Girls water polo: Naperville Central routs Neuqua Valley
Updated: April 9, 2012 10:25PM
Naperville Central’s girls water polo team made sure it was in fine form heading into arguably the biggest tournament the program has ever played in this weekend at Fenwick.
The Redhawks, ranked No. 1 in the state by illpolo.com, improved to 15-0 on the season by thumping Naperville rival Neuqua Valley 17-0 in the Wildcats’ home pool.
Central makes its first appearance at the loaded Fenwick tournament over the weekend — with a chance to face the defending state champion Friars for the second time this season. Central beat Fenwick in March.
“We just try to come out hard,” Central senior Abbey Kerth said. “I think it’s more discipline, always doing the same thing no matter who we’re playing, good defense.”
Central wasted no time taking care of Neuqua (5-4) Monday. Gracie May scored eight seconds into the game to get it started. The lead swelled to 5-0 after one quarter and 11-0 at the half before Kerth scored the final of her five goals to start the third quarter. Kerth now has scored 60 goals this season and 315 in her career, six clear of former program record holder Cara Wilson, whom she passed for the record last week against Naperville North.
Seniors Lauren Gunn and Emily Sejna each scored three goals for the Redhawks in the win. Redhawks coach Jeff Plackett was pleased that he was able to get plenty of girls involved in the action knowing what is coming down the road this weekend.
“You know who I thought had a nice game was (Jamie) Schweikart,” Plackett said. “She had a goal, had some big steals. It was nice to see the girls that come off the bench contribute. Jenny Doyle stepped into a couple of nice shots in the second half. We had a chance to work on a couple of things. It gets a little tougher this weekend.”
Nine of the top 10 teams in the state are a part of the 12-team field at Fenwick this weekend. The Redhawks open tournament play Thursday at 6:30 p.m. against Mundelein. The title game of the tournament is scheduled for 5:10 p.m. Saturday.
Central usually takes a trip to Michigan to face some of the top teams from that state this weekend, but the Redhawks decided to take a year off from that trip to join the field at the prestigious Fenwick tournament.
“I’m really excited,” Kerth said. “We’ve never been in a tournament of this caliber, so it’s really exciting to be invited for the first time. I think we’ve put in our dues and have done really well the past few years. We deserve it.”