The Ventura College men's water polo team saw their season come to an end Wednesday in the first round of the Western State Conference Tournament. The No. 4-seeded Pirates dropped a 10-7 decision to No. 5 Santa Monica at the Ventura Aquatic Center in a play-in game with the winner advancing to take on No. 1 LA Valley Thursday. Cole Morter and Ryan Reardon each had two goals to lead VC (9-17, 1-4) in the game.
After falling behind 1-0 Tanner Islander and Justin Bouse each netted scores to put the Pirates ahead 2-1. They bulit their advantage to 4-2 with goals by Jarett Baldwin and Cole Morter, and VC led 4-3 at the quarter break. In the second period, Reardon scored to extend the lead to 5-3 before the Corsairs closed the gap to 5-4 at halftime.
The third period belonged to Santa Monica as they outscored VC 3-0 to take a 7-5 lead into the final stanza. In the fourth quarter, Morter scored with 4:47 left in the game, and Reardon tied the score at 7-7 with a goal at the 2:35 mark. But SMC responded with goals on their next two possessions, and they added a score on the final possession of the game for good measure to set the margin at 10-7.
Reardon had a pair of scores with three steals and one drawn exclusion while Morter scored twice with four exclusions, one assist and one steal. Islander had a goal with two helpers and two thefts and Baldwin had a goal with two assists. Justin Bouse also had a single score, one assist, one drawn exclusion and one steal. Dalton Esrofani recorded 10 saves in the cage for VC.