The boys’ water polo team started its season with 12 straight victories and a win at the South Coast Water Polo Tournament, building on its success from last year.
The team opened the season with a 21-1 win against St. Francis High School on Aug. 30 at the Copses Family Pool. The squad also defeated Mission League rivals Crespi Carmelite High School and Notre Dame High School with scores of 26-3 and 18-6, respectively.
South Coast Tournament
After winning its first four games, the team traveled to Newport Harbor High School for the South Coast Tournament. Goalkeeper Asher Schwartz ’21 said the team is prepared to face its competitors at the tournament.
“We were anticipating some tough competition, as this, along with the [North-South Challenge] in October, brings in all the top teams from Northern and Southern California,” Schwartz said.
The squad began the tournament Sept. 19 with a 21-7 win against Edison High School and a 12-7 win against Corona del Mar High School. An additional 14-9 win against Bishops High School on Sept. 20 advanced the team to the tournament semi-finals, where the Wolverines defeated Huntington Beach High School with a score of 13-10.
With this win, the team encountered a rematch against Newport Harbor. The squad managed to win the tournament championship, defeating the Sailors with a score of 11-7 on Sept. 21. Attacker Shay Gillearn ’21 said that, despite winning the tournament, the players must continue to improve in order to continue their success.
“It was nice to win the tournament but we have to get back to work and improve on all of our weaknesses,” Gillearn said.
Players credit the squad’s 12-0 record to the team’s extra effort during the season, Christopher Kim ’20 said.
— Scorebook Live California (@SBLiveCA) October 1, 2019
“I think that the team’s success has to do with everyone really trying to buy into the process,” Kim said. “We could be the undoubtedly best team in America if everybody just puts in that last five percent effort. I think that everyone is trying their best, especially the senior class, who has put in extra work outside of our practice time.”
After winning the tournament, the Wolverines defeated Oaks Christian High School with a score of 11-10 Sept. 26 and defeated Orange Lutheran High School with a score of 16-14 Sept. 28.
Elite 8 Water Polo Tournament
Looking to the future, players said that the team will focus on the Elite 8 Water Polo tournament from Oct. 3 to 5 and its rematch against Newport Harbor on Oct. 12.
“We definitely want to defend our Elite 8 title, and in the process it’s almost certain that we’re going to run into Newport at some point in that tournament,” Schwartz said. “As far as the Newport rematch, we want to make sure we can beat them at full strength, as they were missing two key players this weekend. We don’t see this weekend’s win as illegitimate, but another one will certainly cement us as a top team.”