Despite a valiant effort, the Pirates' women's water polo team could not get over the hump against Santa Barbara Saturday, falling 15-8 in the Western State Conference Tournament championship game. Paige Treloar-Ballard scored five goals with an assist, two steals and five drawn exclusions to lead VC (23-8, 8-2). The appearance in the WSC final was the team's 12th in the past 15 years.
The Pirates, the draw's No. 2 seed, faced a difficult task in defeating the No. 1 seeded Vaqueros. After falling behind 1-0 in the early going, Ylva Ostlin netted a goal to tie the score with five minutes left in the opening period. It would be the final time the game was tied as SBCC scored the next three goals and led 5-2 at the end of one period.
Ventura managed to close to within two goals, 6-4, on Treloar-Ballard's second goal of the game at the 5:14 mark of the second quarter, but the Vaqueros scored four unanswered goals around halftime to take control, 10-4. The teams traded scores until early in the final period, when SBCC netted three straight. VC fell to defeat 15-8.
The Pirates, who have the second-highest win total in program history and the most wins in a season during head coach Mary Giles' 17-year tenure, will await their playoff seeding to be announced in the coming days. The SoCal Regional Tournament begins Thursday Nov. 10 at Golden West College in Huntington Beach.