Women’s Water Polo wins first-ever state title

The+Mesa+women%27s+water+polo+team+celebrates+is+9-7+win+over+Riverside+City+College+to+win+its+first-ever+state+title.
The Mesa women's water polo team celebrates is 9-7 win over Riverside City College to win its first-ever state title.

The Mesa women's water polo team celebrates is 9-7 win over Riverside City College to win its first-ever state title.

CCCAA

CCCAA

The Mesa women's water polo team celebrates is 9-7 win over Riverside City College to win its first-ever state title.

Jimmy Hausauer, Sports Writer

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The No. 2-seeded San Diego Mesa Women’s Water Polo team won it’s first state title ever against number one seeded Riverside, 9-7. Madi Atkins was a cornerstone, and MVP, to the Olympians victory recording 11 saves and one without any defender around with 3:17 left and Mesa staying ahead, 8-6.

A goal by Bailey Wickliffe helped take Mesa take the lead, 5-4, after the Olympians battled back from a 3-0 deficit. Riverside brought the game within one on a lob shot, 7-6, however Mesa’s Cassie Bernas quickly responded to take back a two-goal advantage.

“We all played to have fun and weren’t really in it to win. We won because we all play with heart and play well together as a team. As for me personally I wasn’t planning on playing this year so when I decided last second to play I just wanted to have fun. My best friend Jaicey and I were the reasons why there was laughter and joy on our team,” Said Atkins. “Also I couldn’t be more happy with all of the new friendships I have developed and my teammate Analise has a lot to do with helping me play to my full potential. That being said I just had fun because of that I had a great season and I can’t wait to see if my water polo career will continue in the future!”

Bailey Wickliffe scored 3 goals on the day and helped keep the offense alive.  Jaicey Tyler put up two, Cassie Bernas recorded two, and Ellie Williams and Lilli Langard both scored one each.

“Our goalie stepped up and made some big stops,” said Coach Jim Fegan. “ We stuck to our game plan. We won the first time we played Riverside and then lost the next two, so we ended up taking booked wins. That’s the way you want to do it. I’m proud of the entire team’s effort.”

From this match Mesa players and their coach earned honors for their performance.

All-State Water Polo Tournament Team: MVP, goalie Madi Atkins, attacker Cassie Bernas, 2 M Bailey Wickliffe. All-American Award: Madi Atkins, 2 M Ellie Williams, Cassie Bernas, attacker Jaicey Tyler. State Coach of the Year: Jim Fegan

The previous week Mesa won 3-4 at the Long Beach Tourney, the loss coming from Riverside, 8-5.  The Olympians beat Orange Coast, 8-4, Santa Barbra City 9-6, and Golden West, 12-7. Madi Atkins recorded a season high 19 saves in that one. Bailey Wickliffe recorded 13 goals over the tourney and Jaicey Tyler 12 goals.

 

The team also received honors at this tourney:

SoCal Co-Coach of the Year: Jim Fegan.

SoCal MVP Bailey Wickliffe.

First Team All SoCal: Madi Atkins, Ellie Williams, and Cassie Bernas.

Second Team All SoCal: Jacie Tyler.

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