On Tuesday, September 13, the Berkeley High School varsity men’s water polo team dove back into the water with a game against BHS rivals, Bishop O’Dowd High School.
The Jackets held the lead throughout the first half of the game. O’Dowd trailed behind, and when they scored, BHS scored shortly after. The teams kept a back and forth pattern going, up until the third quarter, when O’Dowd solidified a lead, and the game resulted in a 11-13 BHS loss.
The BHS offense had high intensity and was very effective. Players like senior Juan Pablo De Anda Castaneda constantly applied pressure on the opposing team and did an outstanding job keeping the ball. However, he still feels his team had a disappointing game. De Anda commented, “Although I am one of the best players in the state, our team sits at a disappointing 24.” Still, he recognized the defense, saying, “Someone who pulled through was Yair (Sas), who played great defense throughout the game and scored some nice goals.” Manel Grossi, a sophomore on the team, affirmed the strong defense sentiment. “Our goalie, Lior (Schifrin), had a great game and blocked a lot of the shots,” said Grossi.
De Anda said, “A challenge we faced was that we were not finishing all our chances and making small mistakes.” The team is working to combat this by practicing drills that focus on shooting and passing under pressure. Grossi stated that the team struggled to keep good energy and morale. However, he said, “We combatted this by giving supportive comments on the sidelines.” As the season progresses, Grossi hopes to create better chemistry and communication while in the water.