Varsity boys’ water polo defeats Upland

Varsity boys’ water polo defeated Upland 13-2 in its first quarterfinal of the CIF playoffs on Tuesday, November 8 at home.

Utility junior Justin Swafford and driver sophomore Kyle Green both totaled three goals and two steals each while goalkeeper junior Hassan El Demerdash saved seven shots out of nine from Upland.

“I was quite nervous about the game because Upland beat us by one point in the middle of our season,” driver senior Jeremy Medina said. “I was nervous that it was gonna be a close game but it turned out we beat them by 11 points.”

Swafford scored the first point of the game at the 3:55 mark in the first quarter. Utility senior Jarren Peng followed up with a goal and an assist to set junior Noah Brokaw. Walnut’s lead increased as Green and Swafford each scored two more unanswered points before Upland countered with a goal to end the second quarter, 5-1.

“[Under tough defense], we evaluate the situation and note who their playmakers are,” driver sophomore Patrick Webb said. “We may have some of our bigger players match to theirs or we may run a drop onto their whole set.”

The Mustangs’ defense limited Upland to one point for the rest of the game while proceeding to score eight consecutive points in the second half from Brokaw, Swafford, Green and Webb. With a few minutes left in the game, the starters were subbed out and Walnut was able to score two more points from utility sophomores Nick Fabrega and Eddie Chang, ending the game 13-2.

“Towards the end of fourth quarter [is] when we started like, blooming and we kept on scoring and scoring. In the beginning of the game, there [was] no scoring because [their] defense [on] Walnut is really tight,” Medina said. “It’s hard to get the ball towards the middle because the defense is really locked on so we kinda have to adapt to that and instead of forcing the ball into the middle we [have] to drive around.”

By Haixin Guo, Sports editor

Photo by Kyle Lin

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