Oakmont stuns El Camino in first round polo action

Vikings turn up defense in playoff opener
By: Kurt Johnson, The Press Tribune
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While Oak Ridge, Woodcreek and Del Oro cruised through the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section boys water polo tournament as expected, Oakmont provided a surprise. The fourth place team from the SFL knocked off favored El Camino 7-2 in Friday’s action to send the Eagles home and the Vikings on to round two. “Everyone on this deck was expecting El Camino to win today,” said Oakmont coach Mark Plank. “When we faced them in September, they scored 16 on us and it could have been more. We knew we would be a lot better at the end of the season.” The Vikings turned up the defense as Shane Welch locked up El Camino’s two-meter man all day long and allowed his teammates to pressure the ball far away from the goal. Oakmont scored two in the first and three more in the second to take a 5-2 halftime edge, and then the Vikings pitched a shutout in the second half, with Welch, Drew Wixon and goalie Zac Daniewicz all turning up the intensity at the defensive end. The win moves Oakmont to a second-round date Saturday with Benicia, the champions of the weaker Solano County Athletic Conference. A win there sets up a likely match against Granite Bay in the semifinals next Thursday, but Plank does not want to look ahead. “I have seen some of their scores, and they (Benicia) appear to be better than people think,” Plank said. Granite Bay had the first round bye and will face Oak Ridge Saturday as the SFL sees all four of its teams move on to the final eight.