Last Friday was the first day Men’s Water Polo participated in the Gary Troyer Tournament, and ended their two-game losing streak by taking down Fresno Pacific and Fordham.
The Whittier College Poets splashed away four teams at the Gary Troyer Tournament Friday Oct. 7 and Saturday Oct. 8. The Poets left the tournament with flawless 4-0 wins, crushing Fresno Pacific University, Fordham University, McKendree University, and La Verne University.
In their match against the Fresno Pacific Sun Birds, the Poets came out of the first quarter with a 4-1 lead and never looked back. By the end of the first half, the Poets had the Sun Birds by the beak with a score of 7-1. Although the Sun Birds tried to fly back in the second half, they only managed to score four more points before their feathers were clipped. Ten of the attempts the Sun Birds made to score were ultimately shut down by goalies first-year Murat Escoz and sophomore Riley Bloom. The Poets finished with a score of 15-5.
The Poets’ game against Fordham University left the Rams shaking in their fleece. The Rams proved to be a more difficult opponent for the Poets as they tried to make a comeback during the final quarter, scoring four points. However, the Rams were unable to dodge defeat and the Purple and Gold would end up winning 13-7.
Saturday, the Poets returned to the pool for their second round of wins against the McKendree University Bearcats and the La Verne University Leopards.
During their match against the Bearcats, the Poets struggled for the first three quarters as the Bearcats clawed at their backs, trailing behind them by one point with a score of 5-4 after the first two quarters, and a score of 9-8 after the third. It wasn’t until thefinal quarter of the game that Poets were able to throw off the Bearcats, scoring four goals within the first two minutes and two more goals within the last minute of the game. The match ended with a score of 15-9.
Their final match against the Leopards started with a great first quarter as the Poets took the lead 4-1. In the remaining three quarters of the game the teams played a game of cat-and-mouse, as the Leopards tried to pounce back. Luckily for the Poets, the Leopards weren’t fast enough and the Poets claimed their fourth and final victory that weekend with a score of 13-9.
Senior 2-meter Wedge Molthen and junior utility Aidan Tol scored many of the goals throughout the tournament.
Molthen scored five points in both the match against the Fresno Pacific Sun Birds and the Fordham Bearcats.
“Our season so far has been a learning experience. We try to learn from every loss in order to be the very best we can for the upcoming conference games,” Molthen said.
When asked how he prepares for the tournaments, Tol said, “I usually listen to music and drink a ton of water before the game. Mentally, I treat a game like a practice because if I stick to the fundamentals I will always be ready to play and win.”
Tol expressed his faith in the team, saying he believes they will go all the way. “This season I have no doubt we will win the championship,” he said. “Our chemistry is better than I expected, and we are extremely in shape, so no team can out work us.”
Thanks to their clean sweep at the Gary Troyer Tournament, the Poets have now won five of their seven matches this season. Next the Poets will take on San Jose State University and University of California, Santa Barbara Oct. 15 at UC Santa Barbara.
Tol is confident that the team will beat San Jose. “This Saturday, San Jose doesn’t know what’s coming.”