The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

Boys’ water polo places second in tournament

Printed with permission of Dave Touloumian
ON THE OFFENSIVE: Attacker Alex Heenan ’24 works a one-man zone with Center Otto Stothart ’25 in a semifinal game against Newport Harbor High School in the annual South Coast Tournament. Following a 12-9 win against Newport, the team lost 14-7 to JSerra Catholic High School in the finals.

The varsity boys’ water polo team earned second place in the South Coast Tournament hosted by Newport Harbor High School Sept. 14-17. The team defeated Newport Harbor High School 12-9 in the semifinals and lost to JSerra Catholic High School 14-7 in the finals. The team moves to an overall record of 7-3 with a league record of 4-0.

Water Polo Program Head Jack Grover said the team’s defensive coordination was excellent against Newport Harbor.

“If you watch the Newport game, especially in the first quarter, our defenses were so well organized and ran,” Grover said. “The communication was great, people were arriving to balls, stair-stepping to players, and that extra effort was really made in that game to make [Newport Harbor] have to think and make decisions. The way that we moved on the perimeter on offense against Newport was excellent.”

Grover said staying controlled while maintaining intensity was a challenge against JSerra.

“If you’re not playing clean or controlled, but still energetic at the same time, it’s really hard to beat [JSerra],” Grover said. “The word I like to use is ‘composed’ because you don’t want to play relaxed against a team like [JSerra]. We want to play with composed energy where the energy is still there.”

Grover said the team is moving in a positive direction despite not winning the tournament.

“Our improvement as a team isn’t perfectly linear,” Grover said. “It isn’t a straight line. Sometimes you take four steps forward and one step back. Our overall trajectory from the entire tournament was very far forward.”

Collin Caras ’25 said the success of the team depends on contributions from every player on the roster.

“We’ve discussed how [any person] on the team is just as important as [the next],” Caras said. “For example, bench players need to be doing their role, but that role is just as important for people in the pool. If we work together in unison, we’ll be unstoppable. Our strength is in the depth of our team, and opposing teams will be tired by the amount of players that we have that can go in and bring energy.”

Caras said having consistency in practice is crucial, especially during the midst of the season.

“We need to be winning each individual training every single day,” Caras said. “Every training is just as important as another training. We can’t have bad days and we need to have good days consistently if we want to be the best.”

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