The Cerritos College women’s water polo team overcame a two-point deficit against Chaffey College placing fifth among 21 teams at the Battle at the Beach Tournament hosted at Long Beach City College Oct. 21 to 22.
The Falcons went 3-1 in the 13th annual tournament, which had its largest turnout to date.
Speed and defense led to the dominating win over Palomar College 12-5 on the first day of competition, but the Falcons’ first-quarter complacency in the second game allowed Golden West College to take an early lead that was large enough that Cerritos could not catch up in the remaining three quarters.
Golden West won the game 14-8.
“Overall, the team played strong seven out of the eight quarters,” Head Coach Sergio Macias said, “We were able to control the game against Palomar but we made some early mistakes against Golden West.”
“We were asleep and not playing defense but we were able to make our adjustments and then it turned out to be a good game,” Macias said.
Golden West attacked the Falcons early by scoring two points in the first three minutes of the first quarter before scoring an additional four to Cerritos’ one.
The Falcons managed to outscore Golden West in the second, tie the third, but give up two when trying to rally in the fourth.
Falcons made 25 shot attempts, 11 steals, and one assist. Goalie Sharon Ku made seven saves.
“We tried to keep [Golden West] on the perimeter because they had a dominant center,” Adriana Rodriguez, utility player, said, “But we weren’t really on the same page.”
In the Palomar game, the Falcons were more effective with 22 shot attempts, 10 steals and two assists.
Ku made eight saves.
The Falcons entered the losers’ bracket on the second day of play, defeating Fullerton 6-4 and Chaffey 8-7.
Cerritos used its speed, played aggressive and double-teamed Fullerton’s center taking her out of the game.
“We are quick and a smart team,” Janine Loera, attacker, said. “We shut her down and pressed harder.”
“We were a little nervous going into the game against Chaffey because coach wanted us to defend differently,” Loera, who is also history major. “Chaffey was winning by two but we were able to get used to its defense and come back for the win.”