For the second time in five days, the CdM Aquatics 18-and-under girls' water polo team reached the finals at a major tournament.
The CdM team, made up of players from Corona del Mar High, placed second at the California State High School Championships on Sunday, losing at home to Laguna Beach, 6-4, and CdM Coach Ross Sinclair was more than OK with the result.
CdM began the tournament on Friday, one day after flying for 12 1/2 hours from New Zealand, where it claimed the gold at the Pan Pacific Youth Water Polo Festival.
By the time state finale came around, CdM was about to play his sixth game in three days. Sinclair noticed the traveling caught up to his team.
"We kind of ran out of gas," Sinclair said. "We were up, 4-3, going into the fourth period, but were pretty done.
"I was still proud of them. They played great. They showed a lot of mental toughness."
CdM won its first five games, beating Royal, Davis, Clovis, San Ramon and Foothill. To reach the final, CdM defeated Foothill in a shootout, with goalie Heidi Ritner, who will be a junior next season, coming up with a block. CdM was without incoming junior Maddie Musselman who is playing with the U.S. national team.
Future seniors Eliza Britt, Grace Morgan, Shannon Frome and Sami Pratt each converted goals in the shootout for CdM.
Next for CdM is the USA Water Polo Junior Olympic Championships from July 31 to Aug. 3 in San Jose.
— From staff reports