The Rockford girls varsity water polo team won the Michigan Water Polo Association West Region title on Saturday, May 21, defeating East Kentwood by a score of 8-6. The two teams met in a rematch of last week’s district final, which Rockford also won. But, unlike last week’s lopsided win by the Rams, this time a stubborn East Kentwood team brought their A game and challenged the Rams until the bitter end. The weekend tournament, hosted by the Rams, began with Rockford taking on West Ottawa in the quarterfinals. The Rams handed the Panthers a 10-4 defeat in the opener. Rockford junior Casey Wolfer led the offense with four goals, and sophomore Adrianna Craft had three. Senior Jamie VanPortfliet tossed in two and senior Taylor Downs added one goal to complete the total. Wolfer also led the defensive attack with five steals, and VanPortfliet topped the assist column with four. Senior goalie Tiffany Elenbaas had six saves in the game. Saturday morning, the Rams took on a feisty East Grand Rapids (EGR) team in a low-scoring defensive dual that eventually saw Rockford on the winning end, scoring five goals to EGR’s two. Senior Brandy Fase started the scoring with a solo shot into the net, giving the Rams a 1-0 lead after one quarter of play. EGR managed two goals in the second period, but Wolfer and senior Lauren Hulsebus scored two goals apiece before the end of the contest and sent the Pioneers into the consolation final game later in the day. Craft turned on a defensive display and had five steals in the game. Downs, Fase and VanPortfliet had four steals apiece to help shut down the Pioneer offense. Elenbaas added seven saves. The final game against East Kentwood had the packed Rockford natatorium on the edge of their seats the entire contest. Having been beaten a week earlier by the Rams, the Falcons of East Kentwood were on a mission for a regional title. The Rams jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead and the game seemed to already be in control for the host team. Wolfer put the first two goals in with assists by VanPortfliet and Downs. Then Craft put the third one on the board to end the quarter. […]
The Rockford women continued their winning streak Thursday night, Oct. 7, out-swimming Grand Haven 182-124 in the Grand Haven pool. The Lady Rams had little competition from the Buccaneers, taking eight out of 12 events with ease. The 200 medley relay team of Casey Wolfer, Kennedy Cutler, Lexy Caster and Jamie Van Portfliet took first place, and the B relay team of Morgan Longberg, Morgan Lipe, Madison Trimble and Lauren Girard took second to start the meet on a strong note. Sarah Smith and Adrianna Craft continued taking first and second in the 200 free. Freshman Stephanie Mull took first in the 200 individual medley, and Van Portfliet, Wolfer and Girard took first, second and third in the 50 free. Rockford’s divers, Katie DeHaan, Macie Degraaf, Erica Finlayson and Maggie Setterington, were especially strong, finishing one, two, three and four. S. Smith, Trimble and Taylor Downs continued strong, finishing in the first three positions in the 100 butterfly. Not until the seventh event, the 100 free, did Grand Haven get the top spot, which Rockford answered by taking the top four places in the next event, the 500 free, with Craft, Kayla Kidder, Kelly Baker and Elliana Raymond. Grand Haven then eked out another first in the 300 free relay, and Rockford answered with the top three places in the backstroke by Wolfer, Longberg and Downs. Grand Haven finished off the night with firsts in the 100 breaststroke and the 400 free relay. Rockford travels to West Ottawa for another conference meet on October 14.