Men’s water polo earns first 20 wins in the conference

Max Perez

Cerritos and Mt. San Antonio, both undefeated in conference play , battled for the top spot in the conference on Wednesday, Oct 4.

The game proved to be a shootout with the final score being 19-18 in favor of Cerritos.

Cerritos was up 13-10 at half but Mt. SAC was able to claw back into the game and tie it up with one minute left in the fourth quarter.

The game was tied 18-18 with just 30 seconds to go. The Falcons had a six on five advantage, and possession of the ball.

With the clock ticking down, Driver Angel Rojas passed the ball to Ever Resendiz who was able to score the winning goal for Cerritos with fourteen seconds left in the game.

The victory moved Cerritos to 4-0 in conference play this season.

Driver Kameron Simmons was happy that his team got the win but admits the talent of Mt. SAC.

“We didn’t expect Mt. SAC to be this good,” Simmons said.

Simmons also added that coach Joe Abing does a great job keeping them grounded, stating, “He tells us to come and play every team like they’re the best in the conference, never take a team lightly.”

Simmons added that a win like this gives confidence to the team, but it had the opposite effect on coach Abing.

“For me it’s like wow! We still have a lot to work on,” Abing said.

Players and coaches alike admitted that the defense against Mt. SAC was unacceptable.

“Defense,” Abing stated, “is the biggest thing.”

Simmons seconded his coaches thoughts on defense, and added, “We need to work on starting and finishing games and keeping the consistency and drive every game.”

The play of Scott McDill and Jeffrey Silverberg, both utility players for Mt. SAC, impressed the Falcons.

“[Silverberg] played a brilliant game,” Abing admitted, “he hit some incredible shots.”

Simmons also admitted,”Their No. 5 lit it up today.”

After the home win against Mt. SAC, the Falcons became the first team to reach 20 wins in its conference this season earning victories against Saddleback(16-9) and Fullerton(20-9).

The team was able to gain these wins at the Santa Monica Tournament, which took place on Friday, Oct 14.

In the game against Saddleback, Cerritos jumped out to an early 10-1 lead and never looked back.

Their game against Fullerton came almost immediately after the Saddleback game with little time to rest in between.

Despite having little rest the team was still able to come away with a victory.

Abing was satisfied with the performance of his team over the weekend and was also excited it gave him an opportunity to rotate players.

“We were able to pull further ahead, so we were able to get everyone some more experience and playing time,” he said.

He continued,”We had a good day, two good games for us.”

The depth of the Falcons has been an area of strength all season and played a big part in their success this last weekend.

“Having depth,” he said, “[also] not having to expend all your player’s energy on one game, definitely helps.”

First year Driver Jonathan Butz is one of those rotational players that allows coach to have confidence in his bench and sees the effect of having such a deep team.

Butz said, “It’s important, so we can give our starters a break.

“When we’re in there we give it one hundred percent so that the starters can get as much rest as they can so once they get back in their refreshed.”

After the Mt. SAC game Abing stated that he had some concerns for his team, and feels that his team takes his criticisms very well.

He said, “I don’t think they’re satisfied with where we’re at, they don’t want to take anything for granted.”

“I think they know it’s my job to point out what needs to get done better,” he added.

The players have learned to trust the coach and the direction he has the team going.

Butz stated that he fully trusts coach Abing, and added, “He’s the one looking for every possibility we can take to get better.”

The Falcons will play another conference rival and defending state champions Long Beach City College this Wednesday.

Long Beach is also 4-0 in conference play and will be yet another test for the 20-2 Falcons.