Men’s water polo continues dominance into new year

Bears build on last season's successes, knock off three teams in weekend tournament play

Sports Staff Writer
Monday, September 8, 2014

The men’s water polo team started off its 2014-15 campaign in a rewarding fashion, collecting a well-earned 13-11 win over Diablo Valley College at the Princeton Invitational Saturday. Though menacing weather prevented Bruno (3-0) from competing in its two other scheduled matches that day, the second day’s matches against Bucknell University (0-2) and Johns Hopkins University (1-2) were equally successful, resulting in 11-6 and 20-18 wins for the Bears.

Men’s water polo has been historically dominant, most recently finishing with a 23-13 (8-5 CWPA) record. The squad’s banner year came in 2012, when it went undefeated in conference play, a level of competition the players will be looking to emulate this year. The team graduated five seniors last year — four on attack and one goalkeeper — but seem to be reloading instead of rebuilding this year, especially with an impressive rookie class. Henry Fox ’15 returns after a standout last season in which he earned All-American and CWPA Northern Divison First Team honors.

Against the Vikings of Diablo Valley, the Bears traded a slim lead back and forth with their opponents. After leading by a one-goal margin in the first period, Bruno lost the advantage in the second, allowing the Vikings to tie it up at five. Brown responded by rallying in the third, producing five goals to give them a lead they would maintain until the final buzzer. Will Klein ’16 led the crusade against the Vikings, netting a total of four goals in the victory.

“After two weeks of tough preseason training, it was great to play a few legitimate teams and see our team play together for the first time,” said Nick Deaver ’15, who said he remembers the undefeated 2012 team well.

Looking to avenge last season’s 9-8 loss to Bucknell in the CWPA Eastern Championships, the Bears faced the Bisons with revenge in mind. Bruno proved its merits in the pool, beating Bucknell by a sizable five-goal margin. Klein put his offensive prowess on display yet again, notching a hat trick for Bruno. The Bears stayed neck and neck with the Bisons throughout the early stages of play, but outpaced Bucknell by netting three more goals in the second half to seal the win.

The Blue Jays were a tougher opponent, but the Bears still managed to come out on top. Neither team could gain an advantage in the high-scoring regulation, trading blows on their way to a 17-17 score at the end of the fourth. But the Bears pulled ahead in overtime as Fox scored his sixth goal of the game, and Deaver completed a hat trick in the extra time. Warren Smith ’17 also contributed to the overtime campaign, and Yahel Murvitz-Lahav ’17 earned his own hat trick during regular play. Klein continued his hot run at the tournament against the Bisons, adding four goals to his total.

“Although we won the three games we played, we still have a lot of work to do,” Deaver said. “I’m excited to see how far we can go this year.”

The Bears will host the Bruno Fall Classic next weekend, during which the team will play six games, including one against conference foe MIT.

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