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CHS water polo team readies for end of league, CIF

Claremont High School water polo easily defeated Diamond Bar Wednesday, but remains in second place in Palomares League standings after falling to Ayala on Tuesday.

“I think yesterday’s game was draining both emotionally and physically,” Claremont coach Kristin Rodriguez said about the loss to Ayala. “It was competitive the whole way, back and forth the whole time. We had some unfortunate calls against us and got beat up pretty bad in front of the cage. That’s a bummer, because we then would be a little bit tired, and recovering from that was tough.”

The Bulldogs handed the Pack their only two league defeats this year and are a very athletic team. They will be a tough foe when the CIF tournament begins November 8. Claremont has a record of 11-8, 4-2 in league play.

The game had just started when the Pack scored three times in less than a minute, two from junior Ian Waasdorp and one from junior Jack Kruze.

But if it seemed like Claremont would cruise to an easy victory, that notion was soon dismissed as Diamond Bar found their legs and started to increase their defense, followed up by a solid goal from the Brahmas’ Diego Hammond during an exclusion.

Penalties were an issue for the Pack all afternoon with several exclusions, including two for Kruze.

However, Claremont was just too good for Diamond Bar and never trailed on their way to the 10-5 win. Waasdorp and Snow ended up with hat tricks—three goals each—and were supported by another solid performance from goalkeeper Kellan Grant.

“We usually have a day of practice between games so our starters weren’t as crisp. We relied more on the guys who don’t start, which left them kind of shell shocked, which is good for them,” Coach Rodriguez said.

The Pack has a tournament this weekend and the final league game Tuesday at home against Glendora, which is also senior night.

Claremont has seven games over the weekend and coach Rodriguez likes to play this tournament precisely because it previews CIF play. “A lot of our division teams are in this tournament, so that give you one last look at them,” she said.

CHS goes into CIF ranked ninth in Southern Section Division 3 and number two in the Palomares League, which is a bit of a switch from the past two years during which they have enjoyed a top ranking. However, this could be a positive change.

“They re-organized all of the divisions the way that they set it up this year, I think even the wild card games are going to be tough. Everybody is on equal turf now our division across the board is pretty competitive,” said Coach Rodriguez.

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

Claremont has claimed the Palomares League title, winning all but one league game, capped with a spectacular 3-2 marathon victory over Glendora last Thursday in Claremont.

The Pack lost the first set 20-25 and only barely took the second at 26-24 and the third, 25-21, only to see Glendora tie it up, 20-25. However, Claremont was able to secure the win with the 15-12 tiebreaker.

“[It was] probably one of our best games of the season,” said Coach Daniel Reighter.

Simone Bliss played a key role with her 18 kills and 22 digs followed by Emilee Rohrer with 17 kills. Also having a good night were Bel Grabowski with 25 digs, Merisa Marquez with 29 assists and Kylie Robinson with 27 assists.

The Pack had an easier time in their league match last Tuesday defeating Diamond Bar 3-0 at home. The Pack also defeated Ayala, winning in straight sets 25-21, 25-21 and 25-19. Bliss had nine kills and 20 digs, Rohrer had 10 kills and Marquez had 17 assists.

CROSS COUNTRY

Both Claremont High School and The Webb Schools participated in the Mt. Sac Invitational over the weekend. The competition is the biggest local race of the year outside of CIF. With nearly every school in the Southern Section participating, and many from around the state, this is an important race for the teams as they attempt to get seeded for CIF prelims.

The CHS boys took second place behind Great Oak in the Division 1 and 2 Sweepstakes race, with Ryan Renken earning a second place finish with a time of 15:07. Renken was just four seconds shy of setting a school record on the course and the boys’ team time of 78:20 was the fifth fastest record for the Pack.

The girls took third in their Division 1 and 2 Sweepstakes race behind Great Oak and Palos Verdes. Annie Boos set a new school record on the course at 17:53. Behind her was a very fast sophomore, Sydney Hwang, who would have set a school record at 18:03 if Boos had not been in the race.

Both the boys and girls teams clocked faster times than all other Division 2 teams in the race.

Claremont boys and girls varsity teams are now ranked first in CIF Southern Section Division 2 and are likely to also be at the top of the state rankings when they are announced later in the week, according to coach Bill Reeves.

The Pack will be in action again on Saturday for the Palomares League Finals beginning at 8:00 am at Whittier Narrows Park.

 

FOOTBALL

Claremont High School lost Friday’s away game against Ayala 38-3 and now has a 1-2 record in league, 2-6 overall, good enough for third place. This Friday’s home game may go better for the Pack as they host last place Diamond Bar at 7 p.m. The final game of the regular season will be next Friday against second place Glendora at Citrus College.

WEBB BOYS WATER POLO

Webb varsity water polo captured the Academy league championship Tuesday with a 9-8 win at Sage Hill. The Gauls held off a late rally for the win. Three boys, Will Donahue, Mitchell Fargo and Phil Kraus scored three times, and goalkeeper Max Sapozkhov had six saves.

Webb, 8-14, hosts Chino Friday at 3:15 pm.

WEBB GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

Vivian Webb lost its senior night season finale to Upland Christian 3-1. Scores for the sets were: 25-15, 17-25, 14-25, 25-19 on Tuesday in Claremont.

The Gauls finished their regular season 8-14, 3rd in San Joaquin League, and await playoff seeding.

—Steven Felschundneff

steven@claremont-courier.com