W. Water Polo: Close loss to LBCC promising for Falcons

File Photo: Hailey Rabb had a goal and three assists for the Falcons in their loss to LBCC
File Photo: Hailey Rabb had a goal and three assists for the Falcons in their loss to LBCC

Taking on the #5-ranked team in the state, the Cerritos College women's water polo team gave rival Long Beach City College all they could handle on Wednesday. In a South Coast Conference match, the Falcons (9-7, 5-2) dropped a 9-7 decision to the Vikings (14-5, 7-0) with one conference match remaining before the SCC Tournament. This weekend, Cerritos will serve as one of the host sites for the Battle at the Beach Tournament and will play a pair of games at home on Friday. The Falcons will take on San Joaquin Delta College at 9:10 p.m. with the second game time dependant on the outcome of their morning match. Saturday's game locations, time and opponents will be based on their two matches Friday.

In the loss to LBCC, the teams were in a tight battle from the outset, with the game teetering back and forth into the third period. The Falcons trailed 4-3 after sophomore Jackie Oliveros (Gahr HS) scored with 3:15 remaining on a man advantage in the third period. However, Long Beach City scored three of the next four goals before the end of the period and held a 7-4 advantage with eight minutes remaining.

The Falcons got to within 7-5 in the first minute of the fourth period when freshman Hailey Rabb (Gahr HS) scored with 7:01 remaining. But just like in the third period, LBCC responded and scored :14 seconds later to regain their three-goal lead. Neither team could score for the next six minutes until the Vikings made it a 9-5 advantage with :51 seconds left. Sophomore Isabella Sierra (California HS) scored with :33 seconds left and freshman Lizbeth Gomez (Schurr HS) closed out the scoring with one tick left on the clock to get the game to 9-7.

Sierra led the team with four goals, while adding five field blocks and two assists, with Rabb assisting on three goals. Sophomore goalkeeper Ivanna Tostado (Troy HS) was bombarded with 31 shots in her direction, with 14 of them on goal. She turned away five shots.