Sports

Poloists better their seed at state tourney

Kalise Ball (14) and the rest of Lady Ray earned fourth place at the water polo state tournament this weekend. - Brad Camp/File Photo
Kalise Ball (14) and the rest of Lady Ray earned fourth place at the water polo state tournament this weekend.
— image credit: Brad Camp/File Photo

Lady Ray, seeded in fifth, won two matches to finish in fourth place at KCAC.

It’s been a long season for Lady Ray, what with heading to Bellevue and Federal Way nearly every night for games since they can’t get anyone to come over to the island for a contest.

“It’s impossible to get people over,” head coach Jeff Clark said. “By far it’s been harder than any other year. We had five or six home games last year for the girls.

“But with the eight teams that were at state, five of them have new coaches, so it might be they’re not sure what to do with the schools (and making schedules),” he continued.

But Lady Ray wouldn’t be denied at the state tournament last weekend at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, taking home fourth place after being seeded fifth.

In its first game, Ray defeated Roosevelt 8-6.

The Roughriders were seeded ahead of Ray.

Jeanette Swanson and Anna Wood scored three goals each while Taylor Gawlik and Cassy Charyn each added a goal.

Ray led 2-0 after the first quarter and were up 5-2 at halftime.

“We did great,” Clark said. “After the first time we played Roosevelt (in the regular season) we lost 11-3. We got killed in that game. So, honestly I wasn’t expecting to beat them.

“But we played outstanding,” he continued. “That was really the one game we wanted to win.

“I honestly think that’s the first time we’ve upset anyone in the state tournament since I’ve been coach. It was the only upset of the weekend.”

Lady Ray followed with a win over Kentridge by the score of 13-7.

Swanson was the big scorer for the team with three goals while Wood, Gawlik, Gabi Goodlin, Paige Farwell and Kira McGieson all had two goals apiece.

Ray lost the next two games to state finalists Mercer Island 12-6 and Newport 14-4.

Against the Islanders, Swanson had three goals while Gawlik and Wood added two.

Against the Knights, Wood was the lone scorer in that game.

Newport later beat Mercer Island for the state title.

In the last game to determine third and fourth place, Lady Ray lost to the Castaways, a team made up of players from various schools whose programs had folded including Eastside Catholic, Holy Names, Bellevue and Sammamish, among others, 8-2.

Goodlin was the lone scorer in that game.

Clark gave credit to the team for a strong effort over the weekend and to goalie Joanna Raustein, who made 35 saves over the five games Ray played.

“She was really good,” he said. “She had a great tournament.”

Several Ray players were also recognized for their play over the season.

Gawlik, a freshman, and Goodlin, a senior, made the all-state second team while Wood, a junior, made the all-state third team.

Clark was also named the state coach of the year.

“It was fun,” he said of receiving the award. “I think the upset (of Roosevelt) had a little something to do with it.

“It’s always good to get recognized by your peers, but it was a little awkward to get,” Clark continued.

He was much happier with the effort the team put in over the weekend.

“They’ve been playing a lot better (lately),” Clark said. “We added some new wrinkles offensively and defensively.”

Lady Ray finished its season at 7-10.

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