Turlock High’s varsity water polo teams kept their undefeated league records intact Thursday after both the boys and girls defeated their crosstown rival Pitman High.
Both Bulldog squads clinched Central California Athletic League championships this week, with the girls squad beating the Pride 15-2 and the boys winning 19-6.
“Our girls have been working hard, trying to improve the little things that we need to work on, whether it's working on our defense or putting the ball into the cage on offense because we've struggled in the shooting area,” Turlock girls head coach Anne Cornell said. “We’re really trying to fix up the little things.”
The Bulldogs were quick to score, putting up nine unanswered points in the first two quarters. Pitman’s Maya Kern was able to score right before the half and within the first minutes of the third quarter, but the offensive onslaught by the Bulldogs proved to be insurmountable.
Turlock’s Ava Farla had three goals during the match, while Brey Pierce led the way with seven of her own.
“They've been working together all during the summer and all through last year. Their connection and how they clicked together today was on fire, and that's what we need,” Cornell said of Farla and Pierce. “If they weren't out there getting that pace going, then we struggle a little bit.”
Pitman girls head coach Chelsie Wattles said she was proud of her team, but expects them to work together in the pool more than what they showed on Thursday.
“This was just a game where they didn’t find that groove,” Wattles said. “They were really antsy for this crosstown rivalry and really wanted it, but it obviously wasn’t there for us today.”
In the boys match, Turlock also showed why they’re the CCAL champs with a high-scoring effort led by Luke Thomas and Sean McMillan. Thomas totaled six goals on the night while McMillan collected seven goals and one penalty goal.
For Pitman, Chase Valenti had a hat trick with three goals Thursday in addition to points by Lucas Yotsuya, Karson Valenti and Jayvon Lambert.
In total, seven different Bulldogs had goals on the night.
“It just shows our growth.... I think it's finally coming to fruition where we can see their potential finalized,” Turlock boys head coach Nic Serratos said. “We're not a team that just revolves around one guy.”
Next, Turlock water polo will play Gregori at home on Tuesday while Pitman will travel to Modesto.