The University of La Verne men’s water polo team defeated Caltech, 19-6, Wednesday at the La Verne Aquatics Center.
Although the team came away with a win, head coach Tim Hugar felt that there was some room for improvement.
“I think we played a little sloppy and a little sluggish, not as clean as we’re capable of playing,” Hugar said. “We were ejected too many times, we were too grabby and we played heavy.”
Despite the large margin of victory in a conference match, the feeling that the Leopards did not play up to their potential was felt throughout the team.
“We all know that we grabbed a lot and didn’t play as well as we should have,” sophomore two-meter Duncan Cox said.
ULV’s defense came up big again, holding their opponent to no more than seven goals for the third straight game. However, players on the team still were not happy with the team’s performance.
“We didn’t play our defense and had a lot of kick outs which came to Caltech’s advantage,” sophomore utility Anthony Hernandez said.
There were some positive aspects to the game that were found among the team.
“We played hard and gave our bench a chance to step up and see what they can do,” Hernandez said.
The Leopards defeated an improved Cal Lutheran squad in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opener, 11-7, Saturday in Thousand Oaks.
The Leopards took an early 2-0 lead but had to fight back from a deficit in the second quarter to take the lead into halftime.
“Cal Lu was a pretty good game for us, we were able to create a separation and let a lot of our guys play,” Hugar said. “We were much more active in that game.”
Hernandez said the team felt it was a good game to start their SCIAC stretch, especially with a win.
“Although we started out slow, we picked it up and played our kind of water polo,” Cox said.
The Leopards are ranked sixth in the latest Division III poll and will battle Whittier, last year’s SCIAC champion, at 11 a.m., tomorrow at Whittier.
Both Cox and Hernandez noted how difficult the Whittier game will be but are confident going in because of the hard work the team is putting in during practice.
“We are not going to change anything different,” Hugar said. “We are going to play our style of ball.”
Mike Senyo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.