The Pierce College water polo team struggled to place in the WSC semifinals after playing Ventura College and Santa Monica College on Thursday, Nov. 6.
After a brutal upset against Ventura, Whitney Alderman led the Pierce Women’s Water Polo team to a victory over Santa Monica, scoring six goals.
“Defensively she actually took on a great role for us and she was the primary offensive player. Whitney just a naturally talented athlete,” head coach Moriah Van Norman said.
Captain Sierra Marroquin had two goals, four assists, one steal and one block. Captain Regina Aqopian and Sarah Karp scored twice.
“Sierra Marroquin is phenomenal. She is a great team player and she is one of our team captains,” Van Norman said. “Every single game you notice that with her it’s 100 percent all the time and she is just really coachable.”
Agopian also had two steals and goalie Emily Gilbert kept the cage clear with six blocks.
The victory came after Pierce was dominated earlier by Ventura in a 21-7, upset.
Pierce had difficulty scoring and defending, as Ventura utilized all five of their reserves, allowing the team to dominate defensively.
“Not having a defense will hurt you, but I would rather have a small group of players that I trust, and who work hard, and who are in it for the right reasons,” Van Norman said. “I would not have changed anything this season.”
Alderman once again led the offense with five goals, two assists and one steal. Gilbert had four blocks and one steal, while Marroquin had two goals and one assist.
At halftime the Brahmas only trailed the Pirates 8-4, but then the Brahmas fell far behind, 28, in the third quarter.
Pierce lost a chance to advance to third place, during it’s final match against Citrus on Saturday, Nov. 8. The Brahmas were defeated by the Owls 14-4.
In the first quarter, both teams scored twice, but problems scoring in the second quarter left Pierce trailing Citrus 5-2 by halftime. Twelve of the Brahmas shots were blocked by Owls goalie Rose Takeuchi, while Gilbert defended the Brahmas goal for three blocks and one steal.
“Emily Gilbert did not come in as a goalie, but she ended up as a goalie. She was fantastic and really helped her team,” Van Norman said. “Not only did she not have no experience in the cage but she also became probably our best defender.”
In the end Alderman was only able to attack for two goals and two steals. Marroquin had one goal, one assist and two steals and Kelly Sharko scored with one goal and one assist.