Returning All-SCC Goalie Gray Stabilizes Defense As PCC Women's Water Polo Begins '23 Season

Gloria Gray returns to lead the Lancers water polo team in 2023.
Gloria Gray returns to lead the Lancers water polo team in 2023.

With the return of All-South Coast Conference First Team goalie Gloria Gray, the Pasadena City College women's water polo team expects defense to be a strength as the Lancers open the 2023 season.

Gray made 127 saves last season and led PCC in steals. She is joined as lettermen by All-SCC honorable mention attacker Savannah Ortiz (20 goals last year) and utility player Dymaris Gonzalez. Gray and Ortiz have been named co-captains.

The Lancers have five freshmen, led by All-Pacific League First Team attacker Katie Ward from Crescenta Valley High and attacker Ivy Samuel (Muir High), who was a team captain at her high school for three seasons.

Another talent with some goal-scoring potential is center Luna Encinas (South Pasadena HS), who scored 22 goals and added 14 assists in her senior season. She helped SPHS to the CIF quarterfinals and was a team captain as a senior. 

"It has been great working with our returners Gloria, Savannah and Dymaris in preparation for this season as they are all great team builders," said PCC head coach Terry Stoddard, who is in his 24th season in charge of the program.

"I expect our co-captains to help us create a stingy team defense.  Savannah will help us in the field and Gloria will run our defense from the cage with help from Katie our center defender. Dymaris has improved very much and will contribute on both ends of the pool."

Stoddard talked about the team's offense. "I expect our offensive effort and leadership to come from our three experienced freshmen who were all team captains in high school. I am looking forward to immediately developing the chemistry that we need for success as the season progresses."

Utility players Emily Padilla (Paloma Valley) and Iris Lim (Arcadia) add depth to the Lancers rotation. 

On Saturday, the Lancers opened the '23 season with a pair of low-scoring defeats at the LA Valley College Mini Tournament. In the opener, Encinas tallied four goals and Ward also scored the hat trick (and team-highg seven steals) with three but PCC fell v. Crafton Hills, 9-7. Gray made seven saves. 

Chaffey then downed PCC, 9-3, with Samuel netting two goals and Ward one. 

On Wednesday, Sept. 13, the Lancers begin conference round robin play with a 2 p.m. contest v. El Camino. All PCC home matches and practices are held off campus at nearby Pasadena Poly School. 

PCC Women's Water Polo 2023 Schedule