For the third straight year, Bellevue girls water polo is headed to State. The Wolverines went 3-1 and earned third-place in the Region I tournament, with their lone loss coming against defending state champion Gig Harbor. Up next for the Wolverines is a quarterfinal game against Puyallup on Thursday, May 26.
Bellevue 16, Bainbridge Island 11
After going 10-2 in league play to earn the North Division’s #2 seed, the Wolverines began the Regional Tournament against Bainbridge Island, the #3 seed from the West Division. Bellevue came out quickly and raced to an early 4-0 lead. From there, the entire team contributed minutes en route to the victory. Junior Morgan Baker led the Wolverines with five goals and four assists. Sophomore Holly Harris added four goals, while senior co-captain Alexis Taber and sophomore Natasha Schmid added three goals each.
Bellevue 4, Gig Harbor 17
A few hours after dispatching Bainbridge Island, the Wolverines jumped back in the pool on Friday night to face Gig Harbor, the defending state champions. Three weeks earlier, the Wolverines lost to the Tides 12-1 in a game that was much closer than the final score indicated. Unfortunately, Friday night was a much different game. Gig Harbor forced the Wolverines into several early mistakes and jumped out to a 7-0 lead before the Wolverines managed to find the back of the net at the 3:49 mark in the second quarter. Senior co-captain Maggie Ugelstad, freshman Jenna Frazer, Harris and Baker contributed goals, but the Wolverines could not keep pace with the talented Gig Harbor squad. With the loss, Bellevue found itself in a winner-to-state, loser-out game against Wilson.
Bellevue 6, Wilson 3
On Saturday afternoon, the Wolverines found themselves in a winner-to-state, loser-out game for the fourth straight year. For the third straight year, the Wolverines responded with a victory. The first three quarters of the game was a defensive battle. Junior goalie Sophia Simons was exceptional in the cage, blocking six shots and making two steals. With Bellevue clinging to a 3-2 lead after three quarters of play, Baker took over in the fourth quarter, scoring two of her game-high four goals to punch Bellevue’s ticket to State. Junior Sarah Harrison turned a perimeter steal into a fourth-quarter counter-attack goal, and Taber provided the other goal in the win.
Bellevue 8, Mercer Island 2
With its ticket punched to the State tournament, Bellevue squared off against rival Mercer Island for 3rd/4th place. In its previous two games against Mercer Island, Bellevue dominated defensively, holding the Islanders to three goals per game. On Saturday night, the Wolverines did one better, limiting the Islanders to just two goals. Simons continued her strong play, collecting six saves and two assists. Baker and Taber supplied the offense, scoring five and three goals respectively.
With the win against Mercer Island, the Wolverines (18-11) secured the #3 seed and will face Puyallup, the #2 seed from Region II tournament, on Thursday at 3:30pm at Curtis High School.