W. Water Polo: Tournament ends with Falcons splitting four games

Cerritos played four games in the Battle at the Beach
Cerritos played four games in the Battle at the Beach

Serving as one of the three hosts of the Battle at the Beach Tournament over the weekend, the Cerritos College women's water polo team played four games over two days and posted a pair of wins. The Falcons (16-5) opened with a 12-7 win over Ventura College and were then defeated by Riverside City College, 15-5. On the second day, Cerritos defeated defending state champion Sierra College, 11-7 and capped off the weekend with a 14-7 loss to Citrus College. The team will host Long Beach City College on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. in a South Coast Conference game. The contest was originally scheduled to be played at Long Beach, but construction to their facility necessitated the move.

Cerritos vs. Ventura: Locked in a tight defensive battle after one period, the Falcons scored five in a row in the second period after falling behind, 2-1. The duo of freshmen Gabby Arenas (Montebello HS) and Mia Carbajal (Schurr HS) each scored twice during that time to help Cerritos take a lead they would not relinquish. Sophomore Amy Cervantes (Montebello HS/East Los Angeles College) closed out the scoring in the first half to give the Falcons a 7-4 lead, while sophomore Mayra Olivas (Montebello HS) posted a goal early in the third period to make it an 8-4 lead. The Pirates scored twice to close the score to 8-6, but sophomore Marisela Olivas (Schurr HS) and Carolina Medrano (Schurr HS) scored consecutive goals to put the team in the lead for good. Freshman goalkeeper April Nuno (Cerritos HS) came up with some big saves when they game was still close and finished with 12 saves. Carbajal and Medrano each scored twice, with Arenas and Cervantes posting two. When Cervantes (five) and Arenas (three) weren't scoring, they were combining for eight assists in the win.

Cerritos vs. Riverside City: Facing a Tigers team that has won five state titles in their history, the Falcons saw their 10-game winning streak come to an end. Riverside City took a 9-3 lead at halftime and never looked back. Cerritos turned the ball over 15 times and only converted five of their 23 shots in the game. Carbajal scored twice, with Cervantes picking up three more assists. Defensively, Mayra Olivas led the team with six steals, with Carbajal accounting for three, as well as drawing four ejections, with Nuno posting four saves in the net.

Cerritos vs. Sierra: Facing the #2-ranked team out of Northern California, the Falcons trailed 5-3 with time running out in the first half. But at the buzzer, Medrano was able to score and Cerritos carried that momentum into the second half. Shutting out the Wolverines in the third quarter, the Falcons scored the first six goals of the second half to open a 10-5 lead midway through the fourth period. Meddrano, Carbajal and Cervantes each scored twice during that run and all finished with three goals each in the game. Mayra Olivas (three steals) and Cervantes each assisted on three goals, while Carbajal also had three steals. Nuno posted seven saves in the game to help secure the victory.

Cerritos vs. Citrus: Facing the Owls in the fifth place game of the tournament, it was the second meeting of the two teams this season. Earlier in the year, Citrus recorded a 13-10 win at the Riverside Tournament. Citrus jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the second period and were able to score goals in bunches. The Falcons could never get things going and were victimized by 10 turnovers. They got 28 shots off against the Owls, but could not find the net. Carbajal led the team with three goals, with Medrano adding two. Mayra Olivas led the defense with four steals, with Nuno only coming up with two saves in the setback.