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Bears head to paradise, face Hawaii, Long Beach State

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MARCH 28, 2023

The Bears traveled all the way to sunny Hawaii only to be met with two agonizing losses. On Saturday night, No. 3 California women’s water polo team was defeated 9-8 in sudden victory overtime by No. 5 Hawaii. Cal was then outplayed by Long Beach State for another heartbreaking overtime loss for the second night in a row on Sunday.

Goalie Isabel Williams made 12 saves for the Bears in the match versus Hawaii, but it was not enough to prevent the loss. Shea Salvino contributed two goals, two steals and an assist for the Bears (15-5), who played the Rainbow Wahine in a game that was extremely close for the second time this season. 

During the Barbara Kalbus Invitational exactly one month ago, Cal prevailed against Hawaii 11-10, also in an overtime match. In their last match against Hawaii, the Bears nearly lost as Hawaii took them to overtime. The Bears fell short that day in regulation time but managed to come out on top in the end.

The first three goals of the game were scored by the Bears, including a goal scored by Ruby Swadling from the penalty spot on the Bears’ very first possession of the game. After Hawaii’s comeback, the score was tied again, and with 4 minutes and 7 seconds left in the game, Hawaii seized its first lead of the match. The Bears swiftly responded less than a minute later, and the score was still tied at 7-7 when the regular game period came to a conclusion. 

The goal scored by Salvino on the opening possession of the first overtime period put Cal back in the lead, but the Rainbow Wahine scored the equalizer with five seconds remaining in the second overtime to force the game into the sudden victory session. In sudden death overtime, each side had a total of three opportunities to score but was unable to do so on any of those opportunities before Hawaii won the game.

Cal faced No. 9 Long Beach State the following day, a matchup that saw a Long Beach victory, 8-7. Long Beach State is known for its tough and uncompromising defense, one the blue and gold simply could not find a way around this past Sunday. This game was definitely a battle in the water where Long Beach had an uncompromising edge. 

Salvino led the Bears with two goals, two steals and two field blocks. Cecily Turner also contributed to the Bears’ victory with a goal, a steal and a field block. Williams, the goalkeeper, made nine saves and had two steals. 

The majority of the game saw Cal playing catch-up. The Bears were trailing 7-4 halfway through the third quarter until Reagan Whitney and Salvino scored back-to-back goals to trim the score differential to 7-6 going into the fourth and final quarter. The score remained the same until there was 1:50 left in regulation, at which point Mallory Reynoso of the Bears scored to level the game at 7-7. 

Long Beach was able to win the game thanks to the solitary goal scored during one of the overtime periods, leaving the Bears with their second overtime loss of the weekend. 

These losses were undoubtedly disappointing for Cal, but they also serve as an opportunity for the team to learn and improve. With their talented players and strong performances throughout the season, the Bears will continue to compete at a high level and seek to bounce back from these setbacks in future matches. Next weekend, the Bears continue their trek across the country when they take on the No. 12 Pacific Tigers in Stockton at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Contact Devon Byrne at 


MARCH 28, 2023