Led by head coach Erik Healy, Loyola’s varsity water polo team started their season with a 5-4 record and is currently ranked 9th in CIF Southern Section Divisions 1 and 2 combined.
Previewing the 2017-2018 season for the Cubs, Coach Healy said, “I think this will be a great season for Loyola’s water polo team. We have smarter, more athletic players than last season. We coaches train our players year-round to prepare for the fall season, which is, I think, our advantage over other teams. I think we have the ability to win the CIF Division 1 Championship this year, and we can achieve this by growing every day in practice and games.”
In the first round of the Santa Barbara tournament, Loyola defeated Redlands East Valley on Sept. 8, doubling the Wildcats’ score, 8-4.
On the same day, the Cubs fell to Mater Dei by a score of 8-13 in the second round. In the third round, Loyola defeated Agoura 6-4 on Sept. 9.
Later that day in the Cubs’ final game of the Santa Barbara tournament, the varsity water polo team fell by a goal with a final score of 9-10 to Santa Margarita. Loyola’s record in the tournament was 2-2, exiting in fifth place.
Co-captain Alex Lee said that Loyola’s speed sets it apart from other teams. “We are one of the fastest teams in C.I.F. and that is due to our work in the pool. Coach Schaeffer has designed a special training program for us and we are beginning to notice the results of this, especially in the third and fourth quarter as the other teams begin to tire out,” said Lee.
Following Loyola’s performance in the Santa Barbara tournament, Healy said, “One thing that I have changed is a lighter practice schedule. In the past, we may have trained the guys too hard and they were not fresh enough for games. We will try to improve on that this season.”
Loyola defeated Miramonte on September 16 with a final score of 9-4. The Cubs shut down their opponents in the 2nd quarter, scoring 4 unanswered goals.
On Sept. 22, Loyola traveled to Costa Mesa High School to play in the the South Coast tournament. Loyola started off the tournament with two wins, defeating Costa Mesa by a score of 23-11 and Agoura 8-6. In the quarterfinals Loyola lost to Orange Lutheran by a final score 8-7.
Loyola then traveled to Newport Harbor High School to continue the tournament, where they fell to Harvard-Westlake 8-9 in overtime. The one goal loss was their slimmest margin of the tournament. In their final game of the South Coast tournament, the Cubs beat Foothill by a score of 10-7 to secure 7th place overall.
Alex Lee said he was confident about this season.
“I think this year can be very successful. Although we have lost some close games to very good teams, our losses are only results of some of our mistakes. As well as missing a few starters, I think we will only continue to improve as the season goes on,” Lee said. “Our defense is what will win us the championship this year.”
On Sept. 26 the Cubs traveled to San Fernando Regional Pool to face Crespi. The Cubs opened their Mission League season with a 22-2 victory over Crespi.
Tonight, the Varsity Water Polo team travels to Cathedral.