Boys water polo: Team loses 20-8 to Gunn High School

Back to Article
Back to Article

Boys water polo: Team loses 20-8 to Gunn High School

Malini Ramaiyer

The boys water polo team lost 20-8 to Gunn High School in its second league game last Thursday, Sept. 25. The Matadors came into the game knowing it would be a challenge as GHS placed fourth in CCS last season.

With GHS scoring frequently and defending aggressively, the game started off quickly. Ninety seconds into the game, GHS scored its first goal. Three minutes later came another. Four minutes later MVHS scored, but the game was 3-1 in the fifth minute when GHS scored again.

Offense leaders seniors Patrick Duffy and Anup Sankarraman often found the GHS defense in their faces as they tried to get the ball to the opposite side. Once MVHS was on offense, however, the players were too hesitant to attempt shots — they waited too long and consequentially shot too late. Duffy explained that instead of passing and playing strategically, MVHS nervously held possession until GHS inevitably intercepted.

DSC_0619

Senior Andrew Yadegar passes to Senior Anup Sankarraman towards the end of the second half. The Matadors rarely passed to each other due to a lack of communication throughout the game. Photographed by Malini Ramaiyer.

“[Passing] is not a problem that we can’t fix,” Duffy said, “but it’s still a problem.”

By the second quarter, the score was 10-4. GHS was relentless on goalie junior Abhinav Patel, who was left alone to defend the goal because the Matador defense failed to fall back fast enough. Though MVHS did centralize defense occasionally, it wasn’t consistent enough to keep GHS from continually scoring. With a large gap between the shooter and the goal, Patel was forced to pull forward to defend and ended up leaving the goal wide open for quick shots.

Coach Ben Vierra explained that these errors resulted from a lack of team communication and effort. According to Vierra, the team knew it would be a tough game, but failed to work together to meet the challenge. He recognized sophomore Spencer Springsteel for scoring key goals and being consistent in his defense. Throughout the game, Springsteel played for the team rather than an individual.

“There should be no egos,” Vierra said. “Just playing together. They failed to do so this game.”

Along with Duffy and Vierra, senior Akshay Goyal believed that the team lost its connection, and that the players should have been able to anticipate each other’s moves. For example, Goyal knows that sophomore Pranav Madhanahalli’s eyes go wide when he is ready to shoot. Knowing of and responding to these habits would have made the team stronger this game.

In the second half, the game was at 12-4. GHS never stopped its shots, while MVHS continued to defended inconsistently and hesitate on offense. With a few more goals put in by Duffy and Sankarraman, the game ended at 20 – 8.

“We had a few moments, but it had to be the whole game.” Goyal said. “We’re still solid as a whole, we just had a tough time this game.”

The next home game is on Tuesday, Oct. 7 against Gunn High School.