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Bruno opens season hosting Fall Classic this weekend

After losing six seniors, the squad hopes to exceed last season’s success with high hopes for first-years

The men’s water polo season kicks off this weekend at the Katherine Moran Coleman Aquatics Center, where the squad will host eight teams from across the nation in the Bruno Fall Classic. The Bears will face off Saturday against the Stanford University Cardinals and the Harvard Crimson and will compete Sunday against the University of California at Irvine Anteaters and the Washington and Jefferson College Presidents.

“It is an incredible opportunity for us, especially at home,” said Head Coach Felix Mercado. “Doesn’t matter who we play — we are going to try to win each game. Our goal stays the same.”

Next weekend, the team will host the Bruno Fall Invitational, when the Bears will take on the Navy Midshipmen, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Engineers and three other teams.

“The home advantage is absolutely huge — in years past, we have had to travel a lot to play these sorts of matches,” said James McNamara ’14. “This will make a big difference.”

Rematches against Harvard and MIT in Cambridge, Mass. will close out the month of September.

With the departure of six seniors, the squad will need to focus more on speed, McNamara said. Every returning player will need to fulfill a new role, he added.

There are also high hopes for the five first-years who will join the Bears, Mercado said.

“These freshmen are going to play big,” Mercado said, and “fill in the hole that was left by the seniors.”

Last season, the squad finished fifth with a 29-4 record at the Collegiate Water Polo Association Eastern Championship after a loss to Princeton. Despite last season’s successes, the squad hopes to continue improving, McNamara said.

“It’s all about Eastern Championships,” he said. “We need to win where it counts.”

“Great team, great chemistry — I love coaching this team,” Mercado said. “Every day is better and better.”



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