Published November 14th, 2018
Lamorinda girls water polo playoffs
By Jon Kingdon
Brooke Westphal Photos Gint Federas
The 2017 Lamorinda girls water polo teams all had successful seasons, led by Miramonte winning the championship over Monte Vista with an undefeated season and Acalanes and Campolindo both making it to the semifinals.
So how could there be a better season for the three schools? Once again, all three schools made it to the semifinals of the NCS tournament. Once again there is an undefeated local team in the finals - Acalanes coming into the game with a 26-0 record. The difference this year is that they will be facing off against Campolindo who defeated the defending champion Miramonte by a score of 8-6. Due to the air quality, the match has been rescheduled from Saturday to Wednesday, Nov. 14.
Prior to the season, Acalanes head coach Misha Buschel spoke with great optimism about how "this should be our year." Buschel has had many weapons to utilize this year: "This depth of our talent is the high-water mark for the team. Our defense has been led by Ava Donleavy, who has been solid in the goal for us. Our unit has been really good from the goalie forward. We're on a string, working great as a unit. They all understood what we are trying to do."
The effectiveness of the defense has contributed to the offense, according to Buschel: "We have been very effective with our defense feeding our offense facilitating the transition on offense setting up a lot of 2 on 2's and 3 on 3's, areas which we have been very effective, winning the even number matchups. With our trifecta on offense, senior Lexi Rowell, her sister sophomore Claire Rowell along with junior Jewel Roemer, we have had a lot of options that has made it difficult for teams to take everything away from us."
Campolindo head coach Kim Everist comes to the championship hoping to alter the saying three times a charm to four times a charm having lost to Acalanes three times this season (8-7, 8-5, 10-6).
If you're looking to make a bet on the game, the one sure thing might be to bet on the under. Senior goalie Cam Sutter, whom Everist describes simply as "a warrior," has led a defense that has only given up six goals a game heading into the final game. Says Everist: "The strength of our defense is that our players are aware of where they are and working as a unit."
Campolindo has averaged 11 goals a game with Everist favoring an aggressive offense forcing the ball up the pool.
Buschel has nothing but respect for the Cougars: "They fight and play hard. They're a disciplined team and they don't make a lot of mistakes. We have to avoid mistakes and stay out of foul trouble. They are a very good team and they have our attention."
Claire Rowell
Camryn Sutter
Katherine Hawkins.

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