Long Beach Poly Millikan Water Polo

Millikan Girls’ Water Polo Locks Down Long Beach Poly

After Long Beach Poly girls’ water polo pulled even with Millikan last night at Cabrillo High, the Rams turned up the heat on defense and scored the last five goals of the game in an 8-3 win.

The abbreviated Moore League water polo schedule started on Monday, but Millikan had the bye, so last night was the first game action for the Rams in more than a year.

“It was super fun but we need to get our groove back, it’s been awhile,” Millikan’s Bailey Peterson said. “We’re a little rusty and haven’t had a lot of practice time, we just need to clean things up and we’ll be back at it next week.”

Millikan faces first-place Wilson next Friday, and the next game for Poly is a rematch with the Rams on Monday, March 17.

“It’s great to see them get back in and compete,” Millikan coach Jose Guzman said. “It was a little jittery and nervous but that’s expected. We’re looking forward to our next game and hopefully we can shake off the rust.”

It looked like Millikan and Poly were headed for a tight contest in the first quarter when they traded goals. Julia Miller tied the game 3-3 for the Jackrabbits early in the second quarter, and they wouldn’t score again.

Millikan goalkeepers Makayla Lankford and Emma Schmidt who split the game each made a handful of sold saves while the Rams defense cut into Poly’s ball movement.

“It’s about making our reads and identifying those drives,” Guzman said. “Once we do that we slow their offense a lot. It was good to see them recognizing that instead of me shouting and letting them know. I want them to be independent.

Peterson led Millikan with a pair of goals and a pair of assists.

PHOTOS: Millikan vs. Long Beach Poly, Girls’ Water Polo

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JJ Fiddler
JJ Fiddler is an award-winning sportswriter and videographer who has been covering Southern California sports for multiple newspapers and websites since 2004. After attending Long Beach State and creating the first full sports page at the Union Weekly Newspaper, he has been exclusively covering Long Beach prep sports since 2007.