(Riverside, CA) With one of its best offensive seasons in years, the 2019 season came to an end at the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Southern California Championships for the Mt. SAC Men's Water Polo team.
The Mounties finished 20-6 overall and were the third seed in the So Cal's and lost a tightly contested battle to L.A. Valley, 12-11, in the opening game which was held at Long Beach City College Friday (Nov. 15).
"This game was another great experience for the team," Mt. SAC Men's Water Polo Head Coach Marc Ruh replied. "I think we did a strong job defensively and executed that game plan 75-80% of the time. When we didn't, they scored on us.
"Offensively, we had earned plenty of chances to win that game, but just fell short. It was not our best showing, but (I am) proud of the effort."
Sixth seeded L. A. Valley was last seasons CCCAA State Championship runner-up.
"LA Valley is a really good team and they did a great job taking advantage of our miscues," Ruh added. "They have a lot of talent!! They earned that one for sure."
Ian Tauer (1 goal) led the Mounties with four steals.
By the three minute mark in the first quarter, the Mounties jumped out to a 3-0 lead from goals by Barker, Knapp and Brokaw. By the end of the first half the Monarchs had turned the tables and to lead, 7-5.
Mt. SAC never led the rest of the way, but with 2:02 remaining in the game Barker scored an even-strength goal, to trail 12-11.
Green had a chance at a tying goal in the last seconds of the game, but a field block by the Monarchs ended Mt. SAC's chance to advance in the So Cal Championship's.
The Mounties goal production of 408 goals was a highlight of the Mounties 26-game season. That mark placed them fifth in the state and was the most by Mt. SAC since the 2016 season when they scorched the nets for a state-leading 486 goals.
Tauer and Brandon Shew led the Mounties with 54 goals each.
Defensively, the Mounties were tops in steals with 556, a whopping 162 by next the nearest team in the state.
Justin Wakefield leads the state with 87 steals, followed by Shew (61), Green (46) and Tauer (44).
Goalie Andres Mercado was second in the state with a 60.7 save percentage and third in wins with 19.
Follow Mt. SAC Men's Water Polo on twitter @mtsacaquatics
For additional information, please contact the Mt. SAC Sports Information Office at 909.274.4630.