Righetti High School’s girls water polo team is ending the year on a winning note.
The Warriors closed the 2017 portion of their campaign with a convincing 22-0 PAC 8 League victory over the San Luis Obispo Tigers Tuesday afternoon at Righetti’s Rob Knight Pool.
The Warriors (5-3, 1-2 PAC 8) scored seconds into the game and then kept the pressure on until they’d built a comfortable 15-0 lead midway through the second quarter on the way to their first league win of the season.
“We came out ready to play,” said Righetti coach Roxanne Leasure. “We had great intensity; we’re getting our groove back.”
“Our girls played pretty hard. We got a few good looks at their goal,” said San Luis Obispo coach Nicole DeVecchio. “Righetti’s defense is pretty stifling. I think we did a good job against their press but they’re a lot faster than we are — that’s something we’re working on.”
The Warriors spread the wealth — seven different swimmers scored.
Hailey Wilson led the way with five goals; Quinn McGinty added four; Emily Lopez, Dariana Aguilera, Maddie Gamble and Anna Dahmen each netted three and Denise Dominguez scored once.
Meanwhile, Righetti’s defense was dominant, allowing SLO to put just three shots on Sophia Reyes in the Warriors’ goal.
The warmest place to be during the afternoon was in Righetti’s pool.
The temperature was a chilly 58 degrees outside the pool when the game started but a toasty 78 degrees in the water.
And Righetti was hot right from the start.
Dominguez won the game-opening sprint to the ball and rocketed a pass to Wilson who was breaking for the goal. Wilson caught the ball and in one smooth motion powered it past SLO keeper Hana Abdul-Cader 15-seconds into the game.
The Warriors immediately stole the ball and got it back to Wilson who scored again at 6:06 of the first quarter for a 2-0 lead less than one minute into the game.
Dominguez then stole the ball, tossed it to McGinty who put a soft floater over Abdul-Cader at 5:38.
SLO then turned the ball over on a shot clock violation and McGinty immediately hit Gamble with a pass who relayed the ball to Aguilera whose shot bounced off the crossbar.
But Dominguez grabbed the rebound and fed Lopez who scored when her shot went off Abdul-Cader’s hand for a 4-0 lead at the 4:34 mark and Aguilera made it 5-0 off a feed from Gamble at 3:30 — at the halfway mark of the seven minute quarter.
McGinty scored twice and Gamble three times before the quarter ended with Righetti up 10-0.
In a replay of the game’s opening, Dominguez again won the opening sprint to the ball to start the second quarter.
This time she passed to McGinty, who fired it over to Lopez. Lopez then found Wilson open inside the two-meter position and Wilson completed the scoring drive in only 14 seconds.
When Dahmen found the back of the net at 3:36, the Warriors were up 15-0 and began to slow their offense down.
“We haven’t played a lot of games yet this season although we’ve only lost one day of practice to the Thomas Fire,” said Leasure. “We’ve definitely been practicing hard. We wanted to come out strong today, work on our counter attack and push the offense.”
But they kept their defensive pressure on and, despite San Luis Obispo finally able to get a couple shots at Reyes, the Warriors ended the half with their 15-0 lead intact.
In the third quarter, McGinty won the opening race to the ball and, after working the ball around the pool, found Wilson in front of the net. Wilson then scored again for a 16-0 lead at the 6:35 mark.
Righetti was ahead 19-0 at the end of three and spent most of the final quarter working on their passing while keeping the Tigers’ offense at bay.
“Amberly Clark, our driver, did a good job of getting open and trying to make things happen for us,” said DeVecchio. “And Eva Wynn got a couple good shot attempts.”
“I’m proud of the way the girls were working collaboratively as a team,” said Leasure. “Everybody that we put in the pool today did a great job. I think this win will get us back on track.”
Righetti will spend the holidays practicing. The Warriors don‘t get back into the pool for game action until the Arroyo Grande tournament on Jan. 5-6.