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Vikings plunder the North, head to SoCal in search of state title

Sun Nov 13, 2022
Ante Buzov unleashes one of his five goals in semifinal action against Las Positas

Ante Buzov unleashes one of his five goals in semifinal action against Las Positas

The water polo tsunami that is the West Valley Vikings will roll into next weekend's CCCAA State Championship tournament after demolishing the NorCal Regionals Saturday in Stockton. The Vikings swamped Las Positas 20-1 in Saturday's semifinal and then dominated Sierra 28-9 in the evening championship.

West Valley now heads to the CCCAA Men's Water Polo State Championship tournament Nov. 18-19 at Southwestern College in Chula Vista. The Vikings (28-1) enter the tournament as the north #1 seed and will battle south #2 Cuesta (28-7) Friday in the 11:45am semifinal. The other semifinal pits south #1 Golden West (25-3) against north #2 Sierra (12-10) at 2:15pm.

The Vikings played NorCals like a team on a mission to avenge a 2021 state title loss to Golden West:

NorCal Regional Semifinal: West Valley over Las Positas 20-1:

It was 9-0, Vikings, before Las Positas (19-16) scored its first goal with 2:23 left in the first half. The Hawks would not score again. Ante Buzov found the back of the cage three straight times in the opening quarter, while Mario Almarza and Lucas Romaguera each had two goals in the first half.

Togan Ozbek had three of his four goals and a pair of assists in the second half, while Buzov added two more to his game-high five after the break, and WVC keeper Kai Seed stopped all four LPC shots.

Buzov finished with five goals on six shots, along with two of WVC's 21 steals. Ozbek netted four goals, and Almarza recorded three goals and four steals. Romaguera posted a pair of goals and had four steals. Seed finished with nine saves and also had three steals, as did Bendeguz Aubeli. Jacob Hatch had two goals on two shots.

NorCal Regional Championship: West Valley over Sierra 28-9:

The Vikings led the Wolverines 5-2 after one, and a 9-4 second gave WVC a 14-6 advantage at halftime. Six Viking goals in the third and eight more in the final quarter accounted for WVC's 21-point win.

Ozbek fired in four goals in the second, while Buzov connected on three to give him four in the half. Romaguera caught fire in the second half with three goals and three assists. Buzov would add four goals and an assist after the break.

Seed stopped nine Sierra shots for his 22nd win of the season. Buzov recorded a NorCal Tournament-high eight goals on nine shots, along with a field block and two of WVC's 14 steals. Romaguera's stat line was five goals on seven shots and three steals, while Ozbek finished with four goals, as did Carlos Zayola, who also had a steal and a block. Eric Ellison had four goals on four shots. Aubeli came up with a tournament-high six steals. Jacob Hatch had two goals and Almarza had a goal and a steal. The Vikings shot a torrid 28 of 37 (76%) on the game. 

2022 CCCAA Men's Water Polo State Championship:

The tournament is Nov. 18-19 at Southwestern College in Chula Vista. For ticketing, lodging and livestream information, visit the CCCAA website: