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Mustang Water Polo Teams Complete Postseason Play
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Oakdale’s varsity water polo boys took care of business in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs. Here, Trent Stanton fires off a shot in a Nov. 3 game at the Oakdale Aquatic Center, when the Mustangs defeated Christian Brothers, 12-9.The boys then fell in the quarterfinals. Photo By Jeff Kettering

A win in the first round propelled the varsity Mustang water polo boys into the second round, but their season ended there with a loss. The varsity girls, meanwhile, lost their opening round playoff game to finish their campaign. The girls fell to Buhach by a 17-5 final on Tuesday, Nov. 2.

In their opening round victory, the Oakdale varsity boys used a swarming defense and deft shooting to defeat the visiting Christian Brothers Falcons 12-9 in the Sac-Joaquin Section, Division II playoffs. The match was played on Wednesday, Nov. 3 in the Mustang Aquatic Center.

The Mustangs came out aggressively at the beginning of the first and third stanzas to make several interceptions and convert them into scores. The Mustangs scored the first three goals of the game as seniors Isaiah Hamby and Ethan Espinosa garnered two and one, respectively. Christian Brothers countered back on a 5-meter penalty throw by team captain Patrick Cahill. The first quarter ended with the Mustangs leading 4-2.

Christian Brothers came out aggressively at the start of the second period with Cahill recording three consecutive goals to give the Falcons a 5-4 lead with two minutes remaining. Then, Mustangs Trent Stanton and Matthew Van Dyke, both seniors, each found the back of the net to give the Mustangs a 6-5 halftime lead.

The third quarter began much the same as the first quarter with the Mustangs playing tough defense. Head coach Savannah Martin (OHS, Class of 2012) employed a modified double team on Cahill and defensive overplays on other Falcons to record several interceptions that led to goals. Hamby, who finished the game with a game-high six goals, scored three times in a 4:21 span and Stanton added his second goal as the Mustangs stormed out to a 10-5 lead before the Falcons recorded a second half score. The Falcons did score three consecutive times at the end of the third and the beginning of the fourth quarters. The Mustangs, however, answered back with 4:04 remaining in the match as Van Dyke got his second goal of the match. Following Cahill’s fifth goal of the match for Christian Brothers, Oakdale’s Stanton shut the door on the Falcons with his third goal of the evening making the final score 12-9 Oakdale.

The seventh seeded Mustangs next traveled to Merced to play the No. 2 seeded Gauchos of El Capitan High School in the quarterfinal round.

That match, on Friday, Nov. 5, saw the higher seed Gauchos barely get past the talented and determined Oakdale squad, ending the Mustangs’ season by a 7-6 final in El Capitan’s favor.

Varsity boys head coach Savannah Martin said several players were All-League selections, both on the boys and girls sides. Isaiah Hamby was named as the League MVP with First Team All VOL honors going to Ethan Espinsoa, Niko Klose and Carson Stueve. Making the second team were Trent Stanton, Matthew Van Dyke and Nicholas Dykzeul.

For the varsity girls, first team All VOL honorees were Ellie Fox, Morgan Thoni and Maddie Renfrow. Named as second team All VOL selections were Jackie Tennis and Taylor Hauser.

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Varsity Lady Mustang water polo seniors were recognized at their final home regular season match recently. They include, from left, Jackie Tennis, Ellie Fox, Maddie Renfrow, Kailey Ballantyne and Taylor Hauser. Photo By Jeff Kettering
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Recognition was given to this year’s seniors on the Oakdale Mustang varsity boys water polo team at their regular season home finale. Shown, from left, Trent Stanton, Ethan Espinosa, Isaiah Hamby, Matthew Van Dyke and Carson Stueve. Photo By Jeff Kettering