If the summer is any indication, the Stanford men's water polo team is in great shape. The Stanford 20-Under water polo club team consists mainly of some of the younger players on the college roster.
Among those players are Sacred Heart Prep grad Paul Rudolph, and Menlo School grads James Balassone and Scott Platshon.
The USA Men's 20U national championships concluded Thursday at Capistrano Valley High in Mission Viejo, with Stanford making an appearance in the championship match against SoCal, a squad consisting of mainly younger USC players. Stanford won convincingly, 13-7.
Stanford won its first four games by a combined margin of 43-13, including Stanford's 9-7 win over the Sharks.
Stanford beat Newport, 8-1, earlier Thursday in the semifinals to set up the showdown with SoCal.
Newport maintains a heavy UC Irvine influence while the Sharks are top-heavy with Pepperdine players.
The men's national finals start Friday, with the top 15 returning players at Stanford participating. Stanford opens with Navy, also at Capistrano Valley High.
The girls' Junior Olympic tournament got underway Thursday with both Stanford and NorCal club teams involved.
Both the Stanford Red and Stanford White 18U teams opened with a 2-1 record. Red beat the Falcons, 11-4, and Windy City, 12-5, sandwiched around a 14-10 loss to CHAWP.
White lost to Coronado, 7-4, but defeated W Sub Naperville, 5-2, and the Regency, 6-4.
NorCal beat Modesto Stanislaus, 19-1, and the Raider WP, 5-2, to set up an early Friday morning match with Stanford White.
The Stanford Red 16U team opened with a 12-2 victory over the Riptides and followed that with a 10-6 win over Diablo Black. Stanford White lost to NSD Stars, 5-3, and lost to Great Lakes, 8-1.
The NorCal 16U team won twice, beating the 680 Drivers Blue, 14-5, and downing Car1sbad, 10-5.
In the 12U division, Stanford split two games on Thursday, beating Dallasm 18-3, and losing the 680 Drivers, 8-5.
Neither Stanford team fared well in the 14U division, with the Red team losing to os Al Blue, 8-3, and the Riptides, 8-4. The White team dropped a 15-6 decision to San Diego Shores, a 13-2 decision to the Falcons and an 8-2 decision to CVAC.