With two new head coaches, the Lompoc and Righetti girls water polo teams are still trying to get accustomed to changes in the learning curve.
After a non-league game played in the cold rain between the two teams at the new Righetti pool, it looked like the Warriors are ahead of the curve.
Righetti scored seven unanswered goals in the first quarter and cruised to a 13-2 victory Thursday afternoon.
Roxanne Eastwood took over the Righetti program a month before the season began and Daniella Alvarado began just recently as the new Lompoc coach.
Eight different swimmers scored for the Warriors, led by three from Kaylie Monte. Hillary Krumbholz, Devyn Martinez and Shawna Weston all scored two goals, while Monique Kase, Linsey Avila, Ellery White and Nicole Delgado added one each.
Both goals for the Braves were scored by Erika Elenas, who started in goal, made six saves in the first quarter, then moved to the field for the last three.
Several of the Warriors’ first half goals were set up on counters and breakaways. But after building up the 7-0 lead, Righetti’s coach slowed her team down in order to work on their set offenses.
“Games like this, we just want to work on strengthening our other plays (beyond the counter),” Eastwood explained. “Games are helping a lot more than practice, this way we can actually work on the plays with each other than against each other.”
Lompoc had a difficult time setting up any offense early and had no shots on goal until very late in the first quarter.
The Warriors ,with several seniors on the squad, took advantage early, while the young Braves were tentative.
“Most of the team is sophomores,” explained Alvarado. “They have their good times then they go down — I get kind of frustrated, but I understand.”
The best chance for a Lompoc goal came with seconds remaining in the first quarter when Auroro Tanguma was awarded a penalty shot after a foul by Monte. Her shot sailed well over the goal.
For the final three quarters, Eastwood was able to utilize her entire bench and work on the set offense.
“We are slowly working together as a team and getting it together,” she said. “We are working on the smaller things and I’ve seen a lot of improvement.”
Alvarado knows that it will take a lot of time in the pool to get things going and with the Braves not playing again until the new year, there will be plenty of time for practice.
“They are catching on to things,” Alvarado said, “but they still have a lot of things to work on.”
The Braves next play on Wednesday, Jan. 6 ,against St. Joseph. Righetti travels next Tuesday to Nipomo in a PAC-7 opener.