Grand Haven’s varsity girls water polo team advanced to the regional tournament thanks to Friday’s 11-6 win over West Ottawa in the district tourney at Zeeland.
The Buccaneers will host the regionals and will face Rockford at 6:30 p.m.
“This is the second consecutive year we have reached the regional tournament after the six-year drought ended last year,” coach Ian Bosmeijer said.
The Bucs finished 1-2 at the district tournament, but it was the opening win over the Panthers that paved their way into the regional tourney.
In that game, Murial Garbarino scored five goals, while Arica Beno added four. Katja Linfors scored twice, and goalie Stephanie Hoover made six saves.
The Bucs advanced to play No. 1 seed Jenison on Saturday and played to a 2-2 tie at the half, but eventually fell short, 7-4.
Beno scored twice for the Bucs while Sarah Snider and Garbarino each scored once.
That dropped Grand Haven into the third/fourth place game, where the Bucs lost to Hudsonville, 8-5.
Carly Gillissie and Snider each scored to make it 2-2 at the half, but Hudsonville poured in five consecutive goals to take a commanding lead.
Hailee Garbarino, Stefanie Shantz and Beno scored to pull Grand Haven to within two, but the Eagles’ Abby Slager scored twice in the closing minutes to seal the win.
Bosmeijer said if Grand Haven can get past Rockford, the Bucs would advance in the regional tournament and also clinch a berth in the state tournament.
That won’t be easy, however; the Rams are ranked No. 1 in the state.