By LUKE CURTIS
UHS’s boys water polo capped off a spectacular weekend with a strong outing in the Long Beach Polytechnic Tourney from August 30 to the 31st. The team finished with a dominant 3-2 record, with wins over Millikan, Chadwick, and Edison high schools to end the strong outing.
Boys Water Polo began the tournament with an explosive 13-9 win over Millikan.
An impressive overall 4-2 record this year encapsulates the team’s strong ability to play on both sides of the ball effectively.
With tough scheduled matchups against several Division 3 schools, both players and Coach Jesse Briggs found that the teams defense played an integral role in the ability to stay competitive during the games.
“Our team is starting to play better team defense, we’re guarding more of the frontcourt, which is making it harder for other teams to score.” Coach Briggs said.
Team defense came up crucial in an exhilarating match against Edison with an 8-7 win.
“Our defense really helped us win the game against Edison. We were able to all play together well, and this allowed us to shut them down for most of the game,” junior Stewart Campbell said.
UHS’s defense was especially able to create momentum by guarding the set position effectively near the goal.
“We were crashing down really quick onto set (pursuing set) whenever they got the ball, since we gapped our guys on the outside of set, and then we got onto them.” junior Pravir Gurukar said.
Coach Briggs also showed optimism on how the team could improve to become more effective in their upcoming league games.
“We need to be much better on our defense, we need to continue to improve on it; on our offense, we need to get our other guys more involved. We have two very strong left handers (junior Matthew Wallin and Campbell), the other teams tend to double team them. Confidence needs to be built between all teammates, moving and actively being engaged in play to be able to shoot better and make plays,” Coach Briggs said.
According to Coach Briggs, the team will continue to refine chemistry and create confidence.
“One thing that will really make a difference is our goalies, some being relatively new at the position. If we can accomplish this, it’ll be a game changer or two by the end of season,” Coach Briggs said.
The Trojans’ Boys Water Polo team will continue forward with an upcoming game at Mission Viejo on the 9th of September.