Starting Out Strong

Patterson’s Girls water polo started the season out strong with a 17-4 victory over Ceres. In its fourth official year the win marks 3 of 4 years that the program has started out the season with a win.

“We have a lot of strong players, and the past few weeks we worked on being a good cohesive team. We practice making at least three passes before we shoot that way everyone has a chance to touch the ball. I’m proud of how they performed, passing, communication, and their swimming was great. Before their stamina in the water needed worked, they showed great swimming today,” said head coach Phoebe Skelson.

The Tigers wasted little time showing their dominance as went into halftime up 9-2 receiving three goals from Aleigha and Kaeley Wheeland. They also played great defense limiting the Bulldogs chances to attempt shoots and when they did get close to attempting a shoot goalie Frances Pierce played excellent defense turning away multiple shoots.

“I know we will be better than previous seasons, the magic of our team is having fun. We don’t judge our success on wins and losses, it’s about improvement in each category. Our goal is to take more shoots, I think having the confidence to shot, [improving] knowledge, and game awareness is our goal.”

Boys’ water polo also had an excellent encore performance at the Patterson Aquatic Center last week against Ceres winning 17-6. Just like the girls’ team they jumped out to a big lead going into halftime and continued their dominance in the second half and shutout the Bulldogs in the fourth period.

“They went out there a little weak but then they remembered how to play. We had really good communication and we were able to mix in some of the first-year players with our returning players, that way the veterans can coach our new players. It helps build our programs and develop leadership. We’re not just out here to learn the sport and win games, we’re also developing character and that’s really a strong focus of mine,” said head coach Valerie Jamieson.

Patterson’s water polo next matchup will be against El Capitan in Merced, with the girls starting at 5 p.m. and the boys will play at 6 p.m. The Gauchos have been amongst the top teams in the Central California Conference, the girls haven’t lost a league game since 2017, when and the boys haven’t lost more than two league games in that same span.

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