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Fall sports preview

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By Cameron Wright

Amber Mesa waits for an opportune moment to score a point against Saddleback during September 13’s game.

By Cameron Wright

The Tigers are back again this year for another season of great water polo.

Last season the women’s team finished the season clinching the Cypress College Tournament Championship with a record-breaking winning streak of 36 matches. They opened the 2006 season with the No. 2 rank facing Mt. San Antonio in a non-conference match. The team didn’t flinch as they steamrolled to a 16-3 victory. As the upcoming tournaments approach, the team seems confident in its skill.

Only two teams have achieved multiple state championships in the first decade of community college women’s water polo (those being Golden West and Long Beach). However, the team’s focus is on capturing another championship as the season progresses. Only four members of the team are returning from the previous year, Emily Fardig, Lyndsey Williams, Layla Behzadian, and Catherine Giles.

At the start of the season the men’s team returned tied with LA Valley for the No. 8 spot according to the California Community College Water Polo Coaches Association, but has since been dropped to a tenth place standing.

The team opened its 2006 season at the Ventura Tournament finishing 2-2. Returning players Steve Kalinich, Brad Marsile, Bret Case, Zack Skelton, Jeff Gouailhardou, Juirca Mazuran, and Eric Bentley bring a revival of last season’s hustle and speed, with new players such as Jesse Owens, Chris Knowles, and Aaron DesCombes.

The California Community College Water Polo coaches originally voted the defending State Champions Long Beach as top team to repeat its success in the previous season, but Golden West has recently secured the top spot with its flawless 8-0 record. Head coach Nate Hass and the team have a lot of work ahead of them as they advance through September and October, two months that include the Ventura Tournament, Cuesta Tournament, Cal Baptist Tournament, and the Citrus Tournament.

In dual games against Orange Coast the men’s and women’s teams found opposing results. The women continued its winning streak with a 10-5 victory while the men ended with a 4-7 loss.

Its next game after the Cuesta Tournament is on Sept. 23 in the California Baptist Tournament.

The women’s team will be playing Fullerton next, the No. 5 ranked team in the state on Sept. 27.

In the last quarter of the game, Chris Knowles attempts to score a goal before the end of the game.

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