 2-4 record and 14th in the Gold Bracket. It wasn’t the ideal ending, coach Drew Clute said, but they still had a worthwhile time.
“I think we did very well,” said Clute, also the Pitman High boys coach. “We had two or three bad losses, where we made a lot of errors. Other times, the losses were close and we learned from them.
“Overall, a very productive summer. “
Clute boasted a half-dozen players from Turlock, including Pitman’s Ian Roos, Michael Funk and Dylan Weddle and Turlock High’s Zac Young, Taylor Sellers and Eric Bohlender. Roos, Funk, Weddle and Sellers all return for their senior season this fall, while Young (UC Davis) and Bohlender (Modesto Junior College) will continue water polo at the college level.
The local athletes helped the 18-under team to a couple of successful runs. Mo-Stan captured the California State Games title in San Diego with an 8-6 win over Talon of San Diego on July 19, thanks in part to Young scoring 17 goals in five games — which was enough to earn him the tournament’s Athlete of the Year award.
The boys also performed well at the prestigious Commerce International in Los Angeles in early July, finishing in the top 25 against tough competition, including a team from Canada.
Other Mo-Stan teams did well this season, too.
The 16-under girls also won the state title, though they did in dramatic fashion by losing their opening game only to come back and defeat Lodi 10-5 in the championship game. That team was led by Ashley Cippioneri and coached by Lisa Avrett.
To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail csun@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.
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