COSTA MESA -- The Orange Coast College men's water polo team ended the home portion of the schedule on a winning note with a 14-12 win over Riverside in the third-place game of the 2021 Orange Empire Conference Water Polo Championships on Saturday inside the OCC Aquatics Pavilion.
Ethan Pranajaya led the Pirates (16-7) with four goals, two assists and three steals, while Dale Howell added three goals and three steals and Joshua Edwards tossed in three goals with an assist and a steal as well.
Coast grabbed an early lead on the Tigers (10-15) and never looked back. After falling behind 2-1 early in the first quarter, Coast ripped off six straight goals to lead 7-2. Pranajaya had two goals, while Ethan Rose, Garrett Gendron and Ethan Igloi each contributed one over that seven-minute span of the contest.
Riverside turned things around and scored six of the next seven goals to pull to within one at 9-8 with three minutes left in the third quarter, sparked by four goals from Sebestian De La Pena-Kenley.
But as quickly as the Tigers came back, the Pirates pulled away again as goals by Pranajaya (2) and Howell pushed OCC's lead back up to four at 12-8.
Coast would not be threatened again the rest of the way as Igloi and Howell closed out the scoring before three RCC goals made the score closer in the final minute of play.
The Pirates will advance to this week's Southern California Regional Championships, hosted by Southwestern College.