Men’s water polo season opens with tough competition

[Hannah Tamimi | Banner] Jonathan Lotero (left), junior architecture major and 2-meter player, attempts to knock down a pass by Kyle Rasmussen, freshman health science major and 2-meter player, in a scrimmage.
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After a fourth-place finish in the Western Water Polo Association last season, the men’s water polo team at California Baptist University looks to carry the momentum from last season’s finish into the new year.

Opening against the nation’s toughest competitors in the Triton Invitational Sept. 3, the team came out to showcase their talent. Though the Lancers suffered two losses on the day, 3-16 against the University of Southern California and 4-14 against the University of California, Los Angeles, Kevin Rosa, head coach, said he is optimistic about the rest of
the season.

“We expect to compete this season,” Rosa said. “We expect to improve from day to day. Our first five out of 11 games are against top 10-ranked teams in the nation. There will be games where we do well and games where we don’t do as well as we want, but the goal is to improve every day.”

Joseph Moorman, senior psychology major and goalie, said despite the losses, the team showcased many positive aspects of their game.

“The games showed us we can run a press defense and drop defense well against the top two offenses in the nation,” Moorman said. “We gained some confidence. We have never played those teams as intensely as we did this year.”

With 14 returners, the team’s chemistry has flowed well over the summer season and into the current season. Out of the 24-man roster, 10 newcomers have added depth to the team’s already competitive spirit. Rosa said with the mix of old and new, leadership roles have developed and the team’s abilities have stretched across the board.

“We have a good mix of speed and size,” Rosa said. “Going against top 10 teams, we just have to be as best as we can be. It’s early in the season and we want to put our best game
out there.”

Moorman said the team is already showing its speed.

“Our reactions and transitions are faster, and we seem to be communicating a lot better,” Moorman said.

The next round of games begins Sept. 9-10 at Princeton University in the Princeton Tournament, which will present the team an opportunity for improvement.

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