By Tony Acosta
Record Staff Writer
STOCKTON -- Both the Delta College men's and women's water polo teams used their home pool advantages to dominate their first-round matches at the CCCAA Northern California Regional Championships on Friday at June Fergusson Pool.
And with a win today, both Delta teams can qualify for next week's state tournament at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo.
Earlier in the day, the top-seeded Mustang women overcame a sluggish start and crushed No. 8 Merced 18-4.
Delta's men will take on No. 2 Sierra, the 2017 Big 8 Conference champion, today at 1 p.m. The winner advances to tonight's 7 p.m. title game.
In Friday's other men's game, No. 4 Modesto beat No. 6 Merced 9-6, and will play top-seed West Valley at 11:40 am today. The winner plays either Delta or West Valley in the championship match.
Vanderlans, a former Lodi High standout, is in his first-year at Delta (17-12), but had playing experience at UC Santa Barbara. He was a terror in the first quarter, registering the game's three goals with a 1 minute, seven second span.
"To be honest, a lot of what we did today was due to our solid team effort," Vanderlans said. "We spent a lot of time watching film and seeing what the matchups were going to be. (The win) showed how we were paying attention in the classroom and in practice."
Gonzales, a sophomore from Ripon, was another key, scoring one of his five tallies on a penalty shot and another on a sweet lob assist from Vanderlans.
On the other end of the pool, Mustang goalie Connor Revay, a sophomore from Bear Creek, had 12 saves.
"Our entire year is based around getting to the (NorCal) semifinals and matching up with Sierra and winning that game," said longtime Delta men's coach Mike Maroney. "If we win, we'll get to go to state again and stay among the top teams in the north."
Delta finished third in the Big 8 Conference, losing to Diablo Valley in the semifinals, thus giving Sierra the higher seed in the NorCal tourney.