Men’s Water Polo Prepares for NCS Playoffs

Brian Friel

With the season coming to a close, the Miramonte water polo team is making a final charge towards the playoffs. Despite their tough loss to league rival Acalanes on Oct. 14, the Mats clinched the second seed in NCS with a strong record of 19-4.

“We were hoping for the second seed in NCS because of our loss to Acalanes,” said Joey Fabian ‘11.

The Mats showed that they are worthy of the seed with their strong performances at the North vs. South Tournament and the California Memorial State Tournament, where they won ninth and sixth place respectively.The tournaments are widely regarded as two of the most significant events of the season, and featured many of California’s toughest teams.

“Our goal before was to win one of the tournaments, but now we have to set our sights on NCS,” said Teagan Hoover ‘11.

At the North vs. South Tournament, which took place at Menlo Atherton High, the Mats showed a large amount of resilience. After posting a disappointing loss in their first game against Villa Park, they rallied to beat Menlo Atherton, Ventura, and Menlo and win ninth place.

“I think we played well at North vs. South,” said Jonathan Sibley ‘10. “We definitely have some room for improvement though.”

At the State tournament, which took place on Oct. 30-31, the Mats conquered adversity when Sibley, a captain and goalkeeper, suffered an injury before their third game against Bellarmine. Aleck Ryner ‘11 stepped in at goalie to replace Sibley, and recorded 17 saves as the Mats beat Bellarmine 8-5.

“It was awesome to have a lot of other guys step up and beat Bellarmine, which is a really good team,” said Sibley.

With the tournaments behind them, the Mats are now focused on their goal of a fifth straight NCS championship. Due to their high seed, the Mats have a first-round bye in the playoffs, and will face the winner of Clayton Valley and Marin Catholic on Nov. 7 at Miramonte.

“It’ll be a great game,” said Sibley. “We definitely want to get a lot of fans there.”
If the Mats do make the championship game, they will have a home field advantage. The finals, usually played at Campolindo High School, are now being played here at Miramonte.

“It will be a huge advantage for us if we make the finals. We are comfortable playing here and we will be ready to play,” said Nick Deaver ‘11.

To get to the finals, the team will likely have to go through De La Salle, and either Las Lomas or rival Campolindo.

If the strong play continues, another NCS championship could be in the cards for the Mats.