By Steve Breazeale
For in-game updates, news and scores for all of the Dana Hills High School fall sports programs, follow us on Twitter @SouthOCsports.
Dolphins Tennis Picks Up First-Round Playoff Win
The Dana Hills girls tennis team got a huge lift from their doubles teams in their CIF-SS Division 1 Championship opening match against JSerra on Nov. 5.
The Dolphins singles players recorded only two points, but the three doubles teams secured all nine possible points, giving Dana Hills an 11-7 victory in the first round.
Dana Hills will travel to play Los Alamitos, the No. 1 team out of the Sunset League, in the tournament’s second round on Nov. 7.
Against JSerra, all of the Dana Hills doubles teams were successful, but the duo of Ayla Fresenius and Jacklyn Melkonian was perfect. Paired together, Fresenius and Melkonian never dropped a game and recorded three straight-set shutouts.
Senior Gressa Foley won two out of three singles points against JSerra.
Dolphins Defeat Tritons in OT for League Title
It took six minutes of overtime to decide the South Coast League boys water polo champion on Nov. 4 at Dana Hills High School and for the third consecutive year, it was the Dolphins who were celebrating in the pool after a narrow 17-15 victory over San Clemente.
For most of the night it looked like the Dolphins would breeze their way past the visiting Tritons as Dana Hills held a 12-6 edge heading into the fourth quarter.
But San Clemente (15-12, 4-2 league) came roaring back, outscoring the Dolphins 7-1 in the final quarter to force overtime.
The Dolphins (16-10, 7-0), who had led all night, saw their lead melt away in the final minutes and gave up a controversial game-tying goal with seconds left in regulation.
Trailing 13-12 with 11 seconds left, San Clemente senior Chase Hamming was looking to score and was fouled. Instead of stopping at the whistle, the game clock continued to run and Hamming forced a pass to Colton Hamming, who put the ball in the net as the clock expired. The officials waved off the goal, prompting Tritons head coach Marc Parker to plead his case that there should have been more time.
The officials ruled there was a correctable error and gave San Clemente the ball with three seconds left on the clock. Chase Hamming lobbed in a shot, which was redirected into the net by Colton Hamming to tie the game 13-13.
In overtime Dolphins’ senior Casey Burns took over, scoring two goals and notching an assist. Dana Hills junior Bennett Williams scored on a backhand shot to put Dana Hills up 16-15 and Burns scored two minutes later to seal the win.
“(Burns) hasn’t been one of my go to guys all year long. He’s coming off the bench and he stepped up really well and had some big goals and got excited. It was great to see him do that,” Dana Hills head coach Matt Rosa said.
Dana Hills was led by senior Marko Asic and Burns, who had four goals each. Senior goalie Riley Zachary had 20 saves.
The Tritons attempted to play a more balanced style of offense rather than defer to Chase Hamming, their leading scorer. The tactic paid off, as Sean Edwards (three goals), Colton Hamming (two) and Josh Mourer (two) all made contributions on offense.
With their first-place finish, Dana Hills is guaranteed a spot in the CIF-SS Division 2 Championships.
Dolphins Football Honors Veterans in Final Home Game
The Dana Hills High School football team hosted their annual Honor the Valor game on Thursday, Oct. 30. The Dolphins took the field wearing custom camouflage jerseys bearing the name of a military veteran on the back and, following the game against opponent San Juan Hills, presented the 63 veterans in attendance with their jerseys. Veterans and players also took part in a pre-game meal together.
In the two years since the event’s inception the 12th Man Club, a parent booster organization, and the Dolphins football program have raised more than $60,000 for local veteran support groups, including: Dana Point Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9934, Dana Point 5th Marine Regiment Support Group and the Laguna Niguel Military Support Committee.
For a full photo slideshow of the event, visit www.danapointtimes.com.