Completing a clean sweep as district champions, regional champions and state champions, multiple Rams water polo players were rewarded for their play throughout the season and in tournament play. Receiving All-State accolades for the Lady Rams were Casey Wolfer, Adrianna Craft and Ellianna Raymond. Regional and district honors went to Kara Vandawater, Wolfer, Raymond and Craft. Team awards included Most Valuable Players Wolfer and Craft, Defensive Player of the Year Raymond, Most Improved Vandawater, and the Coaches award went to Marie Siegel. Pictured are (front row, l–r) Katelyn Arend, Stephanie Elenbaas, Ellianna Raymond, Megan Schremp, Erika Stein, Adrianna Craft; (middle row) Casey Wolfer, Maddie Levine, Marie Siegel, Kristin Schnelle, Morgan Longberg, Hollis Wyatt; (back row) Heather Ferriby, Kara Vandawater, Macy Thompson, Julia Ceglowski, Kalia Lippencott, Abby Finlayson, Anna Kennedy, and Lexi Chisholm.
Rockford Girls Water Polo Team
What can only be described as a phenomenal season came to an end Saturday, June 4, for the Rockford girls water polo team, losing in the state final game to Okemos High School. The road to the final game began Friday with a Ram victory against a tough Ann Arbor Pioneer team. The fans were on the edges of their seats the whole contest, watching the Rams grab a tough 8-7 overtime win to advance to the semifinal game. The game started with two stubborn defenses battling to scoreless first quarter. After that, it was an evenly matched back-and-forth event until senior Lauren Hulsebus scored the winning goal late in overtime on a soft touch pass by senior Taylor Downs. The dogfight ended with junior Casey Wolfer scoring three times and sophomore Adrianna Craft scoring twice. Also adding to the goal total was senior Brandy Fase and junior Maddie Levine. Defense was the key in this game with Fase and Wolfer getting six steals apiece, Hulsebus added four steals and senior Jamie VanPortfliet had five, Downs two and Craft had one. Senior goalie Tiffany Elenbaas had nine saves in the game. Saturday morning saw the Rams at it again against the Ann Arbor Huron River Rats. This contest, however, was controlled by Rockford from start to finish. Even though Huron scored the first goal, the Rams answered with two of their own. Craft scored an unassisted goal and Downs put one to the back of the net on an awesome assist by VanPortfliet to end the first quarter up 2-1. Hulsebus and Wolfer each scored in the second stanza and Rams were up 4-1 at the half. The second half saw the River Rats scoring two goals, but it wasn’t enough. Downs and Wolfer both added goals in the third period and Hulsebus put the icing on the cake with two scores in the fourth for the 8-3 Ram victory, sending the girls into the state final game. The final game against Okemos had both teams trading goals throughout the first half. Wolfer scored once and Fase added two beautiful goals on long outside shots, and this game started out in true championship fashion with a 3-3 tie after the first half. The second half, […]
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. […]