GWP: Heiduk steps up; Royals roll past Rosary in CIF opener

San Marcos' Riley Heiduk (Maddie Hoover/Presidio Sports)

San Marcos’ Riley Heiduk led the Royals in scoring on Wednesday. (Maddie Hoover/Presidio Sports)


San Marcos senior Riley Heiduk made her last water polo game at the Royals pool a memorable one, scoring a team-high four goals to lead the Channel League champions to a 13-9 victory over Rosary in the first-round of the CIF Division 1 girls water polo playoffs on Wednesday.

Heiduk got the Royals off to a great start against a physical Rosary team from the Trinity League. She scored two goals during a 5-1 first period. The first one beat the goalie at the far post after a feed from Hailey Gellert and the second was a skip shot on a power play.

“That’s Riley,” San Marcos coach Chuckie Roth said of her stepping up to score goals when needed. “When it’s Riley’s turn, she knows it’s her turn and she attacks. Riley is very smart, crafty and witty. Today, they were focusing on Paige (Hauschild). There’s no secret there with Paige, everyone’s aware of that. Our 6 on 5 is designed with her and Paige on the same side and that means Riley has got to attack in situations. She did a good job of that. Riley is a gamer, make no mistake about it.”

Heiduk credited the central offensive players for setting up the scoring opportunities.

“Our sets did a really good job of occupying defenders, so they dropped off on me and I happened to be in the right place at the right time,” she said.

San Marcos (22-7) did a nice job moving the ball around to combat the physical style of Rosary.

Five different players scored goals in the first half as San Marcos built an 8-2 advantage. For the game, Kate Coski, Hauschild and Brittany Prentice each had two goals and Gellert, Lili Rose Akin and Piper Smith had one apiece.

Bailey Weber scored three goals and Katie Tijerina had a pair to lead Rosary (19-10).

“That was a really physical team that we played. I thought we adjusted really well to that,” Roth said. “I thought we produced a lot of front-court offense with advantages, more than we normally do.”

Smith slipped inside the defense and Hauschild fed her for a goal to give San Marcos a 13-4 lead with 6:12 left in the fourth quarter.

Roth cleared his bench and Rosary made a late run before the final horn.

For Heiduk, it was a special moment to win a CIF match in her home game.

“It’s special for me and the three other seniors, realizing this is our last home game because we’ll be on the road if we keep winning,” she said. “Everyone was really excited and we wanted to play well so the younger girls can get in a play and also keep moving on in CIF.”

They’ll move on to the quarterfinals at Newport Harbor on Saturday.