Girls water polo’s most awaited game cuts it close with San Dimas


Erick Bautista

Senior Salma Valle and the girls water polo team talking to Coach Vincent during halftime at Senior Night on Feb. 2.

Rachel Leon, Staff Writer

West Covina’s girl’s water polo team has had an eventful record of 18 wins and 8 losses. With the qualifications to today’s CIF game, the challenge to face San Dimas, a Division 3 team, while being a Division 5 team, was presented last Thursday for the Senior Night game. For seniors Brooklyn Vicario, Sophia Rodriguez, Aliana Solorzano, Salma Valle, Hannah Ochoa, and Alyssa Navarro, all eyes were on these players.  

Before the game began, seniors walked through a tunnel of teammates with loved ones cheering them on, giving flowers, gifts, and taking pictures. Coach Alec Vincent Rivera shared words of encouragement and recognized the hard work for those in their final year in the sport. 

Bulldogs opened on defense as San Dimas Saints gained possession over the ball in the opening sprint of the first two quarters. On the offense, San Dimas challenged Bulldogs with a leading score; however, Bulldogs fought back with senior Aliana Solorazona scoring and the assist of junior Victoria Tu. 

With 1:29 left in the second quarter, Bulldogs and Saints were tied 2-2. 

The fight in defense for Bulldogs was rough. Goalie Samantha Guerra put up a good defense deflecting over 7 shot attempts, however nearing the end of the second quarter, the Saints ended with another goal. 

“We have to have communication as a goalie to see everything. Keeping up with them was an accomplishment in itself,” said Guerra.

Bulldogs attempted to take charge on the score again, but Saints forefronted a heavy defense and Tu’s shot was blocked, putting a close on the first half with the ending score of Bulldogs 2- 3. 

Bulldogs struggled to start on offense with Saints gaining possession of the ball again beginning the third quarter. Bulldogs evened out the score at 4:24 with a goal 3-3. Guerra defended the goal blocking a shot attempt from white, however the success for Bulldogs was cut short at 2:01 with Saints making two goals, 3-5. 

Both sides advanced in offense and defense, with Vayda Saucedo making a goal at 37 seconds for the Bulldogs. Guerra attempted to score a goal with a half court shot, however Saint goalie captured the ball before it could score. 

The final quarter opened with Bulldogs 4-5, with an almost head to head score. Saints ran the lead with another goal, however Bulldogs caught up quickly with a goal from Saucedo with 48 seconds left. 

Guerra took a brutal defense in the final half, with Saints pushing an aggressive offense and swarming the goal. The final shots for Saints met Guerra with a direct slam to the face with the ball, which was immediately followed by a shot attempt and goal from Saints. San Dimas claimed victory with the final score of Bulldogs 5-7. 

Players celebrated their special night despite the results of the game. Senior Salma Valle expressed how the game had become a full circle moment for her. 

“It feels amazing, it feels like all my work has paid off. I’m definitely so proud of my team, my accomplishments, and all we’ve done this year, and it’s just a blessing and I’m very proud of my team,” said Valle. 

Although the Bulldogs took the loss in this game, their journey is not over. Girls water polo continues to work hard as they make their way to CIF.