Fallbrook High School’s girls water polo team began its 2016-17 season competing at the Rancho Bernardo Tournament Dec. 1-3 and won three games while dropping two.
“I was pleased to do that,” said Fallbrook coach Sean Redmond.
The Warriors have two returning starters from 2015-16 and both of those – current seniors Caitlyn Batty and Sarah Draves – were platoon starters last season. The 2015-16 squad, which finished with a 21-10 record and reached the CIF Division I championship game, had seven seniors, including all four of Fallbrook’s all-league players.
All five of Fallbrook’s Rancho Bernardo Tournament games were contested at the Westview High School pool. The Warriors opened their season Dec. 1 with an 8-2 victory over Eastlake.
Jordann Heimback was Fallbrook’s 2015-16 goalkeeper and now handles the nets for the Palomar College women’s team. Redmond is using three goalies this season: junior Megan Callagher and sophomores Katrina Kroger and Eva Rose Richardson. Callagher and Kroger played in the nets against Eastlake, with Callagher recording two saves and Kroger saving one shot. Five different Fallbrook players scored goals against the Titans with Batty, Draves, and junior Natalie Travers placing two shots apiece into the net.
Fallbrook’s other Dec. 1 game was an 11-1 loss against Westview. The Warriors had one Dec. 2 match and lost in overtime by a 10-9 score to Redlands East Valley.
The Warriors won both of their Dec. 3 games. The first of those was an 8-3 triumph against La Costa Canyon. Batty led the Warriors with three goals while freshman Anna Draves and sophomore Gabby Vazzana each scored twice. Richardson had four saves and Callagher made three saves.
The Draves sisters accounted for the majority of Fallbrook’s scoring in the 11-4 win over Canyon Crest which concluded the tournament. Sarah Draves contributed four goals and Anna Draves provided three scores. Richardson made three saves against the Ravens.
Taylor Dowden, who was the 2015-16 Valley League player of the year as a senior, led last season’s Fallbrook squad with 92 goals.
“This year we don’t have that, which is kind of nice because they can’t focus on one player,” said Redmond. “They have to worry about the whole team.”
Jazmin Patterson was second among 2015-16 Warriors players with 50 goals during her senior season.
“I think the girls have realized early on in the season that we don’t have one dominant player you can count on,” Redmond said. “That’s one of the things that’s helping us in learning to play together.”