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Turlock water polo handles Pitman in season finale
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Turlock High girls water polo ran away with a 9-1 victory over Pitman High on Thursday to finish with an 8-2 record in the Central California Conference. - photo by CHHUN SUN / The Journal

When the season started, Turlock High girls water polo coach Sonja Raynes wasn’t sure about her team.

The Bulldogs were young.

But after Thursday night’s 9-1 win over crosstown rival Pitman High in the regular season final, Raynes knew what she had. The Bulldogs controlled the match from the very beginning and never let up, thanks to standout performances by Kristine Groteguth (two goals, one assist, six steals), Haley Raynes (two goals, three assists and two steals), Savanna Schaffer (two goals, one assist) and goalkeeper Abbey Johnson (four saves).

The Bulldogs (8-2) finished second in the Central California Conference standings behind Merced High (10-0).

And Raynes was more than pleased with the finish.

“I’ve been very proud to coach these girls,” she said. “They’ve come a long way. They had some younger players, and newer players. They’ve really worked together. And now, they’re passing and they’re finding each other.”

The Bulldogs will look forward to Nov. 4, when the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I Tournament begins at Johansen High in Modesto. Turlock will face the second seed from the Tri-City Athletic League, which is yet to be determined. The match is scheduled for 9 a.m.

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