Lady Rams water polo wins district title

The Rockford varsity girls water polo team celebrates a district championship after beating East Kentwood on Saturday, May 14.

Rockford High School’s girls varsity water polo team finished their regular season last week by beating Portage Central and Jenison by scores of 16-8 and 10-3 respectively. This left them undefeated in the league and west region of Michigan water polo. The Rams then used this momentum to capture a district title in District II of the West Michigan Water Polo Association by defeating Portage Northern and East Kentwood High Schools on Saturday, May 14.

After attaining a bye on Friday in the weekend tournament, the Rams entered the Jenison aquatic center with a number one seed in the district. Game one against a young Portage Northern team, saw a replay of an earlier contest between the two teams, with the Lady Rams dominating the pool from start to finish, winning the game 16-2.

Several Rams found the back of the net in the first quarter, including junior Casey Wolfer with two scores, sophomore Adrianna Craft with two, senior Lauren Hulsebus scoring three times, and senior Taylor Downs scoring one of her own.

The second quarter of the game saw junior Madison Levine scoring three consecutive goals, two of which were assisted by senior Sloan Ouellette and one by junior Abbey Finlayson. Junior Morgan Longberg then scored twice on assists by Abbey and Erica Finlayson.

The second half of play had freshman Kara Vandawater and sophomores Marie Siegel and Morgan Lipe enter the water, and each scored one goal apiece to put the finishing touches on Portage Northern. Several Ram players contributed steals and assists in game one.

Later in the afternoon, the Rams took on rival East Kentwood in the finals of the district tournament, with the Rams winning with a dominating score of 14-6. The scoring combination of Wolfer and senior Jamie VanPortfliet led the attack in the first quarter. VanPortfliet assisted on three of Wolfer’s aggressive tosses into the net, while Wolfer passed to VanPortliet for another score. Craft, who really showed her talent in the assist category in the game, had a beautiful outlet pass from the hole position to Downs, who patiently pump-faked EK’s goalie for the score, and the Rams were up 5-2 at the quarter.

The rest of the game was a scoring frenzy by the Rams, and their stingy defense held the talented but bewildered Falcons to just four goals in the rest of the game. Hulsebus burned the net three times, Craft two, and Downs and Ouellette scored once each in the half. Wolfer led the contest in goals with five and also had an unselfish four assists. VanPortfliet also had four assists. Several more Rams including Craft, senior Brandy Fase, Wolfer, and Hulsebus all had two steals in the game.

The team now heads into the regional tournament this weekend held at Rockford, Friday and Saturday, May 20-21.

 

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