Grossmont Griffins claim PCAC men’s water polo title

0
51
WEBGrossmont_Men7_shot_7288.jpg

Grossmont College’s men’s and women’s water polo teams represented themselves well at this year’s Pacific Coast Athletic Conference championship tournament held Nov. 2-3 at Southwestern College’s new aquatics complex.

Five teams competed in each gender field.

Top-seeded Grossmont College defeated second-seeded Palomar College, 21-7, in the men’s final while third-seeded Grossmont defeated fourth-seeded Southwestern, 12-2, to finish third in the women’s field.

Grossmont College’s men’s and women’s water polo teams represented themselves well at this year’s Pacific Coast Athletic Conference championship tournament held Nov. 2-3 at Southwestern College’s new aquatics complex.

Five teams competed in each gender field.

Top-seeded Grossmont College defeated second-seeded Palomar College, 21-7, in the men’s final while third-seeded Grossmont defeated fourth-seeded Southwestern, 12-2, to finish third in the women’s field.

San Diego Mesa College defeated Palomar College, 13-12, to win the women’s championship title while Mesa topped Miramar College, 19-6, to capture third place in the men’s field.

The championship was the first for Grossmont men’s coach Ty Lackey in five years with the team. The Griffins had advanced to the final on three other occasions but had finished runner-up to Palomar.

“This is what we wanted,” Lackey said. “We had an all freshman team last year, so just about everyone came back this year and we added a strong group of freshmen to that. Our goals at the beginning of the year were to win conference and finish in the top 10 rankings and we’re on pace to accomplish both goals.”

Grossmont (23-5) earned the top seed for the PCAC championship tournament with an 8-0 regular season conference record while Palomar finished 6-2 in conference play. Mesa was 4-4 while Southwestern and Miramar both finished 1-7 in the conference standings.

The Griffins, who ended regular season play ranked eighth in the state, now advance to the Southern California regional playoffs.

Grossmont’s top three scorers — freshman Brock Kammerer (95 goals, 75 assists) and sophomores Cole Kammerer (95 goals, 45 assists) and Ryan Blevitt (87 goals, 20 assists) — ranked as the top three scorers in the conference this season and ranked among the top 10 scorers in the state.

Sophomore goalie Travis Rosenkoetter, a former Grossmont Foothiller, accumulated 17 assists and 35 steals over the course of the season.

The Griffins’ roster is primarily comprised of East County high school alumni from schools such as Granite Hills, Grossmont, Christian, Santana, Steele Canyon and El Cajon Valley high schools, as well as former preps form University City, Poway, Patrick Henry and Clairemont high schools.

Lackey noted that Cole Kammerer, a bounce back from the University of Redlands, was a key addition to this year’s team.

“Getting a kid like that who had one year of experience at the four-year level was obviously a big boost for us,” Lackey said.

Brock Kammerer (five goals, four assists) and Cole Kammerer (four goals, five assists) led the Griffins with nine points each in the championship game win over Palomar.

Blevitt, another ex-Foothiller, collected three goals and three assists while Mackenzie Nevins (Grossmont HS), Isaiah Webster (Granite Hills HS) and Nathan Seaux (Clairemont HS) each scored two goals.

Benjamin Mussey (Grossmont HS) contributed one goal and three assists while Wes Papike (Steele Canyon HS) and Garret Durado (Poway HS) each scored one goal.

Rosenkoetter had 11 saves on 16 shots in three quarters of cage duty while dishing out one assist and recording three steals.

Patrick Sullivan (Patrick Henry HS) allowed two goals in one quarter of play.

Grossmont defeated fifth-seeded Miramar, 22-6, in the semifinal round while Palomar topped third-seeded Mesa 9-7.

Papike led the Griffins with five goals in the semifinal win while Blevins scored four goals.

“We play an aggressive style,” Lackey said. “We have a lot of talent, a lot of guys who have club exposure. I think we have some good talent coming into the program next year; I think that we might even be better next year.”

Grossmont’s women’s team finished 5-3 in the regular season conference standings alongside Palomar College. However, for the conference playoffs, Palomar received the No. 2 seed while Grossmont received the No. 3 seed. Both teams were seeded behind top-seeded Mesa (8-0 in conference play).

The Griffins fell to Palomar, 13-3, in the semifinals to drop to the third-place game against fourth-seeded Southwestern, which had come up short by an 18-7 score to Mesa in the semifinals.

This is Larry Larsen’s 17th season coaching at Grossmont College. He said this year’s women’s squad had the best team chemistry among all his previous teams.

“It was a good year,” Larsen said. “We finished third in conference. We definitely had a lot of individual progress, which was a bonus for us.”

Impact players on this year’s team included Grace Martin (Grossmont HS) and Cami Raley (West Hills HS).

Martin, along with teammate Maria Jimenez, led Grossmont with three goals each in the third-place game victory.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here