The Rockford girls junior varsity and varsity 2011 water polo season is off and running. With only one week of practice under their belts, the girls “plunged” into their new season with the determination and aggression that has become a trademark for Rockford water polo. After the traditional warm-up Early Bird Tournament hosted by East Grand Rapids (EGR) on March 18 and 19, the Rams were back in EGR’s tank for game on Thursday, March 24, where the Rams defeated their host 9-4. The EGR Pioneers jumped out to a quick start, scoring a goal halfway through the first period. But that was about all the offense they could gather, as the Rams took control of the game quickly. Rockford sophomore Adrianna Craft tied the score at one apiece with a goal early in the quarter. Senior Lauren Hulsebus had the assist. Junior Casey Wolfer then scored an unassisted goal and also scored on a five-meter penalty shot to end the first period with the Rams leading 3-1. The second quarter saw Wolfer scoring again, assisted by senior Brandy Fase. Rockford started the second half scoring immediately with Hulsebus finding the goal on an assist from Wolfer. The Pioneers had a brief scoring spurt with two goals late in the period, but the Rams sealed the deal in the fourth quarter with Wolfer and Craft scoring two apiece. As in years past, Rockford’s defense played a strong part in the win. This defensive pressure was a constant aggravation for the Pioneers. The Ram defense was led by Fase and junior Maddie Levine with two steals apiece. Senior goalie Tiffany Elenbaas had six saves in the game. The evening began with Rockford’s junior varsity team defeating EGR 8-3.