Playoff recap: Boys’ water polo suffers season-ending loss vs. Buena Park, 9-6

Nick Zoll

On Saturday, Nov. 4, the varsity boys’ water polo team saw their season come to an end. They suffered a 9-6 loss at the hands of the Coyotes of Buena Park High School in the quarterfinals of the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Division VI playoffs.

Although the loss is not what the team was hoping for, the numbers provide an optimistic outlook on the 2017 season. Last year, the Dragons failed to win 25 percent of their total games played, with a .214 winning percentage (including a .100 winning percentage in league play). This year, the team posted a .677 winning percentage overall, including their .583 winning percentage against league competition.

It doesn’t require much analysis to observe the massive improvement that the team has made over the span of one year. Raising their overall winning percentage by about 46 points and their league mark by 58 points are statistics that truly describe the upward trend of the program.

Although Alex Abele, Devon Pennington, Richie Brandi, Garrett Mann, Nico Parker, Andres Coppa and Michael Aguilar are set to depart this summer to graduate as part of the Class of 2018, young talent can still be found on the Dragons’ roster. Nikolai Haines ‘20 and Zion Denzel ‘19, two starters during the 2017 season, will be returning, as well as the incoming Class of 2022 to help fill the empty roster spaces. 

Patrick Bello ‘19, a reserve player on this year’s varsity squad, said he is looking forward to the team getting “stronger and faster,” but added that “most of all […] I’m just looking forward to playing with my team.”

What do you think?