WWP: Local players among title hopefuls at MPSF Championships

Former Channel League water polo players (l to r) Kodi Hill, Sami Hill, Kiley Neushul, Alexis Lee.

Former Channel League water polo players (l to r) Kodi Hill, Sami Hill, Kiley Neushul, Alexis Lee.

Sami and Kodi Hill led UCLA’s women?s water polo team to victory over Cal and Tiera Schroeder (DPHS/SBAC) in the quarterfinals of this weekend?s MPSF Championship held at the University of California?s Spieker Aquatic Center in Berkeley.

In an low scoring affair, Cal jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first quarter and then faltered as UCLA clawed their way back into the game. Cal clung to a 3-2 lead going into the fourth quarter but was unable to hold off the Bruins who scored two goals in the fourth to win 4-3.

Freshman utility Kodi Hill (DPHS/SBAC), scored with 1:02 remaining in the first half to pull the Bruins within 2-3. Neither team scored in third. UCLA?s Rachel Fattal scored two goals in the final quarter clinching the victory and a semi-final birth against Stanford on Saturday. Sami Hill (DPHS/SBAC) had a tremendous game in goal anchoring the Bruin defense with eleven saves in the low scoring affair barring the goal on Cal?s last minute attempt to tie with an extra player advantage.

In the first semi-final, Makenzy Fowler and the Arizona State Sun Devils faced the second ranked USC Trojans who jumped out to a 6-1 lead at the half. ASU fought back and drew within three goals (8-5) late in the third quarter. Fowler drew a five-meter penalty on a drive at center that gave the Sun Devils a chance to cut the lead to two but Alicia Brightwell?s attempt sailed high over the left corner. ASU did not score in the fourth quarter and fell 11-5.

In the second semi-final the Hill sisters faced Santa Barbara Water Polo alumni Alexis Lee (VHS/SBAC) and Kiley Neushul (DPHS/SBAC) playing for first ranked Stanford. Stanford jumped to a swift 3-0 lead in the first quarter and never looked back, winning the match 11-6. Neushul assisted center Anika Dries, a 2012 Olympic Champion, for several goals at center and scored the 4th goal of the game on an extra man play. Sami Hill had 11 blocks but was unable to stop a Stanford squad that features three members of the U.S. Team that won a gold medal at the London Olympics.

Together the Hill sisters, Neushul, and Schroeder propelled Dos Pueblos High School to four straight CIF Championships and a record of 67-0 in Division I competition. During the summer of 2010 Lee helped lead SBAC?s 18U squad to their first National Club Championship and was named MVP. Lee, a senior at Stanford, is a two-time national champion.

On Sunday Tiera Schroeder and Cal will face San Jose State and left-hander?s Ashlea Coski (Cabrillo/SBAC) and Alisa Argend (Ventura HS/SBAC). All three are sophomores. The Spartans fell to Fowler and ASU in Friday?s first quarterfinal and then defeated Cal State Bakersfield 14-7 in the consolation semi-final. Cal had a bye on Saturday. The Hill sisters will square off against third ranked ASU in a game that will determine which squad will attend the NCAA championship tournament at Harvard University. Lee and Neushul will face second ranked USC in the MPSF championship game.

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