The Riverside City College men’s water polo team is feeling optimistic about the upcoming season.
With the acquisition of a few key players and a good showing at the Golden West Tournament, the Tigers have reason to be hopeful.
During the off-season, the Tigers got an added boost to their roster.
New acquisition Shawn Nolan is a transfer from Long Beach City College.
Nolan and the Tigers faced his old Long Beach team and were short two points of knocking them off in the Cuesta tournament.
The Tigers finished the tournament with an even 2-2 record, also losing to Ventura and picking up two wins against Cal Poly and host team Cuesta.
Another choice addition came when freshman Bryce Baumstark joined the team this year. Baumstark plays the 2-meter position, which is the equivalent to the center position in basketball.
Coach Nate Hass believes that he will add some real depth at the 2-meter position.
“This is a huge position for us,” Hass said.
“I think we’re a much better team but I also think that most of the teams in the state are a lot better, too,” Hass said when asked about this year’s team compared to last year’s team.
The men’s water polo team currently has a 4-4 record.
The team has faced some tough opponents and for the most part, they were on the road.
The Tigers spent most of last year’s schedule on the road and was still able to acchieve 17 wins with 15 defeats.
The Tigers started out their season at the Golden West Tournament in Huntington Beach.
The Tigers had two wins and two losses at the tournament. The team beat two good competitors in Mt. San Antonio College and Los Angeles Valley College. One of their two losses was against Grossmont College.
The team played well but ended up being eliminated by a team that they will have to face again in October, Orange Coast College.
After Cuesta, the team will go to Huntington Beach and play a very formidable opponent- Golden West College. Then they will go across town and play at the Cal Baptist University Tournament.
The whirlwind road trip comes to an end on Sept.30 when the team meets Fullerton at home at the Cesar Chavez Center.
This home game marks only one of the three home games on the Tiger’s schedule this season.
The Tigers will have to learn to excel on the road due to the fact that there will only be three home matches this year.
Besides Fullerton, the Tigers will also play Santa Ana and Orange Coast at the Sippy Woodhead Pool.
After Orange Coast on Oct.14, the team will play in three matches and four tournaments.
With a slew of tough and ranked opponents ahead of them, the Tigers will have to find strength in their new players as well as the remaining players from last year’s team in order to be successful.
Coach Hass is very optimistic about this season and has every intention of having a winning season.
“I think we have an opportunity to do better than we did last year,” Hass said. “I think that we are a much better team.”