Playing without two regular starters, the Pirates women's water polo team narrowly dropped a 10-8 decision at Citrus College in Glendora on Wednesday. VC regulars Cali Iadevaia and Abby Coker both missed due to illness, and the Owls took advantage in the conference game. Drew Reyes and Leanna Ramirez led Ventura (10-7, 0-2) with four goals each and Shayle Barrus recorded 10 saves in the cage.
Reyes and Ramirez each scored two goals in the opening period as Ventura raced to a 4-2 lead. Citrus came back, however, and tied the game at halftime, 5-5.
The Pirates had difficulty getting their offense going in the second half, going almost the entire third quarter without a goal until Reyes found the net with three seconds remaining. By that time the damage had been done as Citrus, who entered the game as the No. 5-ranked team in the state, led No. 10 Ventura 8-6.
Ramirez scored twice in the final stanza, cutting the deficit in half each time, but VC could not find the equalizer, falling 10-8.
Ventura returns home on Saturday Oct. 20, hosting Cuesta and Los Angeles Pierce in the Western State Conference Mini. VC battles Pierce at 2:30 pm at the Ventura Aquatic Center before taking on Cuesta in the nightcap at 5:30 pm.