All that hard work appears to be paying off for the Hilltop High School boys water polo team after the Lancers recorded their third consecutive victory in as many South Bay League games by defeating the Olympian Eagles, 15-1, on Tuesday.
That win came on the heels of a key 10-2 win against the Mater Dei Crusaders in a game played Oct. 7 at the Las Palmas pool. Hilltop and Mater Dei partnered with Mar Vista as league tri-champions last year.
MDC edged Mar Vista, 8-7, in overtime to jump-start this year’s chase for the league banner.
“We started out very strong and finished very strong,” HHS coach John Salts said in reprising the victory over the Crusaders. “Even though we kind of hit a lull in the middle of the game, our defense remained solid.”
Ryan Kennedy paced the Lancers with three goals against Mater Dei while seven players chipped in with single goals: Luis Ontiveros, Ryan Wertz, Stuart Sokil, Tanner Franklin, Leo Perez, Rodrigo Perez and Juan Ontiveros. Kevin Moran and Jorge Lizarraga combined for seven saves.
Franklin had four goals in Tuesday’s game while Wertz scored three times and Giovanni Rude had two goals. Single goals went to seven players: Carlos Uribe, Luis Ontiveros, Miko Martinez, Kennedy, Ricardo Montes, Rodrigo Perez and Juan Ontiveros. Moran and Lizarraga shared goaltending duties, with both combining for five saves.
“Olympian is a team in development,” Salts said. “They have some raw talent and are working hard to develop a good program.”
Hilltop (7-7 overall) previously defeated Southwest, 14-1, on Sept. 20 to open league play. Franklin, Kennedy and Luis Ontiveros each had two goals while single goals were scored by Sokil, both Perez brothers, Martinez, Uribe, Rude and Juan Ontiveros. Moran had 11 saves
Mater Dei, meanwhile, rebounded with an 18-7 victory against Castle Park on Tuesday to improve to 2-1 in league play. Olympian is 1-2 with a victory against Castle Park and a loss to Southwest besidesTuesday's loss to Hilltop.
Mesa League play starts Tuesday, Oct. 19, as Bonita Vista and Otay Ranch square off at 3 p.m. at the Loma Verde pool and Chula Vista and Eastlake play at 5:45 p.m. at Southwestern College.
Eastlake improved to 9-7 overall with a 10-3 non-league victory against El Camino on Oct. 1. Adam Hilborn had four goals while Dylan Chase scored three times. Single goals went to Josh Alvarez, Eric Hum and Daniel Lord.