The Riverside City College men's water polo team found themselves in a third-place battle in the Orange Empire Conference (OEC) Championships this past Saturday against the Saddleback College Gauchos. The Tigers rode a strong first quarter outburst of five goals and maintained the spread en route to a 13-8 victory.
The Tigers came out of the gates firing by beginning the game on a three-goal run. Freshman center Jacob Bills (Redlands, CA) got the ball rolling with a score, backed by netters from sophomore drivers Tyler Strabel (Lake Elsinore, CA) and Pedro Osorio (Sane Bernardino, CA). Freshman driver Alexis Gutierrez (Mira Loma, CA) capped off the first frame with a pair of goals to hold a 5-3 advantage early.
After trading goals in the second quarter, freshman driver Bo Loftin (Mira Loma, CA) was responsible for the Tigers' lone two goals in the third quarter to maintain the advantage.
Riverside continued to roll in the fourth quarter. Freshman driver Norbert Kovacs (Budapest, Hungary) was the spark plug in the fourth with two goals. He sandwiched scores from Strabel and Osorio en route to the 13-8 victory.
The Tigers (13-15, 3-3, 2-1) will continue action in the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Southern California Regional Tournament on Thursday, November 9th as the eighth seed. They will experience a rematch against Saddleback at 9 a.m.