The season wasn't supposed to end so soon for the Modesto Junior College women's water polo team.
Coach Kurt Olson answered greetings of "Hey, how's it going?" this week with two words: "We lost."
The Pirates lost to Foothill 8-7 in the first round of the Northern California playoffs on Nov. 9. Modesto defeated Foothill 10-6 in the season-opening Cerritos Tournament.
The No. 3 Pirates (11-8) thought they were ready. With its speed, All-America goalkeeper Lorna Lynott and strong play late in the season, Olson felt Modesto was in a prime position to win the NorCal Tournament.
It didn't help the Pirates' confidence that they were called for 13 kickouts to Foothill's one.
Foothill played three more games after beating Modesto and lost all three, to American River, Fresno City and Santa Rosa. Modesto lost to those same teams this season, and all three advanced to state.
EVA SCHICKE MEMORIAL, at Turlock -- Cal State Stanislaus coach Sharon Turner-Dean assembled a challenging season-opening bracket for the Warriors. Today's Eva Schicke Memorial begins with two preseason favorites squaring off. Tampa, picked by coaches to win the Sunshine State Conference, plays California Collegiate Athletic Association pick Dominguez Hills at 5:30 p.m. Stanislaus follows with Northwest Nazarene at 7:30 p.m.
The Warriors, who get two opportunities to scout the Toros, play Tampa on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Dominguez Hills takes on Northwest Nazarene at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
VANDER SCHAAF RECOGNIZED -- Stanislaus senior hitter and Ripon native Debbie Vander Schaaf was named to the All-CCAA second team, awards voted on by conference coaches.
Vander Schaaf led the Warriors (6-24, 2-16 CCAA) with 336 kills, an average of 3.11 kills per game. She also led the team in aces (45), was second in digs (147) and fourth in total blocks (34).
Vander Schaaf is the sixth Stanislaus player to record 300 or more kills in a single season.
LOCALS END WELL -- Modesto's Dana Grimm made a mark in her freshman season with Cal State Monterey Bay (12-19, 8-9 CCAA). The setter from Beyer High led the team in assists (555) and was second in aces (37).
Senior Melissa Nickas of Escalon, who transferred from Stanislaus, led the Otters in digs with 442.