Boys’ water polo prepares for CCS despite broken pool heaters

October 29, 2019 — by Jonathan Li

With a winning season coming to a close, the boys’ water polo team is looking to win the El Camino League and move on to CCS, though they’re having to overcome some unexpected obstacles. 

The boys beat Cupertino 14-9 on Oct. 15, Fremont 12-8 on Oct. 22, Santa Clara 13-12 on Oct. 24. They lost to Harker 10-9 on Oct. 17. With a 12-2 record in the regular season, they are seeded first in their league, having only lost to Santa Clara and Harker going into the league playoffs starting on Oct. 28. 

In preparation for the postseason, the boys are focusing more on improving their individual game and their team plays so that they’ll be ready for the more competitive teams in CCS rounds. However, after the pool-heating boilers broke down on Oct 13, the boys are unable to practice or play at their home pool for the rest of the season.

“It's definitely a hindrance to our season,” sophomore attacker Marcus Kuo said. “We couldn't play in our pool for two home games, but we were fortunate enough to secure a practice time at West Valley College.”

The boys had to hold their senior night at Monta Vista High School, where they played against Santa Clara on Oct. 24. Though the boys were behind for most of the game until the last quarter, they managed to pull ahead for a 13-12 win. 

“Our overall team chemistry is improving and with each practice we are patching up individual mistakes that previously cost games,” sophomore point Chris Wu said. “I know we can [finish first] and go to CCS.”

Senior co-captain Eng Kwa is a little less confident. 

“We can’t get comfortable where we’re at right now,” Kwa said. “I think we have a good chance of making it to CCS, but we will face some of our toughest competition at leagues as other teams will be stepping up and fighting for that top spot.”

Kwa sees the league playoffs as a good time to show the team’s growth throughout the season.

“We are definitely prepared to take what we learned and take our game to the next level,” Kwa said.

Since the season opened in early August, coach Jerome Chung has been vigorously conditioning and preparing the team for upper-level, more physical play, implementing fundamental movements early on and slowly adding complexity throughout the season. 

“I’m excited to finish out the season strong and am looking forward to next year’s team,” Kuo said.

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