Men’s water polo looks to make waves and wins

Sage Zbinden | Tommy Lotero, sophomore undeclared, reaches his arms out before the ball bounces off the surface of the water and enters the goal.

California Baptist University men’s water polo team is done with their summer preparations and is now ready to take on the new season.

For the team, the season started on Sept. 1. Before their first game, players went through two weeks consisting of six-hour practices every day.

“It’s a time where there’s no school and we don’t have games so we were able to practice pretty hard,” said Kevin Rosa, head coach of men’s water polo.

During “welcome back week” the team worked on every aspect of its game.

“We’re focused on everything.” Rosa said. “We’re swimming in the pool, working hard in the weight room with our strength and conditioning program, and also our skills.”

With new freshmen coming in the team had aslo been working on its team chemistry.

“We’re getting our new freshmen in so we’re learning more about each other, how we play, and build in our team chemistry.” said Tanner Shore, senior international business major and utility.

Unlike most of the other sports, the Western Athletic Conference does not have water polo. Similar to past seasons, the water polo team will still compete in the Western Water Polo Association.

Despite playing in the same conference against familiar opponents, team members said they are determined to work harder as a Division-I school.

“We play tough teams but we know that the expectations can be a little bit higher so we know that we need to work hard,” Rosa said.

“We’ve been working a little bit harder. We’ve been playing D-I teams since the program started for the summer,” said Tommy Lotero, sophomore undeclared major and goalie.

Rosa said he expects a lot of points to come from Shore, and Dominick Navarez, junior kinesiology major and driver. On defense, Kyle Johnson, junior business administration major and two-meter, is expected to anchor for the Lancers.

“We do have that (scoring) job, but this year there’s going to be a lot of guys doing that role (of scoring) as well,” Shore said. “Hopefully it’s going to be spread out more. It’s always nice to put a few in, but I definitely think that the whole team would be contributing.”

The team is coming into the season strong and motivated to finish atop the WWPA. The Lancers opened the season on Sept. 1, going 2-2 against opponents at the two-day Triton Invitational.

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