Ramona High School’s girls water polo team clinched a winning record in Valley League competition and for the overall season with home wins Feb. 3 over Canyon Crest and Feb. 5 against Oceanside.
The wins gave Ramona a 6-2 Valley League mark and a 15-10 overall season mark with two games remaining in the regular season.
“The girls are doing a great job putting in the work, the hard work,” said Coach Donnie Williams. “We had two great offensive and defensive efforts this past week.”
Ramona and Canyon Crest had played Jan. 15 at the Jewish Community Center, and the Bulldogs overcame a 2-0 deficit for a 5-3 win. In the Feb. 3 rematch, Ramona led 5-0 at the end of the first period, 8-3 at halftime and 13-4 after three periods before prevailing by a 15-6 margin.
Eight different Ramona players scored goals against Canyon Crest, eight different Bulldog players were credited with assists, and steals were recorded by six different Bulldogs.
“It’s a bunch of individuals playing a team sport,” Williams said. “All that stuff’s coming from everybody.”
The scoring was also well-distributed in the 11-4 win over Oceanside. In the Jan. 20 contest at Oceanside, Ramona’s winning margin was 9-6.
“We played a lot better this time,” Williams said.
Ramona led 3-0 after the first period, 7-2 at halftime and 8-3 after three quarters. Six different Bulldogs scored, seven had assists, and eight were credited with steals.
“We had a lot of balance on the offense,” Williams said.
Water polo is a game of confidence, said Williams.
“If you don’t believe in yourself first and foremost, it’s really tough to execute and believe that you can do the right thing,” he said.
Playing only two league games during the week was less intense than the previous two weeks, when the Bulldogs played in tournaments as well as league matches and had seven contests each week.
The Bulldogs won seven of those 14 tournament matches, and Williams believes that the tournament results gave the Ramona players the necessary confidence.
“First and foremost we’ve got to believe in ourselves,” Williams said. “We all understand what we’re capable of doing.”