Water Polo teams look to make a splash this season

College girls in high cut bathing suits and nearly naked college guys in speedos, both yelling and throwing around what can only be described as a floating soccer ball. They may look harmless at first, but don’t let the uniforms deceive you, they are Warriors.

To most of us, ‘egg beating’ means forking a bowl of eggs until your arm falls off, but in the pool, it’s a term used when the swimmers rotates their legs in opposite directions to stay treading water. What seems to be a fairly easy concept is actually one of those things that is harder than it looks. Not only are they beating the water with their legs to stay afloat, they throw around the ball with such ease, as if on a dry court, and the goalie net is something you wouldn’t want to be standing in front of.

Corey Stanbury, coach to both the men’s and women’s water polo teams, explains that the game of water polo is a combination of swimming, basketball, and WWF. “It’s an intense sport that requires a lot of strength and teamwork,” Stanbury said.

This coming season looks to be a transition period for the women’s team while it introduces some new members to the program.

“This season’s women’s team is full of fresh faces and a lot of potential,” Stanbury said. “We graduated a lot of people from last season, so we are replacing quite a few of our starters. Some of our best incoming freshmen are Alexis Ivans (West High School), Lauren Gottschalk (Torrance High School), Cambria Serrano (West High School) who will be taking up the goalie duties.”

Stanbury said that some better players this season include Arlene Alvarado (Jackie Robinson HS) and Lynsey Alabab (South High School).

Stanbury said that it’s hard to know what to expect from the women’s team this season due to the large number of freshmen. The team will get a preview when it travels to Los Angeles Trade Tech September 18.

“What we’re going to do is take a whole lot of freshmen and mix them in, see if we can get them to play the same kind of water polo,” Stanbury said.

“The majority of the players haven’t really played a 2-meter position, so we’re trying to teach people to do things a little bit differently then they have done in high school. I’m trying to break them out of their mold.”

Stanbury said that although they are missing strong players from the previous season, some of the stronger players this season are actually the incoming freshmen, which is promising for this season and next.

“It’s hard to see what the other teams are going to have, I’m just gonna try to have a goal of finishing,” Stanbury said. “Try to finish in the top half of the conference that would be awesome. That will require a lot of work.”

Unlike the women’s team, the men’s water polo team has a number of returning players, along with a handful of very fast newcomers.  Stanbury says that this season’s team is very different from the last, but more importantly, these guys know and understand what they’re doing when it comes to water polo.

“We should be able to play some good ball, and that’s what I’d be happy with. I think we can do some things that we weren’t able to do last year. We got a couple of guys with some real
speed,” Stanbury said. “Last year, we had a couple of guys that could do a really great job at setting and stuff like that. This year’s group has more speed. We’ll see what we can do about translating that into winning a few more games.”

Stanbury said that maybe eight games or so (last year) the Warriors were down a mere goal or two. He plans to change things up and take it to the top of the conference.

“The men’s team graduated some good people also, but our top two goal keepers are the same as last year. We are returning some very good players, Stanbury said. “Devin
Sanchez (Torrance High School), Adam Rudow (Redondo Union High School), Skyler Ulrich (Redondo Union High School), and we’ve picked up some good incoming people like Maurice McCoy (Venice High School) and Ashton De Rojas (Redondo HS). Also, returning to goalie are Filip Kostic (South HS) and Tanner Castro (Torrance HS). We’ve returned four starters
off of last year’s team, so that’s not bad.”

Along with the strong team that Stanbury expects to bring out, they also see Jon Diaz who has picked up the game fairly quickly and is a very fast swimmer.

With the first game of the season just around the corner, the returning players clearly remember the previous game against Fullerton College and are fully aware of their dirty ways.

Although what happened under the water may have gone unnoticed to the crowd, the players didn’t forget and look forward to redemption.

“They’ll grab you, punch you, stuff like that,” Castro said. “It’s all under water so you can’t see it.”

Coach Stanbury is expecting this upcoming game to be one to watch. Last year’s game was a close one with only one goal separating the teams.