The varsity water polo Cubs are preparing for the upcoming season and looking to build on last year’s campaign.
The 2014-15 team had a successful season with a regular season record of 20-6. During the first round of CIF Playoffs, the Cubs beat Northwood High School with a score of 14-6. The players then battled hard against Huntington Beach in the CIF Quarterfinals but ended up losing 7-8.
Last year’s team was very young with only three seniors that have since graduated. Many of the water polo Cubs this year have played two or more seasons together and have experience in the big match-ups against top ranked Mater Dei and Harvard-Westlake.
Head Coach Erik Healy commented on the role of this year’s players as he said, “This [year’s] roster is predominantly upperclassmen. We have a large group of seniors with experience that are taking a leadership role on this team. Most of these guys have been on varsity for three years and understand what we need to do to be successful.”
Senior driver Armen Deirmenjian added by examining his role on the team, “I plan on leading the team throughout the season by being the type of person my teammates can look up to and trust in and out of the pool.”
With players that can adjust to different positions in the pool, Healy has a lot of talent at his disposal. According to senior starting goalkeeper Will Rubschlager, one of the team’s greatest strengths is its “deep bench.” Players off the bench can give the starters a chance to rest while giving the same effort in the pool.
Unlike some other top competitors in the Mission League, such as Harvard-Westlake, the Cubs play for different water polo clubs in the off-season. Senior utility player Giacomo Lovatelli said, “The biggest disadvantage of not playing on the same club team in the off-season is that we aren’t as familiar with each other’s playing styles as we could be.” To make up for the lost practice time together during the off-season, the players use the summertime to rebuild team chemistry by playing in tournaments on the weekends and practicing during the week.
Healy said, “The mentality and intensity have been great. [The players] are working very hard and are really committed to the team and the training; in addition, the players understand the sacrifices they will have to make if they want to be the best.”
Deirmenjian said, “The goals for the team are to win CIF and Mission League.”
With these objectives in mind, the players are hungry for wins and are ready to come out strong this season.
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