Delta Colleges women’s water polo team is finishing the season strong with expectations of making it to the Nor Cal Region Championships for the first time in 10 years.
With two of the top five leaders in points among California Community Colleges, Victoria Dettloff and Katelynn Vanderburg, the Lady Mustangs continue to show why the team is a force to be reckoned with as the season comes to a close.
With a hard-fought battle against Santa Rosa on Oct. 30, the Lady Mustangs were focused on becoming the third seed heading into Big 8 Conference Championships.
Delta entered the game against Santa Rosa with a record of 3-3 in conference play.
Many times during the contest things got physical, but with two competitive teams battling for higher ranking, the feeling of non-stop intense action was expected.
The third period was filled with whistle blows, screams, water splashes and emotions as each team started to dig deep into what was left in the tank.
Dettloff’s time in the game was cut short as she was ejected early in the period due to foul trouble.
“At the end of the 3rd period I felt like Santa Rosa was getting a little feisty, but it goes both ways I know my girls are not angels … they’re going to get in there and mix it up,” said Head Coach Nathan Varosh. “I would’ve liked them (referees) to swallow the whistle a little bit and not make calls as much later in the game. They tend to control the game a little bit too much…but we adapted to that.”
The score was tied at 8 to end the fourth period, sending the match into overtime. Both teams were determined to come out on top.
In overtime, the Lady Mustangs coaching staff turned to Vanderburg to get the job done.
“We knew that they underestimated Katelynn in their scouting so we put a lot of emphasis on her in practice. Her job was to shoot the ball if she got a great shot …and she did,” said Varosh.
Vanderburg, a freshman, had a monstrous game on the stats sheets with six goals, one steal and one shot on goal to lead the team past Santa Rosa.
“I knew this was a big game and a lot depended on us getting a win, I think I was the most nervous one on the team … I was freaking out,” said Vanderburg. “I am so proud of my team…you can’t wipe this smile off my face.”
The Lady Mustangs display of a relentless offensive attack, matches a defense that can withstand adversity, something that will give them the confidence to survive an onslaught from any opponent.
“Even though we had one of our starters ejected in the beginning of the third, we still pulled it through … and Katie stepped up with six goals to lead us to a victory…she played really well,” said Assistant Coach Liz Warren.
The women’s Water Polo team will enter the Big 8 Conference Championships on November 7-9, as the third seed and will face-off with the sixth seeded Fresno City College.