Sports

Stanford boys water polo club gains results, experiences

Northern California 16A finishes in the upper bracket

Griffen Price (with Connor MacMitchell) helped Stanford 18A place sixth at the USAWP National Junior Olympics over the past four days. Photo by Keith Peters on July 18, 2021.

After one particularly fine play from Sacred Heart Prep rising senior Jack Vort that led to a Stanford Club 18A boys water polo team goal, Game On Live Studio play-by-play announcer Shawn Stringham reacted excitedly.

"Mr. and Mrs. Vort go get insurance on that arm," he shouted. "That's a golden arm."

The left-handed Vort had fired a pass to the right-handed Greg Hilderbrand (Menlo School) in front of the net for an easy score during one of Stanford 18A's victories on Monday at the USAWP National Junior Olympics at UC Irvine's William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Center.

Vort may not score as many goals as his teammates but his teammates know they don't score without him.

"Left-handers make the best passers," Stanford Water Polo Club Director Brandon Johnson said Tuesday. "But he's like a quarterback and he sees the field real well. He sets up his teammates and has a good understanding of the game."

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Stanford ended its run at the largest age group tournament in the nation with some good results. The 18As finished sixth overall after dropping another tough game Tuesday, a 10-9 decision to Newport Beach A.

"I'm happy with all the teams," Johnson said. "The 18s made a good run at it, the 16As had a tough second day but ended strong, the 16Bs had a good showing. They overperformed from their seed, beating 680 A and almost beating Lamorinda A."

Gunn coach Jamie Olson led the 16B's and St. Francis coach Terry O'Donnell was in charge of the 16As, who beat Foothill 14-6 in their finale.

The 16As played without two of its top players, though Johnson was impressed with Julien Chow (Palo Alto), Hassen Hove (SHP) and Alex Hegeman (Bellarmine).

The Northern California 16A boys team, which included several local players, placed 12th in the championship division of the JOs, which concluded July 20, 2021. Photo by Jon Affeld.

Northern California 16A, based at Los Altos High and including local players Jordan Affeld (Gunn), Wolfgang Edholm (Gunn) Nadav Efrat (Gunn), Michael Fang (Menlo School) and Ivan Ijzerman (Palo Alto), placed 12th overall. Northern California was seeded 27th.

The Stanford 14As, coached by SHP assistant Peter Olson, finished with a 16-12 victory over Mid Valley, reversing an earlier loss, to place 11th overall, an improvement over their 15th place showing from two years ago.

The Stanford 12As placed 10th overall and the 12Bs were 17th after beating Trojan B 12-7.

In the Classic Division, Stanford 18B finished sixth and Stanford 14B placed ninth.

What Vort is to the offense, SHP rising senior Griffen Price is to the defense. He continually came up big at key times.

"We think he's the best goalie in the country at his age group," Johnson said. "He came up with key blocks in all three games (Monday).

"It was a good weekend," said Johnson, who traveled to watch every team in every age group and division at least once.

Following a day off Wednesday, the girls take over the pools in Orange County through Sunday.

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Stanford boys water polo club gains results, experiences

Northern California 16A finishes in the upper bracket

Uploaded: Tue, Jul 20, 2021, 9:05 pm

After one particularly fine play from Sacred Heart Prep rising senior Jack Vort that led to a Stanford Club 18A boys water polo team goal, Game On Live Studio play-by-play announcer Shawn Stringham reacted excitedly.

"Mr. and Mrs. Vort go get insurance on that arm," he shouted. "That's a golden arm."

The left-handed Vort had fired a pass to the right-handed Greg Hilderbrand (Menlo School) in front of the net for an easy score during one of Stanford 18A's victories on Monday at the USAWP National Junior Olympics at UC Irvine's William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Center.

Vort may not score as many goals as his teammates but his teammates know they don't score without him.

"Left-handers make the best passers," Stanford Water Polo Club Director Brandon Johnson said Tuesday. "But he's like a quarterback and he sees the field real well. He sets up his teammates and has a good understanding of the game."

Stanford ended its run at the largest age group tournament in the nation with some good results. The 18As finished sixth overall after dropping another tough game Tuesday, a 10-9 decision to Newport Beach A.

"I'm happy with all the teams," Johnson said. "The 18s made a good run at it, the 16As had a tough second day but ended strong, the 16Bs had a good showing. They overperformed from their seed, beating 680 A and almost beating Lamorinda A."

Gunn coach Jamie Olson led the 16B's and St. Francis coach Terry O'Donnell was in charge of the 16As, who beat Foothill 14-6 in their finale.

The 16As played without two of its top players, though Johnson was impressed with Julien Chow (Palo Alto), Hassen Hove (SHP) and Alex Hegeman (Bellarmine).

Northern California 16A, based at Los Altos High and including local players Jordan Affeld (Gunn), Wolfgang Edholm (Gunn) Nadav Efrat (Gunn), Michael Fang (Menlo School) and Ivan Ijzerman (Palo Alto), placed 12th overall. Northern California was seeded 27th.

The Stanford 14As, coached by SHP assistant Peter Olson, finished with a 16-12 victory over Mid Valley, reversing an earlier loss, to place 11th overall, an improvement over their 15th place showing from two years ago.

The Stanford 12As placed 10th overall and the 12Bs were 17th after beating Trojan B 12-7.

In the Classic Division, Stanford 18B finished sixth and Stanford 14B placed ninth.

What Vort is to the offense, SHP rising senior Griffen Price is to the defense. He continually came up big at key times.

"We think he's the best goalie in the country at his age group," Johnson said. "He came up with key blocks in all three games (Monday).

"It was a good weekend," said Johnson, who traveled to watch every team in every age group and division at least once.

Following a day off Wednesday, the girls take over the pools in Orange County through Sunday.

Rick Eymer

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