Sierra women’s water polo wins first state title
After losing the state championship game last season, Sierra was on a mission to return and finish what they started, and they did just that. The Wolverines went undefeated in Big 8 play and posted a 29-2-2 overall record.
In the NorCal tournament, Sierra posted big-margin victories over Santa Rosa, American River, San Joaquin Delta and Santa Barbara to advance to the state championship game.
In the state championship game versus South Fullerton, Sierra won a double-overtime thriller, 7-6. The lone goal in overtime came off a penalty shot to seal the victory and give Sierra their first state championship in women’s water polo in school history.
After dropping the first two games of the season, Sierra College has been on a roll. The Wolverines finished the regular season with a 6-4 mark that helped them become bowl eligible for the first time since 2015. Sierra will appear in the NorCal Grizzly Bowl versus Sacramento City Dec. 1, a team they beat in the regular season on the road, 38-30.
Leading the high-powered Wolverines that have averaged 411 yards of total offense to go along with just under 31 points a game is a handful of former local prep players. Lincoln grad Ryan Graham has paced the offense this season with 1,837 all-purpose yards and 20 total touchdowns. Whitney grad William Brocchini leads Sierra’s defense with nine interceptions.
Sierra will look to end the season with a bowl victory for the first time since 2015 when they captured the State Center Bowl.
For the third consecutive season, Sierra college was atop the Big 8 standings. The Wolverines finished the regular season with a 22-4 overall record, going 14-2 in conference play.
Placer grad Alyssa Orteza finished the season with 434 digs to lead Sierra’s defense. Outside hitter Meghan Merlino led all Sierra players with 312 kills, followed by Del Oro grad Madison Meteer, who chipped in 241.
The Wolverines open up the postseason versus Butte on Nov 20.
Men’s Water Polo
After capturing the Big 8 championship in 2017, Sierra stumbled to find the same groove as last year. The Wolverines in 2018 would place second in both the regular season standings as well as the conference tournament, to ARC.
Sierra advanced to the NorCal tournament and picked up a win over San Joaquin Delta before falling to West Valley in the semifinals. The Wolverines picked up a redemption victory in the NorCal third-place game, knocking off American River College, 14-9, to end the season.
A pair of Woodcreek grads led the Wolverines offense. Drew Grantham led all scorers with 74 goals, followed by Noah Scholar, who chipped in 30.
The women’s golf team once again had a strong showing on the links this season. Gurman Kaur led the Wolverines with a a 10-shot win with her pair of 69s at NorCal championship. Kaur was the only golfer in the tournament to break the under-70 mark.
At the NorCal championship, the team combined for a score of 640 to knock off defending state champion Modesto by an 11-shot margin. Kaur finished first in the field with a combined score of 138, followed in third place by fellow Wolverine Melanie Anderson, who shot a 82 and 77 for a combined score of 159.
In the state championship tournament, the Wolverines finished in third place behind College of the Desert and state champion College of the Canyons.
After rattling off 20 straight victoires, Sierra tied, lost and won their final three matches to finish the regular season with an impressive 21-1-1 record. The Wolverines finished conference play with a 15-1 mark to capture the Big 8 championship for the first time since 2013.
Leading Sierra’s offense, which has put up an impressive 4.4 goal-per-game average is Woodcreek grad Grace Vargas, who’s put up 26 goals to go along with 15 assists. Her 26 goals ranks sixth in the state.
The Wolverines will open up the playoffs as the No. 1 seed and will host Santa Rosa on Nov. 20.
With there being no men’s cross-country team at Sierra, the women’s team would have to make up for it, and they did just that. The Wolverines once again had a strong showing this season and at the Big 8 meet, tied for first place with Santa Rosa.
Leading the way for Sierra this season was Avery Lambrite, who ran a time of 21 minutes, 5 seconds. Mckenna Henzie was 10th at the meet with a time of 21:25, followed closely by Anna Larson, who finished with a time of 21:47.
At the NorCal meet, Sierra fell two points short of taking second to Santa Rosa, 99-101. The top three finishers at the NorCal meet for Sierra were Larson, Alyse Sibley and Lambrite. Overall, on the year the Wolverines finished third in Northern California. The state championship is set for Nov. 17 in Fresno.