Water polo drops three games in WWPA playoffs

The women’s water polo team headed to Geneva, Ohio for the Western Water Polo Association championship tournament that began on April 26. Sonoma State came in ranked fifth out of nine teams. 

Their opening game was played against the fourth seed, Gannon University. Jojo Williams and Taylor Brooks both found the back of the net to give the Seawolves a 2-1 lead as the first quarter closed.

Sonoma State was then held scoreless in the second. Gannon was now ahead 3-2 at the end of the half. Gannon continued their strong offensive efforts and pulled ahead, going up 7-4 as the third quarter concluded. 

The Seawolves would open the scoring in the fourth quarter but after one last surge from Gannon, the final score of the game was 9-5. 

“It was a rough weekend, we were down our leading scorer and one of our other key players so we had a lot to make up for,” said Brooks. “With that being said, we had a lot of people stepping up.”

The team had to prepare for the eighth seeded, Monterey Bay. The game was highlighted by numerous comeback efforts from the Seawolves. Down 6-3 in the second quarter, Williams would score back to back goals to bring the team within reach. 

Additional goals from Williams and Brooks would bring the score to 10-7 as the third quarter ended. The team erupted for three straight goals in the fourth to keep the game close. After a goal from Monterey Bay, Williams scored again to keep the game within a goal, score 13-12.

The next two minutes of play would finish scoreless as the Seawolves desperately tried to find the equalizing goal. The game would finish in a loss for the Seawolves, final score 13-12. Williams would finish the day with five goals and Kelly Failner had five assists. 

“The game was tough. We all worked so well together though and I’m proud of our performance and battle back in the fourth quarter,” said Williams. “I wanted to perform well and my teammate Kelly Failner looked at me and said go off and it just resonated with me and I felt a burst of energy.” 

The Seawolves were now set to face the bottom ranked Mercyhurst the next morning. The game did not start as Sonoma State would have hoped and they headed into the fourth quarter down 7-3. The Seawolves would then erupt for three goals, capped by a nice finish from Hailey Gellert to bring the team within a goal with 58 seconds remaining. 

The Seawolf comeback would once again fall short as the game finished with Mercyhurst on top, 7-6. Gellert led the way for Sonoma State with four goals in the game. The Seawolves finished the season with a record of 7-17.

With the season now coming to a close, the team seems set for a strong 2020 season. There were many young players with the team and they hope to take this season and build upon it for the years to come.

“The team has learned so much this year and I’m so proud of every single one of my teammates for everything we have accomplished,” said senior Taylor Brooks. “Team chemistry wise, this is the best team I have ever been a part of and I’m most thankful to end my senior year with this group of girls.”