The varsity water polo team begins their season today in the Santa Barbara Tournament. The team, led by head coach Erik Healy, has been preparing for the season since December, a pre-season which ended with a non-scored scrimmage over Mira Costa on Sept. 1.
Following last season’s 21-6 overall record and a 4-0 Mission League record, the team fell short in CIF, losing to Orange Lutheran in the semi-finals on Nov. 5. After a short off-season, the Cubs hit the weight room in December and played club water polo, with many players playing for Trojan Water Polo Club. The team then went into official preparation for the season in the summer, with lifting and practice. In August, the team ramps up preparation, participating in some scrimmages and putting in increased hours.
Following the pre-season, head coach Healy believes that “speed, strength, tenacity, cohesiveness,” and the team’s “never say die attitude” are the team’s strengths. He did not comment on any weaknesses.
On Sept. 1, the Cubs played against Mira Costa in the last scrimmage before the season began.
Commenting on the game, senior Diego Flores said, “While the score wasn’t kept, our scrimmage against Costa was very successful. Working on a new press defense, seeing how it played out against a real opponent was beneficial as coaches and players were able to see its benefits and also areas that needed to be tightened up.”
Today, the Cubs head out to Santa Barbara for the first tournament and competitive play of the season.
Healy said, “The Santa Barbara Tournament is a great way for us to start the season. [It’s] four competitive games against California’s best teams. Its also a way for us to get a team trip together right before at the beginning of the season, which lets us bond and continue to grow as a unit.”
Flores said, “Going into Santa Barbara we know that tough games are coming our way right off the bat. If we stick to our plan and run everything correctly, this weekend should turn out to be extremely successful as we aim for a highly-ranked finish.”
As the season begins, Healy said, “I am so excited for this season. I think we have a great group that is very selfless and all about the success of the team. This is a very feisty and competitive group.”
Flores said, “The team this year is a very tightly-knit group that get along with each other very well. With various skill levels, every member of the squad is fast, giving us an edge on many other teams. This team has the potential to do very big things this season and, if our plan is executed, the 2017 Loyola Water Polo team will be remembered for years to come.”