Published October 24th, 2012
Water Polo Rivals Face off
By Marissa Harnett
Campolindo girls defeated Acalanes 6-5. Photo Andy Scheck
As the high school water polo league season draws to a close and the NCS playoffs approach, rivalry match-ups book the calendar. Acalanes hosted Campolindo on October 17 in dramatic matches for both the boys and girls. Campo eeked out two wins by just one goal in each game. The girls earned a 6-5 win, while the boys notched the 13-12 victory.
In the pool first, the girls' teams faced off. The Lady Dons pulled out to an early lead scoring in the first minutes of the game and held the lead at 2-1 at the half.
Campo coach Kim Everist was proud of how her players kept fighting. "They did a great job of hanging in there, not losing their composure and worked through the challenge.
Adrenaline picked up in the second half for a far more energized game, as both teams found a way to score. Campo scored three goals in two minutes to even the score at 4-4 heading into the fourth quarter.
The teams went back and forth in the final quarter. Campo had the lead and ball possession with less than 30 seconds remaining, and they ran out the clock to earn the 6-5 win.
"Acalanes is always a great competitor and our games with them are always physically and mentally challenging," Everist explained. "The team dug deep and were able to finish out the game."
Despite a disappointing loss, Acalanes coach Misha Bushel is happy with the progress his team has made over the season; the Dons lost by five the first time they played Campo. "I don't think I could have asked for more from our girls," Bushel said. "Everyone was focused and disciplined - much better than the first time we played [them]."
Jumping in the pool right after the girls, the boys' game started similarly to the girls' match. Acalanes jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first minutes of the game. Campo quickly squashed that momentum and came back to take a decisive lead by the end of the first half, 6-3.
"I told the boys that they need to continue to control the pace of the match. We stuck to our game plan and our planned defensive match ups," said Campolindo head coach Anton Sapozhnikov.
Each team logged five goals in the third, bringing the score to 11-8. The fourth quarter saw Acalanes step up their game to close the gap on Campo. After two time-outs in the last minute, the Dons missed the tying skip shot, giving Campo the 13-12 win.
Acalanes coach Clarke Tamariki admits that his players struggle in pressure situations. "The biggest challenge has been getting leaders to take control in tough games," he explained. "My challenge is having guys prepared."
Campo coach Anton Sapozhnikov said he was getting nervous that the Dons were steadily closing the gap. To pull out the win, he said the team relied on maintaining high energy and a strong defense. "We continued to score on offense and our goalie was phenomenal, he played with high intensity throughout the whole game and never got discouraged."
Miramonte takes on Campo today in Orinda. With both boys teams undefeated in DFAL, today's match will decide the league champion.
Miramonte coach James Lathrop's biggest challenge this season has been filling the shoes of last year's seniors who logged many minutes in the pool. Still playing, though, are key players such as goalie Drew Holland, Jack Fellner, and Charlie Wiser. "The younger guys have done a good job coming in and participating in taking their game up to the next level," he said.
He added that the Mats have played some top teams in the state this season and are looking to bring experience to today's matchup. "Hopefully the difficultly of our schedule will help prepare us for Campo and NCS," he explained.
The Lady Mats have their work cut out for them as they take on their undefeated rivals. Despite being a young team, head coach Trevor Rose feels confident that the younger players have stepped up well. "Our [junior] Dominique Clark has filled the gap in hole-set beautifully, and our complimentary set of sophomores makes up the core of our speed. Captain Laurie Simon is our 'rock' who provides leadership and great play constantly," he said.
Season records as of 10/18/12
Boys Girls
Acalanes 2-2 league 3-1 league
9-9 overall 12-5 overall

Campolindo 4-0 league 4-0 league
14-4 overall 16-1 overall

Miramonte 4-0 league 3-1 league
10-4 overall 17-6 overall
Connor Reid scored six goals for the Dons Photo Gint Federas

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