Making a splash in Buena history by going to CIF for the first time

Final scores of the three games played in CIF by girls water polo along with who they played. Kathryn Salazar, goalie, is included on infographic

Rob Varela

Final scores of the three games played in CIF by girls water polo along with who they played. Kathryn Salazar, goalie, is included on infographic

Brooklyn Carrillo, Section editor

Feb. 3 was the last game for the girls water polo season, they lost 11-4 against Thousand Oaks, but that did not affect their qualifications for CIF. For the first time in Buena history, girls water polo have made it to CIF.

The girls practiced on all non game days from 3:30 to 6 p.m., spending their time working on half court plays and swim sets when there is a large amount of time between days. If they were to not have a game on a Friday then they could have a swim set Friday or Saturday and then have another day or so to recover before their next game.

Round 1
The first game, Feb. 8, was against Summit High school. Buena was able to defeat Summit with a final score of 10-4 and moved on to the second round. For the first game, the starting lineup played the entire time with senior Brooke Sitton and junior Mikayla Salas.

“Unfortunately, we did not get to play many JV players, but it was honestly one of the most fun games having them there and knowing that they were there to cheer us on and be our support if we needed it,” junior Devin Varela said.

Ava Williams in particular was able to rack up four goals and had three steals, but it was not just her who put in the work. All the girls helped contribute to the final score, whether that was on the bench or in the water.

“We were never able to make it this far so it feels really good to help the girls make it this far,” JV coach Kalyn Pina said.

Senior, Marisa Fernandez: Goals – 1
Brooke Sitton: Goals – 2, Steals – 1
Junior, Jacqueline Starr: Goals – 1, Steals – 3
Junior, Gabrielle Swaim: Goals – 1, Steals – 2
Devin Varela: Goals – 1, Steals – 2
Sophomore, Ava Williams: Goals 4, Steals – 3
Junior, Kathryn Salazar – Goalie: Blocks – 7, Steals 3

Round 2
Feb. 10 had Buena facing off against Canyon Springs High school for the second round of CIF. Parents and fellow team members from the season alike cheered the team on but they were not alone in their support. Principle Audrey Asplund and athletic director Shaun Strople also sat in the stands cheering the girls on too.

“We were never able to make it this far so it feels really good to help the girls make it this far,” JV coach Kalyn Pina said.”

The first half of the game proved to be a challenge, both teams scored back to back. By the second half the nerves seemed to have worn off and the girls played harder than ever. With a final score of 11-6 Buena took the win and was ready to move onto the quarter final for CIF.

“They played their hearts out and I’m excited that I was able to come over and watch them in person,” Asplund said. “They have a lot of energy and positive teamwork, it’s very special to make it to playoffs and I’m wishing them continued success. I hope they’re proud of themselves.”

Marisa Fernandez: Steals – 2
Mikayla Salas: Blocks – 1
Brooke Sitton: Steals – 1
Jacqueline Starr: Goals – 1, Steals – 3, Blocks – 1
Gabrielle Swaim: Goals – 2, Steals – 1
Devin Varela: Goals – 4
Ava Williams: Goals – 3, Steals – 4
Kathryn Salazar – Goalie: Blocks – 9, Steals – 1

Quarter final
Feb. 12 was more than just the Senior ball, it was also the quarter final for CIF otherwise known as the first home game for CIF. Facing off against La Quinta/Westminster High school the two teams battled it out in the water.

The first quarter proved this game would not be an easy one, with La Quinta/Westminster taking the lead as both teams lined up for the last seconds of the first quarter. Jackie Starr was able to make one last goal, tying up both teams, at the last second from halfcourt.

Throughout the game both teams were constantly swimming back and forth across the pool, trying to stop the other from scoring and to make a score themselves. Neither team was going to make this an easy win or lose.

Halfway through the last quarter La Quinta/Westminster was ahead by two points but Buena was able to make a goal once more. With less than a minute on the clock and still behind by one point the girls continued to push themselves. After the first attempt failed, twenty seconds left, possession of the ball was momentarily lost from Buena until they were able to steal it back.

With twelve seconds left, the crowd watched as the last and final shot attempt was made. The crowd became a mix of people cheering on the two teams and watching in anticipation, standing up to get a better look and sitting on the edge of their seats, for what would come next.

La Quinta/Westminster’s goalie was able to block the shot, making them the winning team of the game and allowing them to move on to the semi finals. Buena’s journey through CIF would stop here with a final score of 5-4.

While the girls did not make it all the way, they gave it their all and made history for Buena for making it to CIF for the first time.

Marisa Fernadez: Steals – 1
Sophomore, Kendall Nagaoka: Steals – 1
Mikayla Salas: Steals – 3
Brooke Sitton: Steals – 1
Jacqueline Starr: Steals – 1, Goals – 1
Gabrielle Swaim: Steals – 1, Goals – 1
Devin Valera: Steals – 3, Goals – 1
Ava Williams: Steals – 3
Kathryn Salazar: Blocks – 12