The Turlock High girls' water polo squad topped out in third place in the Central California Conference last season, despite numerous tight contests against league opponents, including a one-goal loss to second place Buhach Colony to end the regular season.
With the new season underway, the Bulldogs and head coach Sonja Raynes are prepared for another run at the CCC.
“We had several seniors last year, but the matches were very close. Playing Merced and Buhach was tough too,” Raynes said. “Only three seniors are returning this year. We have juniors and sophomores; they are young but their learning curve is (good) and they are very coachable. We look very good so far."
Pitman High went through a rebuilding phase in 2012, struggling with confidence to close out games the majority of the time and concluded with a 2-8 league record.
“Last year we ended fifth in league, and it wasn’t exactly how we planned it out, obviously. We had potential, but the girls' confidence level was not there and we had a few girls that did not mesh well and there were interior problems,” Pitman High head coach Michaela Solario said. “This year, the girls get along and mesh well. Now we just need to work on the confidence that is where the problem is.”
Losing seven seniors is never easy to overcome, but with the help of five returners, and sophomore Jordyn Kennel, Pitman will be ready for the 2013 campaign.
“Once they realize that they can do it, it will be a game changer,” Solario said.
The big guns for the Pride will consist of Anna Porter, the primary hole setter, primary defender and outside shooter Kim Canisso, and a fast Emma Burke.
“Once we hit our groove we will be in that top second or third spot. All teams are very tough, if we come to play, I believe we will be up there and I want the parents to come out and cheer for their kids,” Solario said.
Pitman High's next contest will be at Golden Valley on Wednesday at 3 p.m.