The Davis High girls water polo team won all five games in a span of 30 hours on Friday and Saturday to capture the championship at the Western States tournament.
On Friday, the Blue Devils jumped out to big leads in both games and emerged with bracket victories over Tokay (13-3) and San Joaquin Memorial (15-3) to reach the top eight. A win over Del Oro on Saturday morning then put DHS in the semifinals, where it got past Newberg (Oregon), 8-5.
That set up a championship contest against Miramonte, a team that beat the Devils 8-7 just two weeks ago in the Woodcreek Tournament. This time, however, Davis got it done, winning 6-4 to clinch the title.
“It was awesome to win it,” said Blue Devil coach Doug Wright. “This weekend was really a turning point for our team. Everybody really came together and it’s unbelievable what you can accomplish when you work as a group.”
Wright got contributions from the entire roster — from stalwarts Colby Stapleton, Mara Dominguez, Heather Johnson, Lauren Owens, Katie Van Deynze, Jane Gunnell and Clair Evans to reliable reserves Emma Meads, Haley Blackwell, Monica Ferrera and Sia Kokkas — but the coach said it was the play of goalie Alicia Demaree that stood out the most.
“She was the difference; she had 11 blocks against Newberg and then 11 more in the championship game,” Wright said. “And she provides some senior leadership. She was absolutely unreal.”
The locals are back home this week, hosting St. Francis in a doubleheader with the DHS boys. The boys host Jesuit at 4:45 p.m., with the girls game set for 5:45 p.m. at Arroyo Pool.
The Blue Devils split their two weekend home games, but made some noise with Friday’s victory.
Hosting Huntington Beach at Ron & Mary Brown Stadium, DHS topped this year’s No. 1 team in the Los Angeles area, 2-0.
Perhaps spent from that big win, the Devils dropped a Saturday encounter with St. Francis (San Jose), 3-0.
“We played hard but not well and we just couldn’t put it together,” Davis coach Sandie Marotti-Huckins explained.
But on Friday, the Blue Devils had it going, with Kayla Robinson controlling the midfield to lead the way. Goals came from Emily Barber, off an assist from Natalie Silver, and Kelly Ragsdale, who converted on Sara Pinto’s pass.
Local goalkeeper Ally Weir, who often has to find other ways to entertain herself during games, actually faced some pressure and saved everything that came her way.