Pierce’s women’s water polo team improved its win streak on Thursday after a rocky beginning, but finished with a stifling defense and a strong offense.
The game started off with Cuesta pushing hard initially, though Pierce quickly gained an advantage over the course of the game. A strong defense and a continuous offense by Pierce’s team ended the game with a win at 13-8.
Sam Buliavac, who played the set position for Pierce, scored four of the team’s goals this game, and aided the team with her defense as well.
“They came in with an intensity that we weren’t expecting, and couldn’t match in the first half,” Buliavac said.
Cuesta scored two points in the beginning minutes of the game, catching Pierce off guard with their aggressive plays and communicative teammates. Pierce pushed back hard towards the end of the first quarter with two goals to end the quarter with a score of 3-2.
Pierce’s team played a hard defense the second quarter, while continued to stay aggressive.
Head coach of Cuesta’s team, Peter Schuler, says his team worked on power plays and a new defense while also commenting on the play of Buliavac and Sara Booth.
“They did a good job at exploiting our confusion,” Schuler said. “Buliavac and Booth do a great job at controlling the center of their offense.”
The third quarter was spent trading goals for both sides. Three of the four made by Pierce were reverse shots by Booth, which made the crowd roar.
“I’m only as good as my teammates,” Booth said. “That backhand wouldn’t have gone in if the pass wasn’t right.”
Cuesta continued to struggled to score in the third quarter against Pierce’s suffocating defense, but Cuesta’s Rachel Gruetzmacher and Ashley Codorniz scored another two goals, ending the quarter with a score of 10-5.
Buliavac, Booth and Blake Stinger scored three more goals in the final quarter with aggressive plays, while Gruetzmacher and Haley Shafer scored two more goals for Cuesta.
Pierce held a strong defense against Cuesta’s aggressive attacks, holding mostly even and ending the game with a score of 13-8.
Judi Terhar, women’s swim coach and assistant coach of the water polo team, explained that the girls train often and are pushed hard so they can succeed in their competitions.
“They really put in a lot of hard work,” Terhar said.
The next game will be at Pierce on Oct. 30 at 3:30 p.m. against Citrus College, and the team will be going to the Western State Conference in early November.