The first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II girls water polo playoffs wasn’t particularly kind to Capital Valley Conference No. 3 seed Del Campo, who fell 17-7 to Valley Oak League champion Oakdale on Saturday, Nov. 3 at Whitney High.
The win bounced Del Campo from the postseason bracket and advanced Oakdale to a quarterfinal showdown with Metropolitan Conference runner-up El Dorado on Tuesday (Nov. 6), though results were not available at press time.
The Lady Mustangs are on a quest to see the SJS finals for the second time in two seasons and capture the program’s first-ever section crown.
It began with an undefeated romp through the VOL and the squad took another step when quick scores left Del Campo floundering in Oakdale’s wake on Saturday.
“We had quite a few counterattack opportunities early on in the game that we were able to convert into a pretty comfortable lead,” Oakdale coach Diane Kline said. “We have been building up to this point all season, and they are seeing the hard work pay off with extremely competitive play.”
Oakdale jumped ahead to a 9-0 lead after a period and played the final three quarters with heavy substitutions.
Coach Kline credited the victory to terrific communication between the team and a serious advantage in the turnover department.
“Overall they played a very smart game,” Kline. “Our defense has been successful shutting down teams early on, and this game was no different.”
El Dorado had made the quarterfinals with a 13-4 victory over Western Athletic Conference champion and former Oakdale rival in the Valley Foothill League, Los Banos. A win over El Dorado will propel Oakdale to face the winner of Vintage (Monticello Empire League champ) and El Camino (Capital Athletic League runner-up) in the semifinals on Nov. 8.
All games are played at Whitney, but the SJS finals, scheduled for 11:30 a.m. at Woodcreek High on Saturday, Nov. 10. It’s the same setting that Oakdale played in during a 10-7 loss to a Del Oro team now designated for Division I.