Weekend tournament showcases team’s defensive adaptability

Whistles and cheers could be heard coming from the Lancer Aquatic Center at California Baptist University on the  Oct. 9, weekend of as the men’s water polo team hosted its first and only home invitational of the season, in which they finished the weekend with a 3-1 record.

CBU opened the tournament against Citrus College and fell to the Owls 15-13. The Owls jumped on an early 5-2 lead in the first quarter and their energy continued to flourish. The Lancers managed to battle back with the Owls, but fell short.

Joey Moorman, junior healthcare administration major and goalkeeper for the team, said  the loss was a wake-up call for the team, making them realize the adjustments they needed to take to finish out the weekend.

“The game stunned us a little bit,” Moorman said. “The loss made us adjust and it showed in the rest of the weekend.”

The team finished out the weekend successful with wins over California Lutheran University, 19-6, Whittier College, 15-4, and the University of La Verne, 19-13.

Kevin Rosa, head coach of the men’s water polo team, said the team made major adjustments on its defensive end.

“(Defense is) where it changed. Obviously we scored six goals, but we scored a lot in the first half, too,” Rosa said in a press release. “When we play our best is when we’re locking down on defense because it leads into us getting good looks on counter attacks.”

Tucker Angelo, sophomore accounting major and utility player, finished the weekend with 11 goals and said the offense only worked because of the defensive efforts of the team.

“It helped getting stops on defense,” Angelo said. “We worked well as a team on defense. I was able to get some great passes from teammates and put some shots away.”

Moorman said although he experienced a tough weekend himself, the team picked up the morale and carried one another throughout the weekend.

“Overall, it was a team effort,” Moorman said. “We got on the same page defensively and finally clicked on our man-up offense. We really realized what we needed to do. It’s a lot easier to play when everyone is on the same page.”

Since the tournament, the team has been on a two-week hiatus, practicing daily to prepare for its upcoming game and tournament in Santa Clara, California. The Lancers will take on the Broncos in a WWPA conference game Oct. 22 and will stay in Santa Clara to compete in the Santa Clara Rodeo Oct. 23, which will conclude Oct. 24.

Moorman and Angelo said they both agree the team is ready for the long weekend.

“We’re feeling good about this weekend,” Angelo said. “We had a good week of
practice and we’re ready to take that energy into the tournament.”

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