Griffins gearing up for upcoming IC water polo championships

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The Grossmont College men’s and women’s water polo teams look to figure prominently in the upcoming Pacific Coast Athletic Conference championship tournament, scheduled Nov. 8-9 at Miramar College.

The Griffin women’s team is ranked fourth in the state while the Grossmont men’s team is ranked eighth in the state.

The Grossmont College men’s and women’s water polo teams look to figure prominently in the upcoming Pacific Coast Athletic Conference championship tournament, scheduled Nov. 8-9 at Miramar College.

The Griffin women’s team is ranked fourth in the state while the Grossmont men’s team is ranked eighth in the state.

Both teams swept the host Southwestern Jaguars on Oct. 23 to remain undefeated in regular season conference play. Grossmont won the women’s contest by a score of 18-7 while the Griffins captured the men’s game by a score of 15-8.

Grossmont improved to 7-0 in conference play. The Griffin men are vying with San Diego Mesa (6-1 in conference play) for the No. 1 seed in the upcoming five-team conference championship tournament while the Grossmont women remain ahead of Palomar (5-2 in conference play) in the race for the No. 1 playoff seed.

The winner of the conference tournament advances to the ensuing Southern Californian regional championship tournament.

The Griffin women are 18-5 on the season; the Griffin men improved to 16-4 overall following a 3-1 showing over the weekend (Oct. 25-26) at the Golden West tournament.

While this year’s Grossmont men’s team doesn’t have the height factor it did in the past, longtime coach Brian Harvey said this year’s team has other attributes that have contributed to the program’s ongoing success.

“We’re intelligent and fast,” Harvey explained. “We’re undefeated in the conference so far. We’ve got a lot of team speed and great team cohesiveness. We play well as a team.”

Valhalla High School alumnus Jake James keyed the Griffins with five goals, two assists and three steals in the victory against Southwestern while Granite Hills alum Rain Croteau-Hanson chipped in with three goals, two assists and one steal.

Other contributors in the win over the Jaguars (2-6 in conference, 4-16 overall) included Valhalla alum Alex Dillingham (three goals, one assist, one steal), Mexico’s Jorge Perez-Romero (two goals, three assists, four steals) and El Capitan alum Cody Warford (two goals, two assists). 

Grossmont High School alum Michael Leimbach was credited with12 goalie saves.

James and Perez-Romero (La Paz) serve as co-captains.

Perez-Romero leads the Griffin with 67 goals, 44 assists and 78 steals. James has collected 61 goals, 17 assists and 38 steals.

Croteau-Hanson ranks second on the team with 20 assists while Leimbach has accumulated 110 blocks.

The Grossmont women’s team has outscored its opponents 262-172 on the season. The Lady Griffins finished 2-2 at last weekend’s Golden West tournament, recording victories against Long Beach City (9-6) and Cypress (11-4).

Grossmont plays its home games at Granite Hills High School.

To follow the upcoming conference championship tournament, visit the website at www.jcwaterpolo.com.

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