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Water Polo Playoffs End In Round Two For Mustang Boys
Oakdale got solid goaltending from Nicholas Dykzeul as the varsity Mustangs took a win over Christian Brothers in the opening round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II water polo playoffs at the Oakdale Aquatic Center. Photo By Jeff Kettering

The Oakdale Mustang boys water polo team came out firing against the visiting Christian Brothers Falcons from Sacramento in the Mustang Aquatic Center on Wednesday, Nov. 2 and swam away with a big 15-8 win in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section’s Division II Water Polo Tournament.

Using an overpowering defense and the vacuum cleaner-like play of goalkeeper Nicholas Dykzeul, the seventh seeded Mustangs scored seven unanswered points to start the match. The first period was all Oakdale as senior Jebb Fox netted the first three goals of the match and senior John Roche garnered his first goal of the match as the period ended with Oakdale enjoying a 4-0 lead. The Mustangs went on to outscore the 10th seeded Falcons 5-3 in the second period for a 9-3 halftime lead, then outpaced the Falcons 5-1 in the third period and coasted to victory in the final stanza.

Junior Luke Guignard tended goal throughout the second half for the Mustangs while senior Griffin Paulus, and juniors Wiley Ballantyne and Logan Castano each joined Fox in the hat trick parade with three goals apiece. Adding to the scoring was a second goal by Roche and a lone goal by junior Cullen Liekhus.

Head coach Savannah Martin (OHS Class of 2012) was thrilled by the playoff win.

“The team has improved a lot this season and it was nice for them to show that with a win here in the playoff season,” Martin said.

On Friday, Nov. 4, the Mustangs traveled to Merced to play the second seeded El Capitan Gauchos and gave the Gauchos everything they could handle in the quarterfinal match before succumbing by the score of 8-6. The Gauchos got off to a 2-0 first quarter lead and then the Mustangs matched the home team goal-for-goal in each of the remaining three quarters of play. Earlier this season, on Sept. 7, the Gauchos had stung the Mustangs by the score of 21-6, so Friday’s result was indicative of how far the Mustangs had come as the season unfolded.

The Mustang boys finished the season with a 9-12 record and were co-champions of the Valley Oak League.

Senior Griffin Paulus contributed a hat trick, scoring three goals against the Christian Brothers Falcons in an opening round playoff victory, the host Mustangs winning 15-8. Photo By Jeff Kettering