Water polo girls 7-5, boys 5-7 in fast-paced season

Sweet Home’s water polo teams finished the season strong, the girls team compiling a 7-5 record and the boys a 5-7 mark, according to coach Rene Kirkland.

The Huskies played with few subs most of the season, although the boys squad grew to 11 strong by year’s end.

“Next year will be a rebuilding year for the girls team,” Coach Kirkland said. “The boys will return strong, losing only senior Rhys Birky.”

Coach Kirkland said she was pleased overall with her teams, in her first season as head coach.

“It’s a lot of work but we had a great season. The kids responded well and were very respectful,” Coach Kirkland said. “The girls found a way to win.”

Overall, Andrea Yunke set the offensive pace for the girls squad, scoring 55 goals. Megan Foucht added 37 plus averaged five assists per game. Nicole Starha was close behind with 33 goals. Amber Larson had 32 blocks in her first season.

For the Husky boys, Chris Bate had 33 goals and averaged four assists and three steals per game.

Frank Coulter added 30 goals, Jeff Ecker 27 and Rhys Birky 17.

“Chris is an all-around player,” Coach Kirkland said of Bate. “he knows the offense well and keeps the team on it. His skill level has grown greatly since his freshman year. He’s a very good listener.”

A summary of late season games follows:

West Albany: the girls won 11-7 and the boys lost 19-5.

“We lost Andrea Yunke in the fourth quarter and the boys didn’t play well,” Coach Kirkland said.

North Eugene: the girls lost 11-9 and the boys lost 23-10.

“We lost Rhys Birky out of the lineup and when that happens the kids lose confidence,” Coach Kirkland said.

Scoring for the girls were Yunke, 2; Christine Smith, 1; and Megan Foucht, 1.

Scoring for the boys were Bate, 3; Coulter, 3; Ecker, 2.

Redmond: Lost both games. The girls lost 21-16 and the boy lost 11-9.

“We lost to of our girls to fouls by the end of the third quarter,” Coach Kirkland said. “Our boys just didn’t play well, although Tyler Hannen had 17 blocks as our goalie. He had his hands on everything this game.”

Lebanon: the girls won 18-0 and the boys won 21-1.

Andrea Yunke scored seven goals, Jill Gilliland scored four and Megan Foucht scored four.

For the boys, Jeff Ecker scored eight goals, Frank Coulter added four and Chris Bate had six assists.

West Albany: the girls won 11-7 and the boys lost 19-5.

Yunke had five goals, Starha and Foucht added two each. Foucht had four assists as well.

Sheldon: the girls lost 19-12 and the boys lost 11-8.

“Our girls were only down by four the half,” Coach Kirkland said. “We played a much better game than when we met earlier in the season. this was our last chance to make the playoffs and the girls played very hard.”

Starha had five goals and Foucht had five assists.

The Husky boys were down 2-1 at the half.

“Sean Martin returned to action after several weeks off due to a hand injury,” Coach Kirkland said. “He didn’t lose a step on defense and was outstanding.”

Sheldon outscored the Huskies in the third quarter to make the game difference.

Chris Bate scored only one goal but had five assists and led the team. Frank Coulter scored three goals and Tyler Hannen had 12 saves.

Lebanon: The girls won 17-2 and the boys won 17-3.

Yunke scored seven goals and Foucht added four.

Jeff Ecker led the boys scoring drive with seven goals, Coulter added five and Birky had four.