Record breaking coach

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By Cameron Wright & Daniel Segraves

By Cameron Wright & Daniel Segraves

As the Tigers claimed a 14-6 victory over Fullerton in an Orange Empire Conference match, head coach Dave Almquist won his 37th consecutive game, breaking basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian’s record for the most consecutive wins by any coach at Riverside Community College.

Dave Almquist was the goalie coach for the United States Men’s Water Polo team in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea (for which he won a Silver Medal). He came home and coached for many different teams until he came to Riverside Community College where he founded the Water Polo program in 2001. He coached the men’s team for two seasons, leading the team to the championship game both years, before finally losing.

Almquist then switched to the women’s team and began his work as the women’s water polo head coach in the 2004 season, which was a year of ups and downs, but the team came out on top with three All-American team members. The following season was even better, with a winning streak of 23 victories half-way through the year, ultimately finishing with a 28-5 record.

But Almquist was thirsty for more. He and his players shined during the 2006 season, where the team finished No. 1 in the state. They came out on top versus Long Beach City in the State Championship game, where Dave Almquist was named the 2006 Southern Pacific Zone Coach of the Year for Women’s Elite Water Polo.

Almquist likes to use the explosiveness of his players to make great plays with exact and swift precision. But at the same time, being a former goalie coach, he believes that defense plays a big factor during games.

While Almquist does keep the record-breaking streak in the back of his mind, it’s not what drives him. Like any coach, a winning team brings a smile to his face and that’s exactly what he strives for. His focus is directly on the team, taking each game one day at a time.

By beating Fullerton College, the Tigers maintained it’s undefeated record (12-0 at the time, 16-0 for the season) and gave coach Dave Almquist a place in the record books.

Before the game began, the players showed no sign of worry. When asked about any added pressure by the significance of the game, they didn’t seem to mind.

“We’re ready.” Layla Behzadian said. “Mentally and physically, we’re ready.”

Everyone on the team shared Behzadian’s sentiment. “We’re a much better team this year,” Catherine Giles said. “We have a lot more subs to trade out with, so it just feels more solid.”

“Well, there’s a bit more pressure for me. The pool is a lot smaller than usual, so it’ll make for an interesting game. But our team’s ready.” Almquist said with a nod.

After his historical win, Almquist was as calm and reserved as he was going into the game.

“I’m very happy with how this went,” Almquist told his players after the game. “This is the most I’ve been impressed by you so far.”

The Tiger’s continue to lead their conference as well as the state. After winning every game in the Cuesta Tournament Sept. 29-30, Riverside holds the top seed in the conference and boasts a record of

16-0.

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