The Otay Ranch Mustangs boys water polo team is off to its best start in seven seasons — Wednesday’s 12-5 loss to five-time defending Mesa League champion Eastlake Titans notwithstanding.
The Mustangs are 7-7 overall and are coming off a 12th-place finish at last weekend’s 16-team East County Invitational.
“We’re playing well as a young team,” ORHS coach Ernie Medina explained.
Johnny Velazquez led the Titans (2-0 in league, 8-8 overall) with seven goals. Medina said Velazquez was “too experienced for the young guys.”
“Even though Otay is having a ‘learning’ season, some of the players are standing out and playing the best Otay has played in seven seasons,” Medina noted.
Sophomore Fabian Orozco leads the Mustangs with 41 goals, while sophomore Nick Sedan tops the team with 24 steals and sophomore Eddie Rosenfeld leads the team with seven five-meter penalty shots earned.
Sophomore team captain Angel Aquiar plays guard, utility and sometimes goalie. Freshman Cooper Mestre is a top attacker, while junior Robert Lechner has amassed 87 goalie saves.
Sophomore Mitch Kim is an attacker and sprinter.
Rosenfield earned recognition on the ECI all-tournament team.
Otay Ranch’s next game is against the Hilltop Lancers, scheduled for Monday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m. at the Parkway pool.
East County Invitational
Top 8 Bracket Placement
Championship game: Valhalla 8, Mar Vista 5
Third place: Hilltop 7, Mission Hills 6
Fifth place: West Hills 11, Monte Vista 10
Seventh place: Clairemont 13, Mission Bay 6
Valhalla 9, Mission Hills 6
Mar Vista 5, Hilltop 4
Monte Vista 14, Mission Bay 9
West Hills 9, Clairemont 6
Valhalla 7, Hilltop 3
Mission Bay 5, Clairemont 4
Lower 8 Bracket Placement
Ninth place: Mater Dei Catholic 10, Bonita Vista 4
11th place: High Tech 8, Otay Ranch 7
13th place: San Dieguito Academy 10, El Capitan 9 (OT)
15th place: San Ysidro 16, Southwest 8
Mater Dei Catholic 14, High Tech High 3
Bonita Vista 14, Otay Ranch 4
El Capitan 9, Southwest 5
San Dieguito Academy 10, San Ysidro 5
Otay Ranch 12, San Ysidro 10
High Tech 7, El Capitan 5
High Tech 13, Otay Ranch 9
El Capitan 17, San Ysidro 13
Bonita Vista 20, Southwest 2
Mater Dei Catholic 12, San Dieguito Academy 6
Bonita Vista 8, Mater Dei Catholic 6
First round games:
Valhalla 15, San Ysidro 3
Mission Bay 12, Otay Ranch 7
Clairemont 12, High Tech High 6
Hilltop 14, El Capitan 8
Valhalla 19, Mission Bay 6
Hilltop 7, Clairemont 6