The Huntington Beach Water Polo Club 10th-grade and Under girls' team captured its second straight state title last weekend at the California Cup State Championships tournament at Roosevelt High in Corona.
Huntington was the No. 6 seed in the event and emerged from bracket play with wins over SoCal (Tustin), 11-9, Los Angeles, 17-5, and by shootout, 5-4, over Elite (Murrieta).
The team took on SET (Saddleback/El Toro) in a semifinal match Sunday and trailed, 6-4, heading into the fourth quarter, where it rallied to score an 8-6 victory to move to the final against Extreme of Santiago/Corona.
Huntington also trailed in the title match but rallied from an early, 4-1 deficit, to tie the score (6-6) in the fourth quarter when Stephanie Mutafyan (Los Alamitos High) delivered the equalizer with two seconds left in regulation. In the shootout, Jessica Hermosillo (Sonora) had two key blocks to seal a 9-8 victory.
The Huntington Beach 10th-grade-and-Under team: is Erika Pauley, Stephanie Mutafyan, Alexis Angermund, Nicole Stansfield, Jordan Raney, Melissa Thorn, Risa Burke, Brenna Thomas, Jessica Hermosillo, Sammy Preston, Katy Schneider and Jenna Solberg. The team is led by head coach Eric Benson and coaches Natalie Benson and Kaileigh Esson.
Coach Eric Benson said that HBWPC has qualified a record number of teams (10) for the upcoming Junior Olympics water polo tournament Aug. 4-7 in Irvine. Huntington teams competing at the annual event are: 10-and-Under coed; 12-U boys (Blue); 14U boys (Blue); 16U boys; 18U boys; 14U girls (Blue); 16U girls (Blue); 16U girls (Orange); 18U girls (Blue) and 18U girls (Orange).
Toplak, Williams receive honors
Tiki Toplak, a player and coach at the club, has been named the Male Athlete of the Year at Huntington Beach High. Alys Williams of Edison has been selected by SwimOutlet.com as its Athlete of the Month for June.
— From Staff Reports