Women’s water polo season wraps up

Austin Teegarden,

The Cal State East Bay women’s water polo team finished second in the Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) conference final, losing to 12-2 to UC San Diego on April 29. This wrapped up their season, finishing 18-9 overall on the year.

The Pioneers fought hard all weekend, going 2-1 overall. They beat Gannon University in the first round, 12-8. In the second round, they firmly beat Cal State Monterey Bay 12-2 to advance to the finals.

“I really wanted to show everyone our team chemistry,” said Maci Taylor, a freshman driver, “I really wanted to win.” The team certainly showed off their chemistry, scoring 26 goals overall last weekend.

Freshman driver Ivanna Anderson and goalie Makenna Nation led the team’s efforts all weekend. Anderson scored ten goals for the Pioneers over the weekend with three assists to go along. Both Anderson and Nation made first team All-Tournament honors.

Freshman Adrien Van Dyke, Ivanna Anderson and Maci Taylor combined for 10 assists over the weekend.

“I really wanted to work on no foul defense,” said Van Dyke.

Overall, the Pioneers had a fantastic season. As a team, they scored 283 goals, 194 assists and 312 steals. They did better in all three categories this season than last. Their record was better as well, as last year they finished 13-13.

The women’s water polo team will be losing four seniors heading into next year. One of them is graduating senior, driver Beverly Ayers. Ayers finished her senior year with eight goals, four assists and eight steals. Ayers will be receiving a bachelor’s degree in human development.

The other three to leave the team due to senior status are Gabriella Garcia, Leilani Vasquez and Erica McFeggan. Overall the four seniors scored 40 goals, 18 assists and 36 steals. McFeggan, goalie, had 37 saves with a .514 save percentage to round out the year. Next year the Pioneers will have six seniors to carry the freight.

The future of the team looks very bright. The freshman trio of Taylor, Van Dyke, and Anderson had a strong first year, so expect those three to produce even more goals for the team. The three totaled 99 goals, 65 assists and 72 assists this year.

“I’m super excited, can’t wait to see all the new players,” Anderson said when asked about the future of the team, “It’s gonna be a great team.”

The women’s water polo team will be led by now Sophomore Auriel Bill who was named WWPA player of the year, the first in Pioneers history. Bill scored 47 goals, 98 assists and 42 steals. As well as being the first East Bay player to win the award, she was also named to the All-WWPA team.

Goalkeeper Nation will be going into her senior year looking to impress once again. She was an All-WWPA honorable mention pick this year, well deserved after her remarkable showing last weekend. Nation ended the year with 173 saves and a .463 overall save percentage.

The Pioneers will look to take it all next year after finishing second place this year. No one likes finishing second, especially after such a great season like this one. I see the team scoring even more goals this year and showing off their great team chemistry like they did this year.