Water polo: Boys bounce back after last year’s disappointing season

September 21, 2015 — by Pranav Ahuja and Alex Yang

The boys’ water polo team has begun its season with a 3-1 record and has impressed at every game so far. Finishing with a disappointing 1-15 record last year, the boys are now thriving after moving down to the El Camino League from the more competitive De Anza League.

The boys’ water polo team has begun its season with a 3-1 record and has impressed at every game so far. Finishing with a disappointing 1-15 record last year, the boys are now thriving after moving down to the El Camino League from the more competitive De Anza League.

The Falcons beat Harker 11-10 on Sept. 17, with senior Davis Robertson scoring six goals.

“We have basically the same team as last year, so it’s a great team dynamic when we play and come up with a win like this,” said Robertson.

Robertson said Harker put up a good fight, especially considering the school is not known for its strength in water polo.

Although the team expected to emerge from the game with a larger victory, the boys are happy with the win and hope to learn from their mistakes.

Prior to the Harker game, the boys attended the Schmitt Invitational at Lynbrook High School from Sept. 8-9. There, the Falcons went 2-2. Ultimately, the strong Bellarmine boys’ water polo team prevailed in the tournament, winning for the third consecutive year.

In the tournament, the Falcons beat Robert Louis Stevenson High School 15-8 and Sobrato 8-6 after a slow start. They lost 6-5 to Willow Glen and 10-8 to Monta Vista. Both are teams in the upper league.

Though some of the other teams were “[a lot] better” than the boys, new addition sophomore Ilan Cheraki said, “it was good practice.”

According to Cheraki, one of the team’s weaknesses is its difficulty in maintaining momentum throughout the game.

“We scored a lot during the first half of the game, but then [in the second half], we didn’t really work as much,” Cheraki said.

The team lost at Los Altos 8-3 on Sept. 10.

According to Robertson, Los Altos is a quality team with a strong sports program overall. On Sept. 9, the team battled Half Moon Bay in an extremely close game: The game went double overtime, during which the Falcons rallied and won 10-9. The winning goal was scored by Mason Lee.

Wing player Noah Quanrud said the Falcons have the advantage of having played together for a year but need to play smarter and harder. Although the team has room for improvement, some players have made some great plays so far. Lee and Robertson scored the bulk of the goals, with Lee scoring three goals, including the overtime winning goal against Half-Moon Bay.

“I’m more of the kind of guy who helps back on defense and helps my teammates,” Lee said. “And if they don’t do something, I go up to them and say: next time, try doing [that].”

The boys are preparing for their upcoming games against Homestead on Sept. 29 and Lynbrook on Oct. 6. These two teams are the best in the lower leagues and have always provided a challenge to the Falcons.

“Homestead is probably our biggest rival this year,” senior player Andrew Jiang said. “They went down with us from upper league to lower league. Last year we split our match up with them; we won one game and they won one game. I think they lost a couple players, but we expect them to be pretty good.”

 
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