Braves Ambushed by Raiders

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BALDWIN PARK, CA– On Wednesday, January 18, the BPHS Girls’ Varsity Water Polo team lost against the Rowland Raiders, 14 to 1.

“I feel that our team’s weaknesses including things like swimming faster and working the ball around with strong passes, but overall I think we gave it our all,” BPHS sophomore Wendy Hernandez said.

The cold and windy weather served as an obstacle for the Lady Braves’ performance. Both the teams took a while to warm-up and received an encouraging team talk before the game.

Right when the first quarter started, the Raiders made two scores in the first minute. Alyssa Velasco quickly passed the ball to Suzy Medina, and then to Jade Escobar. Escobar’s pass to her teammates failed as it was stolen. A timeout by the Lady Braves was taken by Coach Kersher, who gave the girls a pep talk. The Lady Braves mainly had trouble passing to one another, and the Raiders took advantage of their weakness. Natalie Parada attempted to shoot but unfortunately missed. Later, Nayeli Ramos passed to Parada, who passed back to Ramos,but couldn’t shoot in the end. Jessica Escobedo, BPHS goalie, unfortunately failed to block many of the Raiders’ aggressive throws. The quarter ended 4 to 0.

The Raiders scored yet again in the first 20 seconds of the next quarter. They attempted to score again, but Escobedo managed to get the ball. Velasco was ready to pass but the ball was stolen out of her hands. Later Parada passed again to Velasco, but the opponents stolen the ball again. Ramos was close to scoring. Katleen Bolanos pushed the Raiders as much as she could; however, she couldn’t hold on longer. Just as Velasco tried to steal from a nearby Raider, the opponents scored. Escobedo saved a shot from entering but slipped with one after. Medina passed to Parada and she passed to Ramos while the clock was still ticking. She missed the goal just as the half ended, 7 to 0.

After halftime, Escobedo passed a wide shot to Bolanos, but a Raider was in the way. Parada then passed to Bolanos, but the ball was taken out of her reach. The very first score for the Lady Braves was made by Jaylene Rosalez as the Raiders couldn’t press hard enough. They tried to pass, but Ramos quickly stole the ball, giving it to Parada. Escobedo couldn’t block the rest of the Raiders’ shots. The Lady Braves weren’t giving it their all. Ramos wanted to pass to Escobar and score, but the opponents were in the way. After the Raiders had their own timeout, the third quarter ended, 13 to 1.

The fourth and last quarter was easygoing as both teams took it very slow. Ramos attempted to score after receiving the ball from Bolanos, but her shot was too weak. The Lady Braves tried their own strategy again with a couple of long passes and Parada shooting in the end, but it didn’t work as the Raiders caught on soon. Escobar again threw the ball from the opposite side of the pool to Ramos to score, but her throw was too weak to get past the Raider’s goalie. Parada passed to Bolanos, then back to Parada to shoot, but the quarter ended. In the end, the Rowland Raiders had better strategies and communicated well across the pool. The game ended 14 to 1, with the Lady Braves behind the Raiders.

“I think our defense was pretty strong, most of us are new at the game and it’s a really demanding sport, so being able to set up at least things like a ball side drive was really crucial for us,” Hernandez explained.

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