Pierce College’s women’s water polo team went undefeated at the Mini Valley Tournament at Los Angeles Valley College on Saturday, playing in the team’s first official event.
The Sept. 15, 2012 tournament, played at Los Angeles Valley College’s Aquatic Center, was a three way head to head matchup comprised of Pierce College, LA Valley College and Santa Monica College (SMC).
Pierce went on to win matches against SMC and LA Valley College in their season opener with an explosive offense led by freshman starting center Sam Buliavac.
Buliavac scored 13 of the team’s 21 goals in the tournament, with 8 coming in the first match against SMC, a team the Brahmas played once in a scrimmage this season.
“Sam is a phenomenal player,” said head coach Moriah Van Norman after the game. “She will most likely get a scholarship to play after [community college].”
As the offense attacked their opposition, Pierce’s defense allowed for the team to set up on the counter attack.
“We’re playing good defense…force them to shoot with pressure,” said Van Norman during a break between games. “We can’t waste possessions…look to get the ball on the counter attack.”
With two victories in tournament play, the team’s mood is very high despite playing in their first game.
“We had first game jitters but we did really well,” said Buliavac. “We’re going to keep getting better.”
The inaugural season for the Brahmas is starting off well, but the team knows it hasn’t reached its stride yet.
“The team really pulled through considering we didn’t focus on plays and drills and we were just conditioning to get faster than other teams,” said freshman Sara Booth. “We’re only half way to our full potential.”
The team’s thoughts were echoed by coach Van Norman as she praised her players for their effort during tournament play.
“We did great,” Van Norman said . “They had a really hard week of training and they were able to compete and pull out wins and that’s huge.”
As the season comes into full swing, the team looks to play well enough to be in position to win a conference title.
“We have a lot of work to do if we have any thoughts of winning conference,” said Van Norman. “We have a great chance but it’s game by game.”
The team’s next match is against Santa Monica College on Wednesday, September 19, at 2:30 pm at Pierce’s Steven E. Schofield Aquatic Center.
Keep up with women’s water polo at The Roundup News.