LIVERMORE, CA - After three consecutive runner-up finishes over the past three seasons, the Riverside City College (RCC) Tigers women's water polo team has attained the ultimate achievement and has won the state championship, its fifth crown in its 20-year history, with a 9-8, double-overtime win over the No. 1-seeded Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) Vaqueros Saturday (Nov. 19).
The 21st annual California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Women's Water Polo Championships Tournament was held this weekend (Nov. 18-19) at Las Positas College in Livermore.
Reaching the state championship game for the fourth consecutive year and sixth time this decade (all except 2012), the Riverside City College (RCC) Tigers women's water polo team also has reached the ultimate game for the eleventh time in its 20-year history since it began competition with the 1997 season.
Riverside (30-3), the No. 2 seed from the south, led, 2-0, at the end of the first quarter, 4-2 at halftime and 8-5 heading into the final quarter before the juggernaut SBCC Vaqueros -- in only their third season of existence -- scored three goals in the final period to tie the game at 8-8 and send the game into a pair of three-minute extra sessions.
In the first overtime, sophomore attacker Mary Myers (Riverside / M.L. King HS '15) scored with only ten seconds left to give Riverside the 9-8 lead. Myers finished with a game-high four goals and five steals and was named tournament most valuable player (MVP).
RCC sophomore two-meter offense player Emily Martin (Yucaipa / Yucaipa HS '15) powered home two goals and frosh attacker Anay Ramirez (Riverside / M.L. KingHS'16) also added two goals. Sophomore attacker Sarina Briseno (Riverside / Riverside Poly HS '15) accounted for seven,counjt 'em, seven steals and four exclusions drawn. Sophomore goalkeeper Ariana Olmos (Redlands / Redlands East Valley HS '15) had ten saves, three of which came in the second overtime, and also had two steals.
For their efforts this weekend, Myers (MVP). Martin and Olmos were named to the CCCAA All-State Tournament team from RCC.
Mary Myers (SO) UTIL - Riverside City College - MVP
Emily Martin (SO) 2M - Riverside City College
Ariana Olmos (SO) G - Riverside City College
Mackenzie Richards (SO) G - Santa Barbara City College
Ivanna Bilaver (FR) C - Santa Barbara City College
Michaela Smith (FR) ATT - San Joaquin Delta College
Elise Welch (SO) UTIL - Sierra College