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Girls' Water Polo: Ocean View falls short in title game

Seahawks settle for runner-up status after losing to Segerstrom, 7-4, in CIF Southern Section Division 7 final.

March 01, 2014|By Mike Sciacca
(SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

IRVINE — The CIF Southern Section Division 7 girls' water polo championship game matched the top two teams from the Golden West League and like the previous two meetings this season between Segerstrom and Ocean View, Saturday's final favored Segerstrom.

Second-seeded Ocean View stayed with the Golden West League champions late into the third quarter but the top-seeded Jaguars were able to pull away to record a 7-4 victory that gave the program its first Southern Section title in the sport.

For Ocean View, Saturday marked the second straight time Coach Melissa Fernandez had guided the Seahawks to the division final at the William Woollett Jr. Aquatic Center in Irvine. Last year, the Seahawks finished runner-up to top-ranked Hemet for the crown.

This year's return trip to Woollett Center surprised even Fernandez.

"We had lost so many players from last year's team and we are so young this year that getting here, in itself, was great," Fernandez said, holding on to the CIF runner-up plaque. "I told the girls after the game to put into perspective the fact that they got us back here. It's a credit to them what they accomplished. Hopefully, they'll look back and realize what a successful season it's been."

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The Seahawks and Jaguars knew what to expect from one another. Twice during the regular season, Segerstrom took league games from Ocean View winning by scores of 10-3 and 9-7. Saturday's third meeting had much the same feel to it and the Jaguars never trailed in a game against the Seahawks for the second time this year.

Ocean View pulled into a 1-1 tie early in the second quarter when sophomore utility Elena Isogawa converted a penalty shot. The Seahawks again drew even at 2-2 when senior two-meter Raquel Zorich scored off a rebound with the Seahawks in a 6-on-5 advantage with 1:44 left until halftime.

The Jaguars were able to take a 3-2 lead at the half when junior two-meter Justine Mills drew a foul on Ocean View sophomore Shannon Graham, and Mills hit her penalty shot for what turned out to be the go-ahead and winning goal with a minute left on the first-half clock.

Ocean View had a chance at the outset of the second half to pull into a tie but with the Seahawks holding a 6-4 player advantage, Segerstrom senior utility Gillian Robles came up with a big steal to give the Jaguars possession.

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