Sierra Claims 2018 Women’s Water Polo State Championship

Women's Water Polo State Champions 2018
Women's Water Polo State Champions 2018

Sierra College captures their Women's Water Polo State Championship! Not only is this the first state crown for the Sierra program, but the first for any NorCal women's water polo team in history. Sierra lost just two matches all season, leading to an impressive 29-2 overall record, a 10-0 Big 8 record, along with the 2018 Big 8 and NorCal titles.

At the state tournament, Sierra would face Santa Barbara and Fullerton, perhaps fittingly the same two teams responsible for Sierra's only two regular season losses. Not phased, the Wolverines took the opportunity to even the score, and they did, knocking off Santa Barbara 10-6 in the semifinals, and taking the 7-6 OT victory over Fullerton in the championship match.

Against Santa Barbara, it was evenly matched through the first quarter, Santa Barbara leading 3-2 after the first 8 minutes of play. But Sierra quickly pulled ahead, leading 5-3 at the half, and never trailed again. It was 5 different players who scored the 10 Wolverine goals, with Grace O'Callaghan scoring four times in Sierra's 10-6 semifinal victory.

In the championship match against Fullerton, Sierra jumped out to a 4-1 lead at the half, but what looks like a definitive lead was quickly closed by Fullerton, who came back to tie it 6-6 after regulation. In overtime, it was penalty shots that wrote the final chapter, as early in the second half of overtime, Fullerton was presented with a penalty shot opportunity, but the shot was expertly blocked by Sierra's Danielle Brown. Just moment's later, it was Sierra's turn to try for the penalty shot, with Shanti Reisinger taking aim against Fullerton's keeper Tatiana Cava. Reisinger's shot found the back of the net, giving Sierra the 7-6 lead.

That's how the score would stay until the final buzzer, heralding in the first ever CCCAA State Championship for Sierra College Women's Water Polo. It was also the first time in history that a NorCal program took home the women's water polo state title.

Sierra head coach Scott Decker also made history, becoming the first Sierra College Head Coach to win two state titles, his other came as the head coach of the Sierra Women's Swimming and Diving program who won the state title in 2017.

In 2018, Sierra put up 407 goals for an average of 12.33 per match and recorded a shot percentage of 48.9 percent.