WVC stops Sierra, then rolls through WVC Invitational

Hannah Edwards (L) and Aspen Tweed (R) have Aiyana Mendoza's back on defense against LBCC.
Hannah Edwards (L) and Aspen Tweed (R) have Aiyana Mendoza's back on defense against LBCC.

What a week for the West Valley women's water polo team. First, they hosted perennial NorCal power Sierra in Thursday's 2023 home opener, and then they welcomed seven teams to their 2023 West Valley Invitational. When it was over, the Vikings won all five games with an impressive display of defense, scoring ability and goalkeeping.

Against Sierra (4-1), the Vikings fell behind 4-1 to the Wolverines in the first quarter. WVC (6-1) outscored Sierra 6-1 to take a 7-5 lead into the second. The Vikings extended their lead to 13-8 after three and then rode a 5-4 fourth to an 18-12 win. Anastasija Koreni paced the WVC stat chart with six goals, followed by Aiyana Mendoza's four. Kayla Tweed had seven saves on her way to the win in goal.

West Valley opened the tournament Friday against the always-challenging Vikings from Long Beach City (4-4). West Valley jumped out to an 11-1 lead at the half and were never threatened in their 16-7 win. Hannah Edwards found the back of the net six times, while Koreni, Mendoza, Bella Raynes and Sofia Orlandi Lazzarini had two each. Tweed earned the win in goal, turning away eight LBCC attempts.

Things went much the same for WVC in the afternoon contest with Cuesta (5-3). The Vikings enjoyed a 12-2 advantage at the break and cruised to a 15-4 victory. Edwards found the back of the cage four times, while Marte Skibba scored three times, and Koreni added two. Remini Jadro split time in goal with Tweed and Gabrielle Clarke, and earned the win, turning away six Cougar shots.

Saturday opened with an anticipated WVC vs. San Diego Mesa (6-2) matchup. Things went West Valley's way from the start, with WVC taking a 9-3 halftime lead behind two goals each from Orlandi Lazzarini and Raynes. The Vikings outscored the Olympians 6-3 in the third for an insurmountable 15-6 lead. A 4-3 WVC fourth capped the 19-9 win. Mendoza and Alex Harris led the way with three goals each, while Mendoza, Orlandi Lazzarini, Raynes, Gianna Bozzo and Ruthie Lax each had two. All three keepers, Clarke, Jadro and Tweed saw action, with starter Tweed taking the win.

A running clock was employed for the tourney finale between West Valley and Modesto (2-6), accounting for the low 9-3 final score. Athena Campos paced the scorebook with three goals, and Ava Grays added two. Tweed and Jadro each had three saves.

West Valley opens Coast Conference competition Sept. 27th at Las Positas (1-6). The ball drops at 3:00pm.