By Marty Farmer
Fenwick High School girls water polo coach Jack Wagner reached 600 wins at the Mike Murphy Tournament on Saturday, April 6. The host Friars defeated Lyons Township 10-4 in Wagner's milestone victory.
"Winning my 600th game says a few very important things about this program," Wagner said. "The first is how remarkable the athletes are who have made the program what it is. Without them, there would not be 600 wins and a program that continues to strive (for excellence) each year.
"Second is my relationship with the administration. I have had the pleasure to work for two awesome Principals in my time at Fenwick in Dr. James Quaid and now Peter Groom. To be allowed to work for them is my pleasure. I'm just glad I haven't screwed up enough to have them let me go.
Wagner added: "I have also worked for two Athletic Directors (Mike Curtin, Scott Thies) and it's been an honor to work for each of them. Mike took a chance and hired somebody on the word of one guy (Dave Perry). Since then, Mike and Scott Thies have allowed me to be the crazy out of control coach I was the first five years that I coached at Fenwick. After two years away, I was back in 2000 with more maturity and some of the greatest athletes you could give a coach.
Over the last 23 seasons, Wagner has guided the Friars to 10 state titles, highlighted by a three-peat (2004-2006). His record is 9-1 in IHSA state championship games. In 1999, the Friars also won the ISA state title under Wagner.
In Saturday's final, Stevenson edged Fenwick 7-6 to claim the championship. Fenwick opened the tourney with an 11-8 win against Naperville North, which later outlasted New Trier 14-13 in three overtimes in a riveting third-place game.
Kassy Rodriguez led Fenwick with 10 goals at the tourney, followed by teammates Paulina Correa (9 goals), Xonhane Medina (8 goals) and Harper Daniels (6 goals).
Fenwick (8-3) hosts Loyola Academy at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, April 15. The Friars then travel to Western Springs to take on Lyons Township, Wednesday, April 17 (6 p.m. start).
OPRF girls water polo
Mary Vanek led the Huskies with 17 goals in three wins at their own invitational over the weekend. OPRF defeated Whitney Young 15-5, Waubonsie Valley 10-3, and Sandburg 13-8 to claim the championship.
Along with Vanek, Nell Behr (10 goals) and Bennett Gloor (7 goals) paced the Huskies offensively. Natalia Nikolic, Jenna Somberg, Bevi Lundeen and Evelyn Kelley also contributed offensively.
Goalies Sydney Mosher and Kejsi Ago finished with 18 and 10 saves, respectively.
The Huskies, who have won five games in a row, will take part in the Mundelein Invitational on Saturday, April 13.
After seeing their unbeaten streak snapped at six games in a 9-5 loss in eight innings against visiting Riverside-Brookfield, the Huskies bounced back by sweeping Glenbard North in a doubleheader on Saturday, April 6.
Winning pitcher Taylor Divello threw 3 1/3 innings, followed by Julia Youman in relief. Each pitcher struck out three and allowed two hits apiece in a 12-0 win over the Panthers. Jacky Neuman, Maeve Ryan, Maddi Grant and Carli Tucci all had two hits and two RBIs each. Nellie Kamenitsa-Hale also played well with two hits, two runs scored and a double.
In Game 2, Sydney Ross and Grant each belted a three-run homer to pace the offense to a 14-4 victory. Ali Burns (3-for-4, 3 RBIs), Cate Barkdoll (2-for-3) and Neuman (2-for-4, 2 RBIs) also contributed, as senior pitcher Zoe Pouty improved to 2-0 on the season.
OPRF (9-1) also defeated Fenwick 5-1 on Monday, April 8. Sophomore pitcher Cassie Metzger (3-1) earned the win, allowing one run and three hits with four strkeouts in four innings. Divello fanned three in three innings of scoreless relief.
Grant hit a solo home run and Kamenitsa-Hale went 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Karley Cantrell and Tucci each drove in a run.
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