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Turlock girls polo tops Merced by a goal
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It was a nail biter on Monday afternoon when the Turlock High varsity girls’ water polo squad traveled on the road to take on Merced in the first league meeting of the season.

The Central California Conference is always a grind and this match wasn't any different, but in the end, the Turlock Bulldogs topped the Merced Bears, 8-7.

“It was a really close game and we played in a tournament over the weekend too,” said Turlock head coach Anne Cornell.

Turlock was coming off a two-day appearance at the Monterey Bay Shoot Out last Friday and Saturday, going 3-1 in the process and finishing in second place.

They toppled Carmel 7-1 followed by a 14-8 win against Gilroy on Friday and concluded on Saturday with a 10-4 win over Harker of San Jose followed by a championship 9-4 loss to Aptos.

After the win over Merced on Monday the Bulldogs are now 3-1 in the CCC.

“Our team played extremely well over the weekend in the Monterey Bay Shootout and the girls rose to the occasion,” said Cornell. “Many players are stepping up and adding to our team’s growth. The team does not rely on one person to score, the girls look to the best opportunity to put the ball into the cage.”

In Monday's game, Nicole Groteguth finished with a team-high four goals. Alli Serratos scored two and Kelly Weber and Lauren Stewart each added a goal apiece. Serratos also added a team-high eight steals while Groteguth added three and Weber and Caitlin Cornell each had two.

Olivia Cusenza had five blocks and Ashlyn Tilby added five for Turlock.

The next game for Turlock will be at home against Buhach Colony at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

“As the season continues to progress, the team continues to make huge improvements in fundamentals,” Cornell added. “We played some very well coached teams and our defense stepped up. As a team, the girls capitalized on many opportunities to steal the ball and score.”