KINGSBURG - For the second-straight year, the Kingsburg Vikings girls water polo team will compete for a Valley championship.
Top-seeded Kingsburg advanced to the title game after defeating No. 4 seed Tulare Western 12-3 in the CIF Central Section Division III semifinals on Wednesday.
Now the Vikings will look forward to taking on the 3-seeded Sierra Pacific Golden Bears for the Valley Championship on Saturday. It will be the second-straight year these two teams will play each other for the Division III title.
“I’m very excited for these girls,” Dewey said. “It’s been great to see them just work together. I think the best part of that game [against Tulare Western] was to put in girls that are not always playing positions that they would be playing. We finished every single quarter strong, it didn’t who I put in or who put out.”
In the semifinals, Kingsburg got up to a 2-0 start in the first quarter with goals by Sofia Righetti and Jessica Burch-Konda. Later in the quarter, Tulare Western would score to cut the Vikings lead 2-1.
During the second quarter came, Kingsburg put defensive pressure on the Mustangs along with four more goals to go into halftime up 6-1.
Righetti and Hanson were responsible for the four second quarter scores with two each. Righetti finished the game with a game-high four goals and Hanson would end the night with those two scores.
“They obviously could get in there and get the shots, but I feel like they’re key players,” Dewey said about Righetti and Hanson. “They kind of get our girls going, they kind of get the momentum going, so once I feel everyone else sees that, it just kicks everyone else into high gear. “
Tthe Vikings continued its dominance in the pool in the second half, scoring six more goals with three each in the third or fourth quarters. Righetti scored her fourth goal in the third quarter, followed by scores from Megan Buendia and Mikayla Vierra. Burch-Konda and Jillian Gipson (two goals) were responsible for Kingsburg’s points in the fourth quarter. Gipson and Burch-Konda finished the night with two goals each and Abigail Lunde also had a score of her own.
The Vikings will aim for its second consecutive Central Section title against Sierra Pacific at Fresno State on Saturday morning. Last year, when these two teams played for the championship, Kingsburg defeated the Golden Bears 12-10.
Whether they win or lose, Dewey said she’s proud of the work the girls have done this year.
“No matter what, I know what they’ll take away from this season is having good teammates,” Dewey said. “They have had so much fun hanging out together outside of water polo and you don’t see that in every sport….These girls are going to walk away with having a family.”
The CIF Central Section Division III championship will be played at the Fresno State Aquatic Center with a start time of 10:30 a.m.