With Lauren Martin emerging as the go-to scorer, Chrissie Alving-Trinh facilitating the offensive attack and Katy Walker locking down opponents in the cage, two-time defending Central Section Division I girls water polo champion Clovis West hasn't missed a beat during its first season following the graduation of four-year standout and two-time Bee Player of the Year Tristin Baxter.
Sitting atop The Bee's rankings at 14-3, with no losses to section opponents, the Golden Eagles head into a busy week that has them hosting No. 2 Clovis today, playing at No. 7 Clovis East on Thursday, then traveling to Davis on Saturday for nonleague matches against Northern California powers St. Francis-Sacramento and Rio Americano-Sacramento.
"We're playing some fundamental water polo, which is what we preached all summer long," Clovis West coach Scott Torosian said. "It's good to see something you focused so hard on rewarded during the games.
"We miss Tristin's leadership, but this senior class has stepped right in and surprised me in a lot of ways. It's that ripple effect. These kids learned from Tristin and her leadership abilities. It's been passed right down."
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In addition to the strong play of seniors Martin, Alving-Trinh and Walker, the Golden Eagles have a new star emerging in Mary Brooks, the team's first freshman starter since Baxter in 2006. Brooks is Clovis West's second-leading scorer and a key player in their counter-attack.
"She's definitely going to be a great player for us over the next four years," Torosian said. "She's starting as a freshman, and that doesn't happen too often."
With the section playoffs about a month away, Clovis West has already defeated five of The Bee's top 10 teams, including No. 2 Clovis and No. 3 El Diamante. The Golden Eagles also have been tested by strong fields at the St. Francis Invitational (placing seventh) and Woodcreek Invitational (placing third).
"It's been an all-around team effort," Torosian said. "We've got a lot of girls working to get into the rotation, and that's what keeps us going so well."