The Ventura College men's water polo team raced to a 7-2 first half lead at Citrus College Wednesday afternoon, posting a 17-8 victory in their Western State Conference opener in Glendora. The Pirates (5-2, 1-0), held the Owls scoreless for the first 9:35 of the game behind goalie Julian Larios, who was making his debut in the cage for VC. Ryan Reardon had seven goals, four assists and five steals while Jake Peters scored twice with an assist and four steals defensively.
Unassisted goals by Reardon and Dru Coronado gave the Pirates a 2-0 advantage after one period of play. Gabriel Ibarra's score made it 3-0 early in the second quarter before Citrus got on the board. Late in the stanza, Peters found the inside of the cage and Austin Brunk scored twice for the 7-2 VC advantage at intermission.
Peters assisted Brandyn Robles' goal early in the second half, and Ibarra and Reardon netted back-to-back scores to close the third quarter with Ventura ahead 11-5. Peters and Robles recorded scores early in the final period to put the game away.
Larios had four saves, three blocks and a steal in his goalie debut for Ventura. Ibarra scored twice with an assist and two steals and Brunk had a pair of goals with three steals and five drawn exclusions for VC in the win.
The Pirates next head to the Saddleback Tournament Friday and Saturday Oct. 4 and 5. They will play the host Gauchos and Southwestern on Friday before taking on El Camino and Modesto on Saturday.