Cougars wash out Lady Bulldogs

The Hemet High Water Polo girls suffered a disappointing loss at home against Beaumont, 8 – 3

Photo by Corey Evan/The Valley Chronicle
Hemet’s Gabbie Garcia tries to get the ball past Beaumont’s Kaitlynn Pierceall on January 25. The Bulldogs lost this match to Beaumont 8-3.

■ By Corey Evan / Reporter

Despite the old saying, “lightning never strikes twice in the same place,” sports rivalries often defy that. That explains the hype and optimism present at Hemet High School on Thursday, Jan. 25 as their water polo girls welcomed the Beaumont Cougars. There was a standing-room crowd, and the Bulldog cheer squad front and center.
Having edged out the Cougars 9-8 on their Jan. 9 visit to Beaumont’s pool, you can understand why there were high hopes. Unfortunately, the Cougars would take the ball and swim with it from the get-go. Beaumont would take 2 points in the first quarter, but Hemet High’s Hannah Estavillo managed to sneak 1 in for the Bulldogs before the buzzer sounded.
Second quarter did not treat the Bulldogs any better; the Cougars doubled their tally, while only Claire McComas was able to score once for Hemet.
Third quarter only saw the Bulldogs trail Beaumont further, as the Cougars managed 3 more points. Kaylee Blatt managed 1 for the Bulldogs, but in fourth quarter Hemet managed nothing. The Cougars got 1 more in before the final buzzer to take the win back to Beaumont 8-3.
Head Coach Alex Paulson acknowledged that her team wasn’t on form that day. “The girls came out slower than we needed too, and needed to move the ball quicker,” said Paulson. “Beaumont came out and played like they wanted to win. They never stopped moving and deserved the win.”
Having said that, Paulson is still proud of her team thus far in the season, and remains hopeful that they still have a chance at CIF.
“I would thank all of [my girls],” she continued. “In a team, everybody has a job to do and it takes each individual player doing their job to have success. We beat Beaumont the first time because we all did our jobs. They took the win this time because all of them did their job. Both teams worked extremely hard this season and I hope the best for both of us the rest of season.”
Overall, the Bulldogs are 12-11 this year and 3-1 in league. The Cougars improve to 17-8 and 4-1. But can they hold off a Titan onslaught from Tahquitz this afternoon? Head over to Hemet High at 3:15 p.m. to find out!

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