Hornets Lose High-Scoring Title Match

CIF-NCS    The Alameda Hornets women’s water polo team fell to Tamalpais High of Mill Valley 14-12 in the women’s NCS Div. II championship match at City College of San Francisco Nov. 15. The West Alameda County Conference winners held up their NCS runner-up banner after the match.

The Alameda High School (AHS) women’s water polo team lost its chance at a section tournament crown in a 14-12 shootout against  Tamalpais High of Mill Valley in the North Coast Section (NCS) Div. II championship Nov. 15.

The Hornets entered the contest at City College of San Francisco as the favorite. AHS were the first seed in the 13-team tournament. Tamalpais was the third seed. 

The Hornets jumped out to a 3-0 lead early in the contest. However, the Hawks quickly gained the lead thanks to junior Sam Sternfels’ personal four-goal streak to take a 4-3 lead with 3:10 left in the first half. The team traded five more goals in the final three minutes to end the half in a 6-6 tie.

The Hawks (20-8) continued their hot streak into the third quarter as they outscored the Hornets, 4-2. Tamalpais’ largest lead of the game was at 10-7 late in the third frame. The Hornets crawled back to trail by one goal at 11-10 late in the fourth quarter, but the Red-Hawks showed composure and closed out the game.

The loss signified the end of a still successful season for the Hornets. The Hornets finished the season with a 21-4 overall record. Before losing in the Div. II section final, they beat Concord High, 11-9, in the quarterfinal on Nov. 3 and Northgate of Walnut Creek, 8-6, in the semifinal on Nov. 7.

The Hornets went a perfect 7-0 in the West Alameda County Conference (WACC). They also won the WACC tournament title after an 8-6 victory over Encinal on Oct. 27. The Hornets defeated San Leandro High, 17-4, in the conference quarterfinal on Oct. 23 and Berkeley High, 16-4, in the semifinal on Oct. 25.

Encinal was the second seed in the NCS Div. II playoffs. They beat Terra Linda of San Rafael, 11-7, in the quarterfinal, then lost to Tamalpais, 10-9, in the semifinal on Nov. 7.