The Merced College women's water polo team has had just over a month to stew.
A 10-9 loss to Foothill at the beginning of October served as a driving force as the Lady Devils closed out their regular season.
With first place in the Coast Conference up for grabs, MC built a four-goal lead with just a couple minutes to play in the third quarter and...
Couldn't hold on.
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Foothill stormed back and the Lady Devils couldn't muster a response.
"It was easily the most disappointing result of the season," women's water polo coach Bill Halpin said. "We lost that game because they outswam us.
"They had no subs, so while they were tired, we allowed them to rest.
"Every time we started to ease up in games after that, I'd just mention that game and they'd pick it back up."
The Lady Devils (21-4) have revenge in their hearts heading into today's conference tournament, but Halpin doesn't want his squad getting ahead of itself.
MC will open the tournament with seventh-seeded San Mateo at Ohlone College today. The game is set for 2:45 p.m.
If the Lady Devils win, they'll face the winner of Cabrillo-Ohlone at 10:50 a.m. on Saturday.
The Lady Devils went a perfect 5-0 against the three teams this season.
"Obviously beating Foothill and getting the highest seed possible at NorCals is the ultimate goal, but we need to take care of business first," Halpin said. "You can't take anyone lightly, so hopefully we show up ready to play."
While the MC women have some margin for error heading into the conference tournament, the MC men know they have to be perfect.
The odds are stacked against Scott McCall's squad with West Valley -- the state's top-ranked team -- heavily favored to capture the crown.
After going just 6-17 in the regular season, the Blue Devils' only postseason hope would be to win the tournament.
For the time being, McCall is just concerned about getting past his first-round opponent in third-seeded Solano.
The two teams will square off at 2:30 p.m. today at De Anza College.
"Right now we just need to take it one game at a time," McCall said. "We'd really like to get a rematch against Cabrillo in the second round, but we've been up and down all season.
"We're just going to try and build something positive to close out the season with."