W. Water Polo: Cerritos opens season with four tournament wins

Women's water polo played at Cuesta Tournament
Women's water polo played at Cuesta Tournament

In their first competition of the season, the Cerritos College women's water polo team swept through all four of their games at the Cuesta Tournament over the weekend. It marks the first time since 2016 that the Falcons have opened the season with a 4-0 record. Cerritos (4-0) opened with wins over Foothill College (16-8), Santa Monica College (14-2) and Diablo Valley College (10-8) and finished with an 8-5 win over West Valley College. The team will now open South Coast Conference play on Wednesday with a 3:00 p.m. match at El Camino College.

Cerritos vs. Foothill: After scoring the first four goals of the match, the Falcons took a 6-1 lead into halftime. They opened the second half the same way they did the first, with freshman Gabby Arenas (Montebello HS) scoring three of the team's six third period goals. Cerritos then held a 16-4 lead in the fourth period with the Owls scoring the final four goals of the match. Arenas finished the match with four goals, while sophomore Amy Cervantes (Montebello HS/East Los Angeles College) led the team with five goals, while she shared the team lead in assists (3) with sophomore Carolina Medrano (Schurr HS) and freshman Mia Carbajal (Schurr HS). Sophomore Mayra Olivas (Montebello HS), who was an All-American last season and led the state with a school record 105 steals, started the season with three thefts. Freshman April Nuno (Cerritos HS) played the first three periods in goal and posted a pair of saves.

Cerritos vs. Santa Monica: It was a close 2-1 match after the first period against the Corsairs until the Falcons scored five times in the second and held their opponents off the board. Carbajal picked up three second period goals, with Olivas adding a pair. By the end of the game, six players scored for Cerritos, with Carbajal leading the team with four tallies. Cervantes and Olivas each accounted for three goals, with Cervantes also assisting on four goals. Medrano and sophomore Marisela Olivas (Schurr HS) each had three steals, with Nuno and freshman Haili Snook (Cerritos HS) playing well in goal.

Cerritos vs. Diablo Valley: In a tight contest, the teams were tied all the way until a 7-7 score with 5:23 left on the clock. The Falcons took the lead for good when Mayra Olivas scored with 4:46 left, followed by a power play goal from Cervantes with 3:11 left. The Vikings scored to make it a 9-8 match, with Cerritos putting the match away on a Carbajal goal with 1:15 left. The defense was able to hold the rest of the way, while Nuno picked up two of her three saves down the stretch. Cervantes scored twice, assisted on four goals, posted three saves and drew four ejections in an outstanding performance. Carbajal had three goals and three steals, with Mayra Olivas accounting for five of the team's 17 steals in the match.

Cerritos vs. West Valley: In their final game of the tournament, the Falcons came out in the second half and turned a 2-2 match into a 6-4 lead with eight minutes left on the clock. In that all-important third period, four different players scored for Cerritos, with Carbajal assisting on the first two of the period. With a power play in the fourth period, Arenas scored to give the Falcons a 7-3 lead, with Mayra Olivas adding another power play  goal to secure the win with 2:42 left. Arena and Mayra Olivas each scored twice, with Carbajal finishing with three assists. The defensive battle was aided by the nine blocks from Nuno in goal, while Carbajal helped the defensive effort with three steals.