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’Jackets kick off league play with sweep

By Jared GreenDaily Planet Staff
Friday October 06, 2000

Both the boys’ and girls’ Berkeley High water polo teams opened their league play with crucial victories against Pinole Valley, but the styles of the wins couldn’t have been more different. 

The boys’ team won a 13-8 shootout as Pinole Valley was missing three of its starters. According to coach Jim Ulversoy, his best player broke his ankle Wednesday and was unavailable, and two other starters got the match times mixed up and didn’t show up at the Willard Middle School pool until the fourth quarter. 

The shorthanded Spartans hung tough through the first half, and were down only two goals at halftime, but their short bench showed as the ‘Jackets pulled away in the second half. 

Even with their two starters back in the pool, Pinole Valley was unable to make up the difference and was outscored 4-3 in the final period. David Schooley paced the Yellowjackets with five goals, and Carl Wasman and Dominic Cathey chipped in two goals each as the home team peppered Spartan goalie Chase Wagner with shots throughout the game. Matt Wion scored four of Pinole Valley’s eight goals in the game. 

Ulversoy complimented the Yellowjacket counterattack, and Berkeley senior Joseph Ravera agreed. 

“We played pretty good defense, and our counterattack offense really got us going in the second half,” he said. “They played really well considering they were missing some guys.” 

Berkeley head coach Jim Graeber said he had his team concentrating on this match since Monday, even though they beat Grenada High on Tuesday. 

“We knew this would be a pivotal game in the league, and we started to focus on it on Monday,” Graeber said. “We were determined to counter their strengths, and I think we did that.” 

The girls’ match was much more defensive, as the Yellowjackets held on to win 4-1. Berkeley goalie Amy Degenkolb was the star of the game, making 10 saves and keeping Pinole Valley off of the scoreboard for the first half. 

Both teams struggled to score in the first quarter, with the lone goal coming on Sonja Graves’ penalty shot after a Spartan player fouled her right in front of the goal. The stingy defense continued in the second quarter, especially after Aurora McAllister put the Yellowjackets up 2-0 with a blind shot from in front of the goal. The home team was fortunate to not give up any goals in the period as two Spartan shots rang off Degenkolb’s posts. 

“We really focused on our defense, and that showed today,” Graeber said. “We knew this would be a tight match, and really one of the key matches of our league season.” 

The second half started quickly, with each team scoring a goal in the first two minutes. But the Yellowjackets clamped down on defense yet again, and the Spartans wouldn’t score for the rest of the game. Cody Keffer scored her second goal of the match with 1:02 left in the game to seal Berkeley’s victory.