Point Loma girls win school's first water polo title
by SCOTT HOPKINS
Published - 02/28/18 - 02:39 PM | 7704 views | 2 2 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Pointers goalkeeper Tanner Monette hugs her teammate after winning the the school’s first girls water polo CIF championship.   SCOTT HOPKINS / PENINSULA BEACON
Pointers goalkeeper Tanner Monette hugs her teammate after winning the the school’s first girls water polo CIF championship. SCOTT HOPKINS / PENINSULA BEACON
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Members of the first CIF championship girls water polo team show off their smiles and new jacket patches.   SCOTT HOPKINS / PENINSULA BEACON
Members of the first CIF championship girls water polo team show off their smiles and new jacket patches. SCOTT HOPKINS / PENINSULA BEACON
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The Point Loma High girls water polo team accomplished what no Pointer team had before when they defeated No. 3 seeded Mt. Carmel 6-3 to win the CIF Div. III championship last Saturday.

The Pointers had previously been awarded the No. 1 seed and a first-round bye after posting a 16-8 regular season record that included a 9-1 record in the Central League that tied them for first place with Mission Bay.

The road to the title for Point Loma included wins over No. 9 Mira Mesa and No. 4 Mission Bay.

The team will now have an opportunity to advance in the CIF state regional tournament with the No. 8 seed Pointers scheduled to face Div. II top-seed Laguna Beach at 4 p.m. March 2 at Corona del Mar High School. Both semifinals and finals are set for the next day.

"The key to this year's team was commitment," said head coach Ken Toma, still dripping after ceremoniously being thrown into the pool by his players following the match. "At the start of the season, I looked at our division and I told [the girls] they could be in the top four and in the mix for a championship. I sold them on the idea that if they worked extremely hard they could get there."

The Pointers and No. 3 seed Sun Devils had met twice before during the season including Pointer wins of 5-2 and 6-0, both during early-season tournament play.

But, ironically, it was Mt. Carmel drawing first blood with a goal early in the first of four seven-minute, stop-clock quarters that comprise the high school game.

The lead didn't last long.

Pointer senior Shelby Smith evened the score early in the second period before assisting on the second Pointer goal to give her team a 2-1 halftime lead. Smith's goal was the first of five straight Pointer goals before the Sun Devils scored in the third period to reduce the Pointer lead to 5-2.

The game became tense briefly in the final period when the Sun Devils trimmed the lead to 5-3, but the Pointers quickly answered to restore their three-goal lead and put the game away.

Senior Kristen Smith (no relation to Shelby) had consecutive goals in the third period and Aja Whittaker added a pair.

In goal, Tanner Monette made eight saves. She is headed to Cal State Monterrey Bay where Toma feels she has a good chance to play.

Members of the team also include Alexia Stroud, Katie Power, Janel Sytko, Jane Lubsen, Nyoka Martinezcuello, Eloise Lubsen, Tavaya Martinezcuello, Angelina Myers, Teresa Grippo, Veronica Divis and Camille Sytko.

For the season, the champion Pointers scored 230 goals, while allowing only 124.

Extra points

- Toma is also the coach who led Pointer boys to their first water polo crown two years ago.

- Pointer Divis received the Sportsmanship Award from CIF officials.

- The Pointers' home pool is in Memorial Park in Southeast San Diego until a suitable pool is built in the Peninsula area.

- Shelby Smith moved to water polo this year after being a member of the Pointers soccer team. Both her parents were water polo players.
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Kikipower
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March 03, 2018
Kristin Smith, not Kristen, is going to Univ of Hawaii!
Scott Hopkins
|
March 05, 2018
Sorry for the misspelling...the name was taken from the roster on the PLHS website. Best of luck to Kristin at University of Hawaii!
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