Boys’ water polo dominates Mountain View

Avi Srinivasan, Senior Staff Writer

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Junior Eitan Green dives for the ball during the varsity boys’ water polo game against the Mountain View Spartans Saturday at home. According to Green, the team’s performance was an improvement compared to its previous games. “I feel like we really executed on our defense,” Green said. “Coming into the game versus Los Altos we really broke down in the beginning of the third quarter [and] we lacked energy. So this [game] was kind of our bounce-back game.” Photo: Avi Srinivasan.

In an assertive victory, the Palo Alto High School varsity boys’ water polo team (3-4) beat the Mountain View Spartans (0-3), 13-4, Saturday during a home game.

Coming from a frustrating 15-10 defeat against the Los Altos Eagles Thursday, the Vikings went into Saturday’s match hoping to redeem themselves. According to senior co-captain Luke Thieman, the team intended to put more emphasis on where they fell short against the Eagles.

“We lost a tough one in the last league game,” Thieman said. “[But] we [knew] that we could continue to get better from that… so we had a lot of confidence.”

In the first quarter, the Vikings excelled on the offensive, controlling the flow of the game. Senior co-captain Siddhartha Sahasrabuddhe was especially dominant, evading several defenders and scoring the first goal of the match. From there, the Vikings continued progressing, making strong passes and shots, eventually managing to place the ball in the net two more times. On the defensive, though the Vikings put up a valiant effort, the Spartans were able to find an opening and score, ending the quarter 3-1.

In the second quarter, the Vikings picked up heavy momentum, establishing significant separation from the Spartans. Contrary to the first quarter, the Vikings overwhelmed the Spartans on the defensive, with junior goalkeeper Eitan Green being a stand-out and stopping numerous close shot attempts — keeping the Spartans scoreless in the quarter. On the other hand, Thieman and fellow senior co-captain Loic Ijzerman maintained the team’s commanding attacking nature, both scoring multiple goals and ending the quarter 6-1.

In the third and fourth quarters, the Vikings continued with their offensive aggression, with a total of seven goals being scored over the final half. Green resumed shining on defense, blocking and preventing several shots, not allowing Mountain View to make any significant headway. Thieman and Ijzerman remained unstoppable, facilitating goals and breaking through Mountain View’s defensive lines. Although the Spartans made a minor comeback towards the end of the game — scoring three more goals — ultimately it was too late, with the match ending in a 13-4 Viking victory.

According to Thieman, the team was expecting a lower-intensity match compared its past games.

“We were a little bit looser [and] had a little more fun today,” Thieman said. “[We had] a little bit more confidence on our game and we knew that we could go put some pressure on and have a good win.”

Head coach Ethan Look said he was extremely content with the players’ performance and believed their preparation beforehand was responsible for it.

“We just worked on our game plan [and] we got a couple of different offensive and defensive sets that we like to work on and [we] just [worked] on those, making sure that they were in the right place,” Look said. “It was hard to say before the game what kind of talent Mountain View was gonna have so we kind of had to prepare for everything.”

Thieman said that although the team did well, there is still room for improvement.

“Obviously there’s always things to work on,” Thieman said. “[Our] offense could have gone a little smoother on some certain possessions, but I am proud of the way we played and I want to build off of this going forward because we have a tough stretch of games coming up.”

The Vikings were to play against the Wilcox Chargers 3:30 p.m. Thursday at home.