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Guided by Pitman coach, Junior Olympic team makes nationals
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It’s safe to say that the girls of the Modesto-Stanislaus Water Polo Club, coached by Pitman High’s Drew Clute, has been tested and that’s one reason why the 18-under team is ready for the next challenge: the Junior Olympic national tournament.

The girls lost both of their games on June 25 in the qualifying tournament at Johansen High in Modesto, but managed to come back and impress. They went 3-0 the following day, beating Stockton, Sacramento and Lodi to earn the fourth seed in the national tournament that’s set for Aug. 4-8 in Irvine.

“It’s a pretty cool deal for the girls to be a part of it,” Clute said.

The Modesto-Stanislaus team has Turlock ties, as Ian Roos — a former Pitman High standout who is now on the Fresno Pacific men’s water polo team — is an assistant coach. The team is made up of some of the best players in the region, as girls come from places like Modesto, Sonora, Los Banos and Merced.

The 18-under team represents a section that stretches from Sacramento to Bakersfield.

At the qualifying tournament at Johansen, the Modesto-Stanislaus team was in trouble after opening with two losses. But the girls fought back and won three straight, thanks to a combined 17 goals from Allison Miller and Kaysie Lewis.

“To lose the first two games on Saturday and win all three Sunday is pretty impressive,” said Clute, who is also the Pitman boys water polo coach.

To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.