PCAC men’s water polo championship race set up for fantastic finish

0
61
WEBWaterpolo.jpg

The Pacific Coast Athletic Conference men’s water polo championship race is set up for a fantastic finish after three teams—the Grossmont College Griffins, San Diego Mesa College Olympians and Palomar College Comets — each tied for the lead in the five-team circuit through the first half of conference play.

The Griffins, Olympians and Comets each sported 3-1 conference records at the mid-point of the season.

The Pacific Coast Athletic Conference men’s water polo championship race is set up for a fantastic finish after three teams—the Grossmont College Griffins, San Diego Mesa College Olympians and Palomar College Comets — each tied for the lead in the five-team circuit through the first half of conference play.

The Griffins, Olympians and Comets each sported 3-1 conference records at the mid-point of the season.

“Everything will come down to how we each play against each other the second time,” Grossmont coach Ty Lackey explained.

The Comets defeated the Griffins, 13-10, in a high profile encounter Sept. 17 at Palomar. The Comets dropped a 12-9 match-up to the Olympians on Sept. 3 while Grossmont defeated visiting Mesa, 11-8, on Sept. 24.

The Griffins opened the second round of conference play on Oct. 1 with a 20-9 victory against the Southwestern Jaguars at the Kroc Center pool to improve to 6-3 overall on the season.

Grossmont led 7-2 after the first quarter, 12-5 at halftime and 14-8 heading into the fourth quarter.

Antonio Geraldo-Peralta paced the Griffins with eight goals and one assist while Elis Ney recorded four goals and two steals; Jorge Perez-Romo and Darrough Riggs each collected two goals, one assist and two steals; Cody Warford had two goals, one assist and one steal; Alex Dillingham had one goal, four assists and three steals; and Blaine Gaston had one goal and two assists.

Grossmont goalie Rockne O’Brien netted 11 saves, three assists and two steals in the victory.

Lackey said he believes his team is up to the challenge of winning a championship this season after the Griffins turned in a solid showing at the South of the Border tournament hosted by Mesa Sept. 26-27.

The tournament paired teams from San Diego and Orange counties in predetermined match-ups. The Griffins finished 2-2 with wins over Cerritos and Santa Ana and losses to Fullerton and Citrus.

“We made a lot of improvement after the last tournament,” Lackey said. “The Orange County teams have a lot more depth than the San Diego teams do, but otherwise, there isn’t all that much difference.”

Grossmont hosts Palomar in a key rematch Oct. 15 at Granite Hills High School, plays at Miramar on Oct. 22 and closes out regular season conference play Oct. 29 at Mesa.

In between those games, the Griffins will participate in tournaments at Riverside (Oct. 10-11), Fullerton (Oct. 18) and Golden West (Oct. 24-25).

The PCAC championship tournament is scheduled Nov. 7-8 at Miramar College. The conference champion advances to the Southern California regionals Nov. 13-15 at Citrus College. The state championship tournament is scheduled Nov. 21-22 at American River College.

Seeding for the PCAC championship tournament will be based on the regular season standings.

Wet shots

Palomar edged Mesa, 16-15, in a PCAC game Oct. 1 to remain in a tie with Grossmont atop the standings. The Comets (8-3 overall) scored the game-winner just before time expired to snap a 15-15 deadlock. The Olympians fell to 3-2 in conference play, 10-7 overall.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here