Early Offense Leads Riverside to Southern Regional Quarterfinals

Photo by Bobby R. Hester
Photo by Bobby R. Hester

The Riverside City College men's water polo team entered into the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Southern Regional Championship tournament as the eighth seed and faced off against the ninth-seeded Los Angeles Valley College Monarchs on Thursday morning. It was a close game that featured a late offensive spark from LA Valley, but the Tigers fended off the pesky effort leading to the win.

No. 8 Riverside punched their ticket to the quarter finals where they will face off against the top-seeded Golden West College Rustlers on Friday, November 12 at 10 a.m.

The Rustlers are a familiar foe as the Tigers have met their Orange Empire Conference (OEC) brethren three times this season. Riverside has gone 0-3 against them, but the Tigers hope that the fourth time is a charm.   

LA Valley bolstered a scrappy offense that saw six of their eight goals come in the second half of the game. Riverside got off to a strong start by scoring six goals throughout the first half pioneered by freshman Louis Grandi. Grandi got the Tigers out in front with an opening-game netter then proceeded with the first two scores of the second quarter.

Freshman Reljia Mitic fired home two goals, while freshman Tommy Dempsey chipped in a first-quarter score to round out the first-half offensive efforts.

The Tigers failed to score in third frame, but a four-goal fourth quarter was the nail in LA Valley's coffin.

Grandi finished with four goals, while Mitic followed with three. Grandi also added three asssits while freshman Reese Starkley matched his output with three assists of his own.

Freshman goalkeeper Pavel Risitc patrolled the pipes leading to the victory and 13 saves.