The Pitman High girls water polo team had one of the program's most successful regular seasons in 2014, as the Pride made the postseason for only the second time in seven years and the first since a five-year hiatus when the team made it in 2008.
Much to their surprise, however, the Pride were booted in the opening round of the Division I CIF Sac-Joaquin Section tournament after meeting the number one seed in Vintage High, where the squad lost 10-1 at Johansen High on Saturday.
“On one hand it was a success to just make it to postseason, but we did not want to be eliminated in first round,” said Pitman head coach Michaela Solario. “We knew going into it that Vintage would be a good team, but if we played to our potential it would be a good game. But our second half of this season was rough and we couldn't get our heads out of that rut to play to our potential, unfortunately.”
With the loss, the Pride end the year having dropped their last two games and scored only five goals total in that span.
They were outscored 15-5 in the final two games.
“I mean we can go through all of our ups and downs and at the end of the day I am so proud of how these girls did,” Solario said. “As each team does, we faced our share of adversity which did hold us up a bit, but it happens and it is part of life that they will have to deal with forever, so at least they are getting a taste now.”
The first quarter it seemed like the Pride played up to their potential but that's as good as it got for them.
By the end of the first the Pride found themselves down 0-2.
They had some accurate attempts and the physicality was there but it seemed that by the end of the half they had deteriorated after going down 0-5.
“Our girls morale was fading fast, they were making small but deadly mental errors and it was like they were swimming through quick sand,” said Solario.
By the end of the third the score was 1-6. Erin Tait of Pitman scored the team's only goal after she stuffed the ball in the strong side.
“By the end of the third, the girls had given up and there is no coming back after that,” Solario said.
Pitman and Turlock players will be competing in a game between the North v. South on Nov. 22 at Turlock High.
“Would love for people to come support the Central California Conference,” Solario added.