Oakdale High’s varsity water polo teams snared first round victories in both the boys and girls brackets of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II postseason at Woodcreek High.
The Lady Mustangs (Valley Foothill Conference champions) upended the Capital Valley Conference No. 2 seed (Oakmont) in a 9-2 decision on Friday to advance to today’s quarterfinal match against Bear River (Sierra Foothill League runner-up) at 9:15 a.m. at Whitney High.
The girls are in terrific position to reach Friday’s bracket semifinal and potentially meet D-II juggernaut Del Oro in the division finals.
And it all started with a seven-score advantage over Oakmont after four Cassie Lee goals, three from Savannah Stender and one each by Katie Vanderberg and Vikki Swarthout
“It took a couple minutes for them to get the jitters out, but they got over their nerves and played very well,” Oakdale coach Diane Kline said. “Bear River is fundamentally a good team, but I don’t know if they are going to have enough girls to match up against our stronger players.”
Kline said Stender scored her 100th goal of the season during the win over Oakmont and attributed the defensive success to goalkeeper Hayley Benson.
Oakdale (VFC No. 1) landed a 12-6 win over Christian Brothers (CVC runner-up) after seven Braden Lee goals and two by Casey Whitley. Oakdale led 7-0 before providing pool time to underclassmen, but will be tested strongly today by a quality Woodcreek program that finished second in the SFL to Granite Bay.
That quarterfinal showdown is slated for 2:15 p.m. today at Whitney High. The winner will likely meet perennial D-II power, Rio Americano, in the SJS semifinals.
“Woodcreek will be tough for us,” Oakdale coach Alan Stender said. “They are good, fast and solid throughout their group.”