Water polo wins Elite Eight Tournament

Water polo wins Elite Eight Tournament

Pierce Maloney '19 throws the ball in the Wolverines' game against Sacred Heart on Sept. 14, which the Wolverines lost 10-11. Credit: Ryan Albert/Chronicle

The boys’ water polo team won the Elite 8 water polo tournament after defeating Sacred Heart Preparatory School in the championship game on Sept. 15.

The Wolverines ended the tournament with a 4-1 record. In the earlier rounds of the tournament they beat Vista High School 14-7, Oaks Christian High School 14-1 and in the semi-finals, they won against Newport Harbor High School with a score of 11-7.

Harvard-Westlake lost 10-11 to Sacred Heart in their second game of the tournament, which was their first loss of the season.

“Initially we got caught off guard with [Sacred Heart’s] level of play and our mentality coming into the first game against them was not as strong as it should have been,” goalkeeper Nolan Krutonog  ’20 said.

The team changed its mindset following the loss, which ultimately contributed to their win in the championship.

“The focus of the tournament became wholly improvement and focus on ourselves,” attacker Pierce Maloney ’19 said. “Losing to Sacred Heart early was probably the best thing for us as a team because of how it freed us from the stigma of being the number one seed. We ended up really coming together, winning the final group stage game, semi-finals, and finals all by five or more goals. I am incredibly proud of the team, our commitment to redemption, and our commitment to improvement.”

The Wolverine’s 12-5 victory over Sacred Heart in the final capped off their record at 7-1. They are set to play in the South Coast Tournament starting Sept. 20. Players on the team are hopeful for this upcoming season.

“I hope to ride this wave of success and commitment further into the season,” Maloney said.

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