Water Polo’s run-up to the S&R Invitational

Jesuit High School’s Varsity Water Polo team is competing in one of California’s most prestigious water polo tournaments this weekend. The S&R Sport Invite begins today, October 5th, in Irvine, Calif.

In the lead up to this weekend’s tournament, the Marauders have played four important league games against Saint Mary’s High School, Rio Americano High School, Franklin High School, and Granite Bay High School.

In the first of these four games, Jesuit suffered a defeat to the Saint Mary’s Rams in triple overtime on September 12th. The final score was 21-20 in a game full of fluctuating emotions.

“There was definitely a lot of pressure to win as the game got longer and longer,” said Joey Cavazos ’19, one of Jesuit’s starters. “I felt like [we] had put too much effort in to simply lose in overtime.”

While Jesuit’s offense was having a stellar night, the defense seemed to have trouble stopping the Rams from scoring.

“What surprised me is how many goals we allowed them to score,” said Joey. “We are a defense-oriented team and allowing them to score 21 goals is unheard of this season.”

The loss left the Marauders feeling a bit sour, and Coach Zack Koerner recognized that big games are won by those who take advantages of their opportunities to score.

“I thought we had plenty of chances to win the game, at that point of the game, and throughout the game,” said Coach Koerner. “Unfortunately, we didn’t finish on our crucial moments, and they did, and that’s how these games are decided.”

The Marauders had another shot at a victory against the Rio Americano Raiders on Sept. 22nd. Thankfully, they were able to correct their defensive mistakes pulling a 13-4 victory.

“Saint Mary’s is a much more competitive team,” said varsity player Thatcher Marshall ’19. “[…] whereas Rio, their talent is more spread out so they are not as deep in their rotation, so we were able to use our defense to our best ability.”

This week the team had two league games versus Franklin and Granite Bay. The result of these games was crucial to the team’s morale going into the tournament. Jesuit was victorious in both games, defeating Franklin 18-3 and Granite Bay 14-4.

“Granite Bay helped us with our motion offense and helped us compete against the physicality they bring,” said Anthony Trolio ‘19, another varsity player. “We were also able to practice our defense […] the Franklin game helped give our less experienced guys more experience.”

The S&R Invite this weekend will be exciting, as the team knows that the competition is bigger and better. Even though they’ve done well in the past, the players hope they can do better this year. Last year, they placed seventh overall, and they hope to place better this time.

“I feel like we are ready,” said Thatcher. “Playing polo in SoCal is much different than playing in NorCal because there are some more power house teams and the style of play is a bit different,” said Thatcher.

The team has great expectations for the S&R Invite this weekend, and considering the results of the past four games, the Marauders will be playing with confidence.