Chargers Take 5th in OEC Tournament, Secure Berth in CCCAA SoCal Regional

Chargers Take 5th in OEC Tournament, Secure Berth in CCCAA SoCal Regional

CCCAA SoCal Regional Bracket

By Wes McCurtis

CYPRESS, CA – The Cypress College women's water polo team (15-11, 2-4 OEC) finished 5th in the Orange Empire Conference Championship Tournament and secured a berth in the 2017 CCCAA Southern California Regional. It is the Chargers' first postseason appearance in women's water polo since 2002. 

Cypress began the OEC Championship Tournament with a 14-15 overtime loss to district rival Fullerton College on Friday. The Chargers took a one-goal lead late in the fourth quarter, but the Hornets answered with a last second goal to force OT. The game remained tied after each team added a goal to their total in the two three-minute overtime periods, forcing a sudden death overtime where Fullerton emerged victorious. 

The Chargers bounced back with an 11-8 victory in the 5th place game against Saddleback College on Saturday. Cypress held a 3-2 lead at halftime before erupting for six goals in the third quarter to extend their lead, 9-6. Both teams traded goals in the fourth as Cypress went on to win, 11-8. 

Natasha Velez led the Chargers with 15 goals over the two-game span. Sophomore Ariel Burns added 6 goals, 4 steals, and 3 assists. Cypress goalie Kaylie Merrill finished with 32 saves. 

Women's water polo will face Mt. SAC in the first round of the 2017 CCCAA SoCal Regional hosted by LA Valley College on Thursday, November 9 at 2:00 pm. The Chargers lost both regular season matchups against the Mounties this year (9/23 L, 4-710/6 L, 7-8).

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