WHS water polo takes surprising defeat from NPHS

WHS boys varsity water polo lost to Newbury Park High School 12-8 in their final home game of Marmonte league in Oct. 19. This was a shocking loss, since they beat NPHS by 12 points on Oct. 3.

This loss was more devastating because winning would have secured a spot in CIF playoffs.

“We really pride ourselves on defense, and our defense was breaking down a lot,” said head coach Mike Arteaga. “Newbury could score from wherever they wanted to.”

The team made some mistakes during the game, causing WHS to fall back by four points in the final quarter. NPHS started off hot, scoring three consecutive points shooting in the same position in the first quarter.

“It was a surprising first quarter and they hit us pretty hard,” said hole set and co-captain Tristan Bowman ‘18. “We started to crumble after that,”

The assumption that NPHS was going to be an easy win created an over-confident mindset that distracted the players from the game.

“We had bad passing, we were were lacking in our fundamentals, so we started making very simple easy mistake that we shouldn’t have,” said Bowman.

However, not all hope is lost, as WHS has another chance to win a tiebreaker that would allow them to qualify for CIF playoffs.

“Newbury Park, Thousand Oaks, and Westlake are fighting for the third spot, with the third spot going to CIF,” said set defense and co-captain Hunter Friedl ‘18.

This tiebreaker game will take place after NPHS and TOHS play each other on Wed., Oct. 25 and attacker Zachary Frazier ‘21 plans to rebound at that game.

“I’m going to look forward to coming back and beating them if we play them again so we can make it to CIF,” said Frazier.

WHS’s next game is at Oaks Christian, who has a current league record of 5-0, on Oct. 25 at 3:15 p.m.

“They’re a pretty good team,” said Arteaga. “They beat us pretty handily, so we’re going to give them the best game that we can and we’ll see where the results go.”

Oaks took the Division III CIF title last year and is a favorite to win the Marmonte League title over previous title holder Agoura.

“In preparation for Oaks, [we] need to focus on defense, focus on not letting them get the ball in the goal,” said Friedl.

It is necessary for the team to come together and work as one; that way, they can play to their full potential and make it to CIF.

“It’s a team sport, so we can’t rely on one person to score all the goals,” said Friedl. “We can’t rely on one person to play all the defense, we have to all work as a team.”

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