Poloists poised to secure high state seeding

"The colder it gets out of the pool, the hotter the Bainbridge High School boys' water polo club gets inside it.Team Ray bounced back from a slow start to its 2000 season to sweep two league tournament games last Saturday from host Roosevelt of Seattle and Peninsula.With two more wins in the second half of the tourney next weekend against Wilson and Shorewood - both eminently beatable teams in Team Ray coach Jeff Clark's estimation - Bainbridge can secure an automatic berth to the 12-team state tournament early next month.We keep playing better every week, Clark said of his team, which moved past the break-even point last weekend to a 9-8 season ledger. We're playing 100 times better than we were at the start of the season.Team Ray showed it against Roosevelt, a team Clark deemed the toughest team in his league. The final score of 15-13 doesn't reflect Bainbridge's dominance of the contest.Roosevelt played dirty, with a lot of elbows, but we weren't taken out by their dirty play, he said.Nate Rooks, who sustained a black eye from a Roosevelt player, led Team Ray with five goals and four assists. Jeff Christensen contributed three goals, three assists and five steals, and Andrew Sperling added a score and three assists. Goalkeeper Adam Gunn registered six saves.With Bainbridge's ranks thinned a bit by SAT testing that day, three top junior varsity players - Brian Burns, Jon Rochelle and Jacob Whitmore - got a chance to see their first varsity-level action.Bainbridge had a much easier time against league pushover Peninsula in Saturday's second contest, winning handily by a 13-5 score.Rooks had three goals and three assists, Sperling added three goals and two assists, Erik Steinecker chipped in two goals, two assists and four steals, and Burns shone with two goals and two assists.Gunn recorded 12 saves.The team, which plays tonight against Rogers of Puyallup, likes its chances of building its momentum into the postseason.There's a lot of parity right now, Clark said. Merecr Island and Newport are on their own tier, but after that, it's anybody's game.Bainbridge's two junior varsity squads, coached by Mead Trick, will conclude their season at the state tournament on Oct. 29. The gold team is seeded second, while the white C team is seeded eighth.Kickers battle PA, puddles to 2-2 tieThe Bainbridge High School girls' soccer team marathon got off on the right foot Monday night.The Spartans, playing the first of four games in six days, played Olympic League leader Port Angeles to a surprising 2-2 tie on the Roughriders' home field.The deadlock gave Bainbridge a 5-4-2 record and 17 points heading into last night's home tilt with second-place Central Kitsap - which entered the contest with a 9-2 mark and 27 points.In sloppy, rain-slogged conditions, the Spartans twice shook off go-ahead goals by the Roughriders with equalizers of their own. Junior Emily Haber got the Spartans' first score in the 58th minute on an assist from Fab Rezayat, and Rezayat brough Bainbridge back from a 2-1 deficit with less than five minutes left in regulation play with a goal of her own.Bainbridge coach Susan Fowler cited several standout players, particularly defenders Sarah Fowler and Alice Bischoff, who relentlessly stalked PA's top offensive threats, Lyndsey Sather and Liz Money. She also singled out the superlative efforts of Suzanne Fossum, Adriana Gonzalez-Medina, Lauren Hume, Lindsay Carlson and Rezayat.In addition, two junior varsity players - Alex Riede and Paulina Blackinton - were called up and saw their first varsity action in the place of injured regulars Courtney McFarlane, Anna-Lisa Breiland and Inger Fredricks.Everyone was playing really well, Fowler said. It was wonderful to see what they can do when they're all on their games.Bainbridge's long week continues with a Thursday match at Olympic and a Saturday squareoff at home against Port Townsend. "

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