The Sonora High School girls varsity water polo team was in the pool early Tuesday in Modesto for their second match in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Division III playoffs.

Despite what head coach Matt Personius described as a sluggish start, the Wildcats notched a solid 10-1 win.

Personius doesn’t think the early hour was much of a factor.

“Offensively we could not get started,” he said. “I gave them a three-day weekend so we only had one practice.”

Initially the Cats also struggled with their attack, but Personius said they were able to find some momentum in the second period.

The Cats led 1-0 at the half.

Then freshman Megan Slater went to work and would end the game having scored 8 of Sonora’s goals. That gives her 100 on the year.

Slater has become a pleasant surprise for Personius.

“Other teams identify her. She is super fast and very aggressive,” Petronius said as the regular season was winding down. “It’s not like coaching a freshman, she’s doing upperclassman things.”

Also scoring for Sonora was senior Maggie Sanchez.

Sanchez is a second year player who was able to work her way into a starting position.

Emily Van Noord added the other goal.

Next up for the Wildcats is No. 2 Kimball who beat No. 3 Dixon 9-8 Tuesday morning.

Sonora beat Kimball in October 8-5. Slater had four goals in that match. Van Noord added two.

Ahead of the match, which will be played Saturday at 11:15 at American River College in Sacramento, Personius said Tuesday’s win has given them a few things to work on.

“I think we need to regain our offensive mojo,” he said. “We’ve got girls who can really shoot the ball.”

Their goal is to be peaking for the division championship, he said.

“We need to get back to our game,” he said.

Contact Melissa Blanton at (209) 588-4534 or . Follow her on Twitter @downtownmelissa.