Auburn Mountainview's Amanda Nuttall, left, fires a shot over the head of Auburn Riverside's Kate Wallen at the Washington State Girls Water Polo tournament, this past weekend at the Curtis High School pool.
The Auburn Mountainview and Auburn Riverside girls water polo teams finished their seasons on Saturday at the Washington State Girls Water Polo Championships at the Curtis Pool in University Place, the Lions capturing fourth place and the Ravens taking fifth.
Auburn Mountainview began its tournament this past Wednesday with a pair of wins over Stadium, 19-8, and Emerald Ridge, 12-2.
Auburn Riverside opened tourney play with a win over Tahoma, 13-7, and a loss to eventual state champs Gig Harbor, 11-4.
On the second day of the tourney, the two teams met in the pool and the Lions slid past their district rivals, 5-4.
On the final day of the tourney this past Saturday, Auburn Mountainview fell to Gig Harbor, 14-4, bumping the Lions into the game for third and fourth place. In that game the Lions fell 13-6 to Enumclaw.
In their final two games, the Ravens beat Emerald Ridge 6-3 and claimed fifth-place with a 9-2 victory over Lakes.
For Auburn Riverside head coach Jim Isom, the finish at the state tourney marked the end of an arduous trek that begin early in the season with the loss of two critical players.
“Before we started this year we had pretty high expectations,” Isom said. “We had one girl, who was expected to challenge for a starting role, not return. Then right before our third game, one of our top players and captains quit. It took us a while to bounce back from that.”
In addition, the Ravens had to overcome the closure of their home pool, the Auburn Pool, during the final weeks of the season.
“We lost three practices and our last two weeks we had to work out at King County Aquatic Center from 8 to 9:30 p.m. at night,” Isom said. “But the girls never let that discourage them. They just kept working hard.”
Karlee Rogers led Auburn Riverside with 11 goals and two assists. Kate Wallen, who earned an all-tourney honorable mention, had 10 goals and three assists, and Katia Pawlak added seven goals and two assists. Goalie Kayla Clarke added five assists.
“The girls proved to be very resilient and played their best water polo at the end of the year,” Isom said. “I was particularly proud of how they came back from that tough loss to Mountainview to defeat Emerald Ridge 6 to 3 to earn the right to play for fifth-place.”
ALSO: Five Auburn Mountainview girls were named to the East Division all-star team for their play during the regular season. Amanda Nuttall and Avalon Lanz were chosen to the first-team with Taylor Lavine and Savanna Christenson earning second-team honors. Lindsey Powers was named an honorable mention. For Auburn Riverside, four players were named to the all-league squad, with Kayla Clarke named to the first-team, Kate Wallen and Karlee Rogers earning second-team nods and Katie Pawlak an honorable mention. Auburn’s Keiko Mizoguchi also earned an honorable mention.