Turlock varsity boys’ water polo team is off to a 4-0 start in the Central California Conference after defeating Merced High 12-10 on Monday on the road in the first league meeting of the year.
“It was a nail biter at the end but we won in that small Merced pool,” said Turlock head coach Sonja Raynes. “We never went down, we were always ahead.”
Turlock went up 3-2 after the first quarter then went into the half up 6-4.
That carried into the second half where the Bulldogs went up 9-6 by the start of the fourth.
“They outscored us in the last quarter but we had two kids get kick outs, which gives the other team a power play basically,” said Raynes.
Dylan Bernardi was without question the player of the game according to Raynes.
Bernardi, who has been steadily one of the most consistent players on the squad, had a team-high six goals, adding two five-meter goals to go with her assist, four steals and four field blocks, which means the other team shot and he blocked it instead of the goalkeeper.
“If I had to give to a top player I would have to put him up there today. He is always solid, but today he was so huge... all over the place,” said Raynes. “We lost our rhythm a bit since we were out of our comfort zone, so that aspect as well as offense helped so they took on that leadership role.”
Noah Benson added three goals and two steals while Matt Hesse added two goals, two steals and an assist.
“Then to round it out Cole Marchy had two steals and a goal and he plays two-meter guard and he and Trent Coffey switch off and he did a good job,” Raynes added. “We are just in the first half, but this is the game plan to take one game at a time, never look past, they have done that so far.”
The next game for Turlock will be at home against Buhach Colony at 5 p.m. Wednesday.