A total of nine players are returning for head coach Anne Cornell and the Turlock High varsity girls water polo team after they achieved the league title last season in undefeated fashion and this year, they are chasing that and more.
“Our girls know we need to bring our ‘A’ game from the moment the season starts,” said Cornell. “We need to continue to build on that and I know that personally, the girls from last year, their goal is to win the first round of section and move on. We got knocked out by Oakdale last year in the first round so that was disappointing to them and me as a coach. The steps to get there, and it is teamwork, they all know they need to play well when they are playing, every single one of them, it has to be a complete team effort.”
That complete team effort will have to come from Leah Becerra, Sadie Bigler, Mackenie Campbell, Autumn Glidden, Kianna Hesse, Madysen Howry, Audra Lawler, Lauren Stewart, Cady Thomas, Ashlyn Tilby, Sierra Yandell, Stella Romeo and Emmerson Stempson.
“I already see more of a unified team, kind of different things going on. They are already bonding and communicating even better,” said Cornell.
Turlock closed last year with an overall record of 16-6 and a perfect 10-0 in league play.
They were the most dominant group in the Central California Athletic League and have six All-League returners and an honorable mention.
“I am very excited and optimistic about the season, just their spirit alone, and unification is amazing. It is a great feeling to know they want it just as bad as I want it, they all want it,” said Cornell. “We have speed, we have shooters, we have offensive players, defensive players and we have a great mix of everything, just well-rounded and each person brings something different to the team.”
Cornell and the ‘Dogs are also benefiting from welcoming in a new goalkeeper recently from Clovis in Lawler to perhaps join Tilby in becoming a scary goalkeeping tandem.
“It is great to have a great goalkeeper, we have a great combination,” said Cornell. “We really do have a well-rounded group of girls and we have two juniors who started as sophomores, which is good, we’ve also got a really fast freshman, really fast swimmer.”
Expect the Bulldogs to continue their successful ways this season.
A target will be on their backs, but they don’t seem to be concerned by any opponent with their deep squad.
The first game for Turlock is slated to be at home against Buhach Colony at 3 p.m. Sept. 3.