Led by Head Coach Erik Healy, Loyola’s varsity water polo team concluded their regular season and turned its focus to the CIF playoffs.
The first CIF tournament game was against Mater Dei on Thursday, Nov. 2. Senior goalie Randy Mora stopped eight shots from scoring. The team’s defense also stepped up with eight total steals as a unit. Loyola lost to Mater Dei, 6-8.
Senior Co-Captain Alex Lee said, “Our speed is what separated us from the other teams. We had to counter attack well and take advantage of our speed.”
In the CIF Division I Water Polo bracket, the Cubs were seeded the lowest with a first-round matchup against Mater Dei. The matchup was the third time that these teams had faced each other this year.
In the first round of CIF playoffs, the defense for the Cubs totaled 15 steals, their highest number of the season.
The CIF Division I Playoff bracket is a double-elimination tournament, so even after losing to Mater Dei, the Cubs were still in contention in the consolation bracket.
After they lost to Newport Harbor by a score of 5-6, the Cubs moved on to play Santa Margarita. The Cubs beat the Eagles on Tuesday, Nov. 7 in double-overtime 12-11, with 15 steals and 10 saves.
Healy said, “It’s not so much about who we play in the CIF tournament as much as how we play ourselves. One thing that we pride ourselves on is not being worried about the opposition but rather about our team. It’s not about the rankings or who we play, it’s about us just trying to play our best water polo.”
Last night, at press time, the team faced Orange Lutheran at Santiago Canyon College in a game that would decide fifth place in the final CIF Southern Section rankings.