Vikings defeat Fresno City College in conference opener

Head+coach+Rick+Millington+speaks+directly+to%2C+from+left+to+right%2C+Renae+Dibartolomeo%2C+Caroline+Howard+and+Lara+Visser+during+a+timeout.+%28Gustavo+Vasquez%2F+The+Inquirer%29

Head coach Rick Millington speaks directly to, from left to right, Renae Dibartolomeo, Caroline Howard and Lara Visser during a timeout. (Gustavo Vasquez/ The Inquirer)

Gabriel Agurcia

DVC’s women’s water polo team won their first conference game of the season, besting Fresno City College 10-7 at home on Wednesday, Sept. 18.

The win follows up an exceptional performance at the annual Cuesta Tournament, where the Vikings went 3-1. The only loss coming against the host, Cuesta College.

Fresno jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, scoring both goals within the first four minutes. Renae Dibartolomeo put the Vikings on the board a couple minutes later, tipping in a Ghitta Ferrara shot that hit the crossbar. Ferrara followed that up with a goal of her own, firing a shot to the upper-left corner to tie the game 2-2.

Starting goalie Molly West maintained the first quarter’s even score with a strong point-blank save.

The second quarter was the turning point for DVC.

“I don’t think our heads were in the game in the first quarter. In the second quarter we brought it up,” Briana Parham said.

Parham contributed to the outburst, dropping a floater into goal for the Vikings’ first lead, but Fresno quickly tied it. From there on, Fresno never saw the lead again.

DVC displayed suffocating defense, holding Fresno to three shots and breaking up a few attacks. “I don’t think our heads were in the game in the first quarter. In the second quarter we brought it up,” Parham said. The offense was just as aggressive.

Ferrara put back a Peachy Vicencio midrange attempt, and Caroline Howard scored her first goal soon after, giving DVC a 5-3 lead. Ferrara capped off the team’s dominant quarter with a three goal spree, assisted by Howard on the third, and DVC took a 8-3 lead into the half.

DVC cooled off significantly in the second half. “Third quarter, started to get a little sloppy,” Zoey Fredette said.

Fresno closed the gap to 8-4 early in the third quarter. With 4:39 left, West made another terrific save on a sizzling shot. Ferrara put up DVC’s only goal of the quarter, her sixth, for a 9-5 advantage. Fresno made it 9-6 before the quarter ended.

Although they weren’t successful, DVC kept attacking Fresno’s defense in the fourth quarter. Fredette got the ball near the left post, tossing a shot which was saved nicely. Fresno scored on a close shot of their own, narrowing the deficit to 9-7.

DVC held off Fresno for the remainder of the quarter. Howard put the icing on the cake with her second goal and another outstanding block, and DVC escaped with a 10-7 victory.

Fredette was especially impressed with Howard’s game. “I think Caroline did awesome in two meter defense. I honestly really look up to her, because she’s played more in this league and knows more than I do.”

Head coach Rick Millington had a split impression of the win. “I’m very happy that we had a Big 8 win. We had some times where we played extremely well, then some rough spots also, where we broke down a little bit.”

Earlier in the week, Millington emphasized defense as a key area in need of improvement. He witnessed progress on Wednesday. “Defense, except for a couple times, was pretty solid. I was pleased.”

DVC participates in the West Valley Tournament in Saratoga this Friday and Saturday, Sept. 20 and 21. Their next home game is Wednesday, Sept. 25 against Delta at 5 p.m.


Head coach Rick Millington speaks directly to, from left to right, Renae Dibartolomeo, Caroline Howard and Lara Visser during a timeout. (Gustavo Vasquez/ The Inquirer)