May 14th, 2019 12:19 PM
Fenwick's Nate Fisher is one of the top all-around players in the state. (File photo)
By Marty Farmer
This is the best time of year for the Fenwick High School water polo teams. The boys and girls squads, who own 30 state titles, collectively, tuned up for another run at state by cruising to a pair of sectional championships in their own pool on Saturday, May 11.
The boys topped York 14-8 in the final as Payton Comstock scored a game-high six goals and Will Gurski added two goals. Nate Fisher chipped in a goal and two assists for the Friars, who outscored the Dukes 8-2 during the middle quarters. Goalie Manny Ruiz had four saves.
In the semifinals, the Friars scored early and often en route to a 12-6 victory against St. Patrick. Fenwick jumped out to a 3-1 lead after one quarter and extended its advantage to 7-1 at halftime via balanced scoring. Ramses Flores led the way with three goals and three assists, while Dan Lynch and Alex Figus scored twice.
The Friars (30-3) face Conant in the state quarterfinals (8:15 p.m.) on Friday, May 17 at Stevenson High School.
On the girls side, Paulina Correa and Kassy Rodriguez scored six and three goals, respectively, as the host Friars beat York 15-4 in the championship game. Demi Ovalle (2 goals) and Sam Rodriguez (9 saves) also played well for the victors.
Correa also scored seven goals in a 17-11 win over Morton in the semifinals. Fenwick opened the postseason by routing Kennedy 11-1 in quarterfinals action.
The Friars take on Mother McAuley in the state quarterfinals (5:45 p.m.) on Thursday, May 16 at Stevenson.
OPRF girls water polo
In the best match of the Fenwick Sectional, York outlasted OPRF 6-5 in three overtimes in the semifinals. Nell Behr led the Huskies with three goals, before Seona Albue scored the game-winner for the Dukes.
The Huskies crushed Taft 14-3 in the quarterfinals as Bennett Gloor scored a game-high five goals. Addie Kosterman and Behr added four goals apiece and Sydney Mosher finished with eight saves for OPRF.
OPRF boys water polo
Seeded third at the Fenwick Sectional, the Huskies had an auspicious start with a 20-4 victory against Von Steuben. Cal Jaques (7 goals), Finn McMullen (4 goals) and Braydon Graves (14 saves) led OPRF. York defeated the Huskies 13-8 in the semifinals.
Led by strong doubles play, the Huskies tied Buffalo Grove for 10th at the state finals, hosted by Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.
The doubles teams of Halley Bergen/Emma Proctor and Maya Jamroz/Nelida Schalich combined to score four of the Huskies' five points. Bergen/Proctor went 3-2 and Jamroz/Schalich 2-2 in matches.
In singles, the Huskies' Olivia Remington defeated Willowbrook's Charlotte Dewyer 22-20, 21-17 in first-round action before losing her remaining two matches.
The Huskies enjoyed a productive week, picking up four wins to improve their record to 21-6. The Huskies swept Illinois teams, Mercer County, West Central and Moline, by a combined score of 39-4 at the Alexis Fieldhouse Tournament on May 11.
Pitchers Zoe Prouty, Cassie Metzger and Taylor Divello each earned a win for the Huskies, while Maddi Grant (7-for-9, 2 HR, 10 RBIs), Nellie Kamenitsa-Hale (7-for-13, 5 RBIs, 7 runs scored), Karly Cantrell (6-for-9, HR, 6 RBIs), Fiona Girardot (6-for-10, 5 RBIs, 6 runs scored) and Carli Tucci (5-for-12, 4 RBIs, 4 runs scored) swung the bats well.
In conference play, OPRF edged Lyons Township 5-4. Trailing the Lions 4-0 after five innings, the Huskies scored three runs in the sixth inning and two in the seventh in a comeback win. Grant had the game-winning hit and Metzger provided a key 2-RBI single in the sixth. Julia Youman (4-1) earned the win in relief.