(Norwalk, CA) After falling to Cerritos, 17-7, in the opening game of the South Coast Conference Championship Tournament, the Mt. SAC Women's Water Polo Team rebounded with an 11-7 victory over host Pasadena City College for third place Saturday (Nov. 9).
The Mounties finish the season with an overall record of 12-10.
"It's a bummer not to be in that championship game," Mt. SAC Women's Water Polo coach Chris Jackson said. "You certainly want to go out controlling that game (win over PCC), but knowing you were the third-place team, that's a good thing."
Leading the way in the two games in the SCC Championships for the Mounties was Julia Bensing-Ruiz with six goals, followed by Bella Robledo with five goals, Janel Sepulveda with three and Brianna Baker with two.
Bensing-Ruiz led the team in steals in the two games with seven.
Mt. SAC had a young team this year with 10 freshmen, who will return next season.
"A lot of young girls are coming back and we'll just build on that," Jackson added.
In the Cerritos game, the Falcons jumped out to a 10-3 halftime lead and outscored the Mounties in the second half, 7-4.
Robledo led the Mounties with three goals in the game.
"It was pretty awesome to meet new people from other high schools," Robledo said. "I'm really excited to play next year and I want to transfer to a four-year college after that.
"It was really exciting this year and want to learn more and improve and develop as a player. A majority of us are freshmen and the idea that we can go much further next year is really positive and exciting, even though we didn't finish where we wanted to, knowing that we have the opportunity to do it next year."
In the PCC game, Bensing-Ruiz scored a game-high four goals and had four steals. Robledo scored twice and had three steals.
Baker had two goals, two assists and two steals in the game.
"This year I felt like I was stepping into a more important role, with the number of freshmen on the roster," Baker said. "It feels good (to finish third) and I'm glad we won this game. I'm done with water polo and ready to transfer to a university to concentrate on my studies. I'm applying to (Cal State) Long Beach and (Cal State) Fullerton.
"I've played for six years now and this season (assistant coach) Adam (Roth) changed me as a player and it was life-changing. My game was suddenly a million times better."
Baker gave the Mounties a 3-1 lead in the first period, who went on to build up a 6-2 halftime advantage.
They kept that four-goal lead as the Mounties and PCC each scored five goals in the second half.
Winning her eighth game this season was freshman goalie Victoria Streitenberger.
The only other sophomore on the team was Sepulveda, who also improved her game this season.
"I love my team this year," Sepulveda said." I was more confident in how I was playing.
"Mt. SAC became my home and I'm going to be very sad to leave it at the end of this year.
"It taught me a lot this year and Jackson and Adam (Roth) helped me so much to get better and I ended up getting a scholarship."
Sepulveda will be playing next season at Ottawa University in Arizona.
Last seasons' goalie Kristi Mertins is currently playing at Ottawa.
Follow Mt. SAC Women's Water Polo on twitter @MTSAC_W_Aquatic
For additional information, please contact the Mt. SAC Sports Information Office at 909.274.4630.