It’s all relative when a juggernaut like the Davis High girls water polo team wins the first round of its Sac-Joaquin Section title defense, 19-0, as the Blue Devils did on Saturday morning at Johansen High in Modesto.
Despite the score, however, DHS coach Doug Wright called the victory over Downey “one of our better experiences in the first round.”
“What I was impressed with, and I think it showed a lot of character, was that Downey competed with us the whole game,” Wright said. “A lot of times these teams come up against the number one seed and just kind of show up, but they didn’t.”
Seeing their opponents ready to compete, the Devils went hard early and led 16-0 at the half.
“We came out super sharp, and went up 9-0 in the first quarter with a lot of good counterattacks,” Wright said. “I played everybody but we rotated the starters back in. (Because Downey was giving it their all) I felt they deserved our best.”
The rotation resulted in 10 different Davis players notching goals, with Emma Meads (four tallies) and Colby Stapleton (three) leading the way. The locals got two goals apiece from Heather Johnson, Kendall Doten and the Van Deynze sisters — Katie and Kinsey.
In addition, single scores came from Mara Dominguez, Claire Evans, Alyssa Alvarez and Haley Blackwell, with goalies Alicia Demaree and Mattie Lilliedoll posting two blocks each. The Blue Devils advanced to the tournament quarterfinals, where they will face Lincoln (Stockton), a winner over Johansen on Saturday, in a Tuesday noon contest at Tokay High.
“It’s great to get that first one out of the way, take a deep breath and then have — hopefully — three more to go,” Wright said. “We’ll just take them one at a time. Lincoln has a couple of good players, but if we come out and play like we can …we will be able to beat them.”