Women’s Water Polo Preview: Young, Confident Squad Leads Tigers to State Championship

Photos by Bobby R. Hester
Photos by Bobby R. Hester

It may not be a surprise to most, but the Riverside City College women's water polo team had another season for the record books. It's back to the big dance for the Tigers for the 14th time in the last 17 years and the sixth time in the last seven years under Head Coach Doug Finfrock.

Not shocking to most, Riverside placed second in the CCCAA Southern Regional Championship contest after suffering an 8-5 loss to the Southern Regional Champion and top-seeded Fullerton College Hornets.

Despite the defeat, the Tigers have earned the second seed in the South thus qualifying for the 2019 California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) State Championships beginning this Friday, November 22 at Golden West College in Huntington Beach. They will face off against the top-seeded team out of the Northern bracket – the West Valley College Vikings.

The live stream for the contest can be found here.

Riverside has yet to play the Vikings this season, but the matchup is set to be a thriller after West Valley hauled in the CCCAA Northern California Championship with a 13-7 victory over Sierra College. Sierra, who is the number two seed, will face off against Fullerton in the first round of the State Championship.

The Tigers, who boast a deep and dominant roster, have been a nightmare to deal with for opposing teams. After earning a 27-6 record this season, Riverside rode a 10-game winning streak that began in late September and was snapped in early October at the hands of Fullerton. All but two losses have been against the Hornets.

It has been a revolver-type attack for the Tigers as each bullet in the offensive barrel is just as lethal as the next. Leading the pack is freshman attacker Maria Roldan. She was recently named the Orange Empire Conference (OEC) Co-Most Valuable Player after finishing the season with 56 goals, 39 assists and 51 steals. She drew 11 ejections and played in 31 games. She is currently riding a five-game scoring streak where she has scored at least two goals in each game. She began the season on a 10-game scoring streak highlighted by a four-goal outburst in a victory over LA Valley. She topped out at five goals in a win over Citrus earlier this season.

Freshman Nicole Tormey is another viable weapon as she follows closely behind with 51 goals and 31 assists, but her damage comes on the defensive end. She has amassed a whopping 108 steals which ranks second in the state. She has recorded five or more steal in 12 games highlighted by a 10-steal contest over Cypress. Freshman Kadee Torres-Guerrero follows with 44 goals and 16 drawn ejections, while freshman Jesenia Wilson has netted 35 goals and drawn 17 ejections.

Sophomore leader and goalkeeper Madison Button is a key to the Tiger's success as she has earned a record of 24-6 which ranks her third in state. She has reeled in 225 saves ranking her ninth in the state.