Naperville Central girls water polo defeats Neuqua Valley in Sectional Quarterfinals

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Naperville Central travels to Neuqua Valley for an IHSA Girls Water Polo Sectional Quarterfinal. The Redhawks won both of the previous meetings this season, and look to make another postseason run after falling to Naperville North in last years Sectional finals. On the other hand, the Wildcats also fell to Naperville North in the playoffs, but in the Sectional quarters. This highlight is sponsored by BMO.

Central goes out in front thanks to Shiffer and Weber

About a minute into play, Redhawk goalie Eleni Nicoloudes gets the ball up pool, where Kaylee Shiffer quickly turns and fires it in for the score.

Central continues to search for more offense, and once again Nicoloudes passes, but this time it’s Julia Weber who catches and shoots from a distance. That goal makes it 3-0 Central.

She’s been showing off her playmaking ability, but now we see Nicoloudes make a great save following a shot off the post. It remains 3-0 Redhawks.

Rosenberg, Puacz, and Nadgar tie the game up for Neuqua Valley

The Cats are running free up the pool, as the pass from Caelyn Tuma is on the money to Elizabeth Rosenberg. She swims all the way up to the net, before throwing it home for the score.

Neuqua’s passing the ball around the offensive zone, and Phoebe Puacz has some room. She fires from far out and scores, to cut the Redhawk lead at 3-2.

Now into the second quarter, the Wildcats continue to seize their opportunities. Samira Nadgar gets the ball off the restart, and with no one guarding her, she lets it fly and into the back of the net. Just like that, we’re all tied at three a piece.

Central takes the lead right back to close out the first half. First, it’s Weber getting the ball off the restart, and she dials one in off the crossbar to make it 4-3!

Then, right before half, Central works the pool like clockwork, as Bethany Towers gets it and riffles it in from the right wing. The Redhawks lead 5-3 at halftime.

Puacz has an early penalty shot in the second half for the Wildcats. She places it perfectly low and they trail by one.

Naperville Central water polo score five unanswered goals to pull away in the sectional quarters

Central fights for the ball in the offensive zone, and they come up with it. Weber’s shot comes off the post, but Bernadette Albright comes in to tap it home.

Two minutes later, Nicoloudes throws it down to Shiffer who boxes out the defense and scores. It’s 8-4 Redhawks with three minutes left in the third.

The Redhawks continue to fly, this time Macy Fults gets it from the goalie and scores to make it 10-4. That’s five unanswered goals from Central.

In the fourth, Nicoloudes makes the initial save, before the Wildcats work it over to Gabriella Snider. She scores from down low and is hyped up.

Nicoloudes breaks Naperville Central Water polo record and the Redhawks advance

Central looks near dominant in this half and here’s Shiffer scoring another to wrap it up. Nicoloudes breaks the single-season record of 363 saves, which University of Michigan goalie, Julia Campbell previously held for 12 years! Redhawks win 14-6 and will play Metea Valley in the Sectional semis.

For more prep sports highlights, visit the Naperville Sports Weekly page!