Tue, Nov 12 2013 12:26 AM Posted By: Phillip Brents
Grossmont College’s men’s and women’s water polo team swept their two games at last weekend’s Pacific Coast Athletic Conference championship tournament to earn berths to the Southern California regional tournament.
The top-seeded Griffins (23-4) topped Southwestern, 21-8, in last Friday’s men’s semifinal before putting a cap on PCAC play with a 15-7 championship game victory against second-seeded San Diego Mesa.
In the women’s bracket, top-seeded Grossmont (21-5) topped Miramar, 15-8, in its semifinal and then edged second-seeded Palomar, 11-7, in the championship game.
Games were played at Miramar College.
Both Griffin teams finished regular season conference play 8-0 to earn top seeds in the conference championship tournament.
The Grossmont women’s team finished regular season play ranked seventh in the state and earned the No. 4 seed in the SoCal regionals, meeting No. 5 seed L.A. Valley (21-3) in Friday’s opening-round game.
The Grossmont men’s team ended regular season play ranked ninth in the state. The Griffins received the No. 6 seed in the SoCal regionals and will play third-seeded Orange Coast (20-4) in Friday’s opener.
The SoCal regionals feature a 10-team draw. Championship and consolation (third place) games will round out play on Saturday.
Long Beach City (22-2) is seeded No. 1 in the men’s bracket while Golden West (27-0) is seeded No. 1 in the women’s bracket.
Southwestern battled back from its semifinal loss to Grossmont to upend third-seeded Palomar, 13-10, to capture third place in the men’s field.
The fourth-seeded Jaguars finished 2-1 in their three tournament games to end the season 8-19 overall following a 2-6 regular season conference showing.
SWC defeated fifth-seeded Miramar, 11-7, in a play-in game last Friday, with the winner advancing to meet the top-seeded Griffins in the semifinals.
Following the semifinal loss to Grossmont, the Jaguars met Palomar, a 12-9 semifinal loser to Mesa, in the consolation game.
Nick Howard had his game in monster mode by scoring nine goals in the win over Miramar while adding one assist and three steals.
Mar Vista alum Justin Patacsil paced SWC with six goals in the loss to Grossmont.
Howard closed out the Jags season by leading the team with five goals, one assist and four steals in the upset victory against Palomar. Patacsil had three goals in the win over the Comets.
Hilltop alum Stuart Sokil contributed two goals, one assist and four steals in the third-place game victory while Eddie Alvarez scored twice and Leonardo Perez contributed one goal, two assists and three steals.
Rhett Pitcock had goalie 15 saves in the win over Miramar and 19 saves in the win over Palomar to finish with 46 saves in SWC’s three tourney games. Pitcock also collected 11 steals in the tournament, including four steals in the finale over Palomar.
Howard led the Jaguars in season scoring with 97 goals, 35 assists and 98 steals. Patacsil accumulated 90 goals, 13 assists and 38 steals while Sokil contributed 25 goals, 23 assists and 78 steals.
Alvarez had 22 goals, seven assists and 22 steals while Perez had 16 goals, 32 assists and 51 steals.
Pitcock finished the season with one goal, nine assists, 68 steals and 344 goalie saves.
Howard, who ranks among the state community college leaders in goals, assists and steals, received honors as the PCAC Athlete of the Week for the week ending Nov. 3 after collecting 15 goals, four assists and 15 steals in the Saddleback tournament (Nov. 1-2) as the Jaguars split four games. Howard scored eight goals in a 13-6 victory over Chaffey. He entered the final week of regular season play ranked second in the state in steals and fourth in goals.
Southwestern's women's team fell, 8-4, to Miramar in the conference tournament semifinals.
Team leaders this season for the Lady Jaguars (11-14) included Irene Ramos with 77 goals, Lauren Broyles with 68 goals, Sofia Fialko with 49 steals, Mariela Rodriguez with 125 steals and Crystal Corona with 124 goalie saves.
For more information on the upcoming state playoffs, visit the website at www.jcwaterpolo.com.
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