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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Men’s water polo takes second in tournament

    Arizona mens water polo driver Louis Wills, left, launches a ball down the pool during the Wildcats 19-6 win over Old Pueblo Sunday at the Student Recreation Center. The team finished second place in the tournament at the Rec Center and will have its conference championships there Nov. 1-2.
    Arizona men’s water polo driver Louis Wills, left, launches a ball down the pool during the Wildcats’ 19-6 win over Old Pueblo Sunday at the Student Recreation Center. The team finished second place in the tournament at the Rec Center and will have its conference championships there Nov. 1-2.

    Their opponents came in all shapes and sizes, but the bottom line of this weekend’s men’s water polo tournament boiled down to one factor: preparation.

    The Arizona men’s water polo club team finished in second place in the weekend’s tournament with a close 10-9 loss in the championship game Sunday at the Student Recreation Center.

    The Wildcats finished the tournament with a 3-1 record against a field of older, more experienced masters teams, which typically consist of former college players.

    “”I think it’s important to play with teams at different levels, especially teams older with more experience,”” said first-year coach Chris Vandenberg. “”Our team tends to rely more on speed. We also have to deal with the fact that we’re not as experienced as them.””

    Arizona rattled off three consecutive goals against team Vegas Henderson to close the deficit to one score after previously trailing 10-6, but it couldn’t find the equalizer.

    In his role of player-coach, Vandenberg led the team against a bigger, more physical squad and that experience will help prepare the Wildcats for their conference championships on Nov. 1 and 2, also at the Rec Center.

    “”That’s what happens when you make mistakes against smart teams – they beat you,”” said teammate Alex Negronida. “”That’s why we want to invite these guys every year and play them so we get that extra experience.

    “”This tournament (was) mostly just for us to get in, have fun and work on stuff,”” Negronida added. “”It kind of gives us a different style of play.””

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