After playing their best game of the year earlier in the week against the state's No. 3-ranked team, the Pirates' men's water polo team could not maintain the momentum, falling twice Saturday at the Orange Coast Mini in Costa Mesa. VC let a late lead slip away against Grossmont, dropping a 13-12 decision before losing to the host Orange Coast Pirates 15-8 in the second game. Ryan Reardon continued his solid play with eight goals, three assists, two drawn exclusions and six steals. and Kyle Goodrich also recorded three scores on the day for VC (9-16, 1-3).
Ventura 12, Grossmont 13
The Pirates took the upper hand early as a pair of goals by Reardon and a score from Glenn Ishida put VC ahead 3-0 midway through the opening period. Ventura led 5-3 at the quarter break, and was ahead 9-6 at halftime. The Pirates extended their lead to 11-7 in the third period with scores by Reardon and Tanner Islander, and when Reardon netted his sixth goal of the game off an assist by Jarett Baldwin with 6:34 remaining, the game seemed to be in hand. A furious comeback by the Griffins changes that, however, as Grossmont scored the final six goals of the game, including the game-winner with 42 seconds left, to defeat the Pirates 13-12.
Reardon led the Pirate offense with six goals and a pair of assists while Ishida recorded two scores. Cole Morter had a goal with two assists and one shot block and Islander had a score and three steals. Goodrich scored once with a pair of helpers and Leonardo Lopez also recorded a goal.
Ventura 8, Orange Coast 15
VC got off to a slow start in the nightcap as Orange Coast led 6-0 at the end of the first quarter. Ventura was able to play virtually even from that point on but the damage had been done in the 15-8 loss.
Reardon was solid again with two goals, one assist, one drawn exclusion and five steals and Goodrich also netted a pair of goals. Morter netted a score with four drawn exclusions and two steals and Islander scored once with an assist. Brandon Bouse recorded a goal with two helpers and a steal while Baldwin had one goal and an assist.
The Pirates have a bye in the final round of Western State Conference play, and may host a play-in game for the WSC Tournament on Wednesday Nov. 1. Details will be released as soon as available on www.VCweplayhard.com.